Wedding season is upon us. Planning can all begin up to a year ahead, as brides start to gear up in anticipation of the approaching festivities. For salons and spas, this can translate to a new source of customers, sales, and connections..
Our wedding business has grown exponentially over the years, to the point where we now have assigned one of our managers to exclusively handle the bookings in order to ensure a seamless experience. In fact, there are numerous booked weekends in place, with more staff working at the wedding locations than there are in the salon providing regular services.
Offering on-location or in-house services can bring with it its own set of challenges. We always hope the big day will go down as practiced, but sometimes circumstances arise that will require your stylists to act on-the-fly. Be sure to pick the right staff members for the job—not just those who are technically proficient, but employees who have also demonstrated a good temperament for dealing with difficult divas or wishy-washy brides. Remember, when working a wedding, your team is functioning as ambassadors for your salon and brand. Choose wisely, because a good or bad experience can make or break your business’s reputation in the wedding industry.
The wedding day is just the final culmination in a series of many other celebratory events that your team can help make special. Prep for Bridal showers, bachelorette parties, and rehearsal dinners hold the potential for many mani-pedis, blowouts, Spa and Medi services. Spa days can also be marketed as an excellent activity for any couple planning a stay-cation honeymoon.
Weddings can be incredibly lucrative—but also immensely stressful and time-consuming. To deal with all the craziness, try to focus on what this day means to the couple getting married. Role play with your team all the memories and goodwill this event creates, help remind the team that it is a privilege to be asked to participate in these special occasions. Ultimately, a happy bride and groom will generate positive buzz, even press for your business and you can bet that goodwill will find its way back to your establishment.
Here is how to get started:
Winter Warmups: During the winter months, train a team on the specifics of bridal hair and make-up.
Matrimonial Marketing: Promote your bridal services on websites, with brochures, and directly to customers.
Get It in Writing: Have a contract in place and take a deposit at the time of the book-in. Half of our weddings are booked at least year ahead, so have your calendar ready!
Practice Makes Picture-Perfect: Create a “Bridal Package” that includes a trial run. On the day of the trial run, work with the bride to create a custom hair and make-up look. Take pictures of the finished product to keep on file for your records and to see how the styling will ultimately photograph.
Create Your Own Bridal Suite: Set a space aside that can be used for bridal showers or other group occasions. Create a packaged deal for a day of mani-pedis, spa services, with hors d’oeuvres and refreshments.
Organize Your Supplies: Have assigned kits for hair and make-up prepared. Make sure inventory is taken prior to and after each session and assign a team member to keep kits updated.
Timing is Everything: On the wedding day, make sure your team leaves with enough time to get to the destination early. Always have a back-up plan..
Remember Their First: A year later send an anniversary card to the happy couple offering some kind of discount, service or incentive...
Allan Labos has more than 30 years of beauty and style experience across the country and in Europe. He began his career under the tutelage of Vidal Sassoon in London and opened and managed Sassoon salons and schools in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and New York. For the past 25 years he has owned and operated Akari, a 20,000-square-foot business in Portland, Maine. Akari offers hair, nail and spa services and also includes a boutique, fitness center and medical spa.