Thanks so much Lisa for the unexpected gift! You are right, it will come in very handy with all this wedding stuff …
Now I got this idea from the very brilliant Samm Blake who does client gifts exceptionally well. When she taught a class for us at Farm, I was amazed at just how much effort she puts into the experience that her clients have with her. It’s no wonder that she is one of the most in demand wedding photographers around. Right from her first communication with them through to product delivery, Samm has a great sense of making it all even more special for them. At the time, I had noticed a large drop in my client referrals and so seeing just how much effort she put into the whole connection with hers made me realise that I seriously needed to look into this.
Think about it, when they first book you it’s often early on in the whole wedding planning process. They are super excited about it all so don’t burst their bubble by just asking for a booking fee and sending a boring old contract. Jazz it up a little and I’m not talking about sending a box of Milk Tray. Put some effort in and bear in mind that this is an early introduction to dealing with you. Make it exciting! As soon as I get everything needed to book in, I send them them an intensely sparkly envelope with either a cute tote bag, a clutch or wash bag in it depending on who I’m dealing with.. brides or grooms. I figure that once the planning kicks in then a bag to keep all their ‘wedding crap’ in is a great idea or the clutch is lovely for a bride to use on the wedding day to keep phone, make up, tissues etc in. I get them from a company called Alphabet Bags which is run by a very lovely couple who’s wedding I shot a few years back. They do a fantastic wedding range and the designs are always gorgeous. And here’s a tip, if you keep an eye on them, they do an incredible seconds sale a couple of times a year so you can stock up. I get the envelopes from the amazing World of Envelopes ( which can only be said in the style of a Circus Ringmaster).
I know Farmers are pretty canny when it comes to this kind of thing so I asked in our group about what they send and now I feel like I might need to seriously up my game! Rebecca Douglas said I send DIY grow your own cactus kits with pretty instructions with some of my botanical images, some of my couples have lost their minds! Amy Reed at Flashbulb Photography does Branded wedding planning mugs with tea bags & homemade shortbread (or mini champagne and chocolates for late bookings). Sarah Craig at Fotomaki said I usually give a £20 gift card for a local cafe or a spot they’ve mentioned liking and include a card saying to take time out from planning for tea & cake. Emma Louise from Epic Love Story has this fun idea I send my 20 page magazine with popping candy and unicorn poop confetti! However this one might just trump us all. I ask them their favourite animal and I adopt one for them usually at a sanctuary near where they live so they can visit it, says Yvonne Lishman. Awhhhhh!
If you are still stuck for ideas then pay a visit to our wonderful friends Awesome Merchandise. They print so many cute and cool things and offer it all in short print runs with fast turnaround. I’ve done Mr, Mrs and Just Married badges before and get all the ace Farm branded merchandise that goes in our goody bags from them.. in fact even that actual bag is by them. The beauty of this is that I can mix them up according to if I have two grooms, two brides or a a bride and groom. They do pin badges and enamel ones. Have your own Tote Bag made up saying Wedding Stuff on it or they now do overnight bags.. Honeymoon Stuff? Oh look pouches, these would be good with Bride and Groom on them! How about Temporary Tattoos? These were super popular in the Farm goody bags or what about a fridge magnet? Every time I do bridal prep at their own place they have their invite stuck to the fridge, so why not make them a special one? If design isn’t your forte, ask the designer who did your logo if they could have a go or look on the Creative Market to see if there is something you could use as a starting point.
So apart from a huge dose of the warm and fuzzsies from sending such things out, why else should you bother? Well you always want to give people an excuse to talk about you.. in a nice way of course! Your couple might post about your gift on their social media or just tell their friends. Suddenly all their other friends who are getting or have already got married are like ‘Hey, we didn’t get a gift from our wedding photographer!’ And here is another great reason, sending the gift confirms that you care about their wedding and you are in control of everything your end. Then silence. They leave you alone. I can just about cope with devoting a huge amount of energy to one wedding at a time and I don’t really want too many people checking in on me or looking for reassurance all year long. The gift seems to break that need until it gets closer to their wedding and then I’m all theirs. Finally the gift sets expectations, that working with you will be one of the most fun parts of the wedding and something to look forward to.
Have I persuaded you to send gifts or do you think you already have this nailed? I’d love to hear your ideas …