I have two wedding businesses. I’m a wedding photographer, and I also own a mobile wedding hair and makeup company.
For both, I use a “Pre Wedding Questionnaire” to get details about their timeline, them as a couple, find out who their vendors are, and get a general sense of their expectations about the service (ie, “which family members would you like included in the formal groups?”, “how many bridesmaids will be getting their makeup done?”, etc)
I’ve realized the only times I’ve had difficulties with clients, it’s never about the actual product itself (the photos or the hair and makeup), it has always been because I didn’t realize their personality matrix early enough and we had a snafu that could have been solved by better understanding how they tick and what they find important.
Now, you might say “practice your speed reading exercises so you can easily spot the signs”. The trouble is, I’m in a destination market and often do not get to meet my clients until the day of the wedding. Since most are younger, they tend to dislike talking on the phone, and even if I call them, they’ll reply in a text or email instead. Fine by me, but I need a way around it to get a better sense of “who they are”.
Asking "Are you a bridezilla?"probably will not go over well (haha), but there has to be a way to figure out ahead of time at least SOME sense of who they are.
How do you nicely ask:
• Will you freak out if you don’t have a timeline 47 months before your wedding day? (high neurotic)
• Are you not going to read your contract and get mad when you learn your photos will take 6 weeks? (low conscientious)
• If we do an awesome job on 23 hair and makeup services, help you get into your dress, bring you water and snacks, give goodie-bags to all the girls as a gift, and leave with hugs and heartfelt wishes, are you going to leave a bad review because someone’s station was a little messy? (high conscientiouss)
• Are you going to get super stressed out when we try something different than what’s in the photo just to try it out? (low openness)
• Do you need time to warm up for more creative, outgoing photos and therefore I need to buffer the timeline so you don’t feel rushed and uncomfortable? (low-extraversion)
This is also important with the stylists we send out, because some brides are very unsure and need a stronger confident person to steer them…others are very dead-set in how they want something done and butt heads with our more “alpha female” stylists…those kinds of things can make or break how happy they are even if the end product itself was excellent (and they will often even admit everything looked great, but they felt like ____ and are upset about that).
It’s literally in my financial best interest to get this right.
So, I was wondering if there are any resources that would help me craft personality-defining questions that won’t come across as insensitive and will help steer us toward not only communicating in that client’s language, but also head off potential pitfalls by understanding what makes that bride tick.
Thank you for your input!