Wedding Professionals Enjoying Brides Focus Group
Brides Focus Group at Las Vegas Wedding Network
At a Las Vegas Wedding Network event on May 1, five young women shared their wedding planning and wedding day experiences. They talked about how they planned their wedding, what went well and what did not. In addition to these former brides, an additional group of newlyweds responded to many of the same questions by online survey to give us additional information to see inside the lives of our target market: Brides-to-be.
The questions presented to Crystalyn, Tess, Jodi, Tammie, and Tarah are listed below, you will also see the statistical responses from our on line survey group. While there were not enough brides in our response pool to make this a truly scientific survey, the information will prove quite valuable to you.
Question #1: In our survey 78% of the brides said they exceeded their initial budget. Three of the brides on the panel Jody, Tammie, and Tarah said they also went over their initially projected budget. Crystalyn stuck to her budget and Tess, actually spent less than her original budget.
Question #2: Please share why you think that happened? The brides who went over budget on the panel felt that they simply were not adequately prepared to come up with a realistic budget. When it came right down to it they were willing to bust the budget to get what they wanted for their wedding.
Questions #3: What was the first product you booked for your wedding? Survey responses agreed with our panel.
- 71% Reception Site
- 14.3% Photographer
- 7.1% Wedding Apparel
- 7.1% Wedding Cake
Question #4: Now that the wedding is over, what product or service stands out as having been the most important to you? Our panel brides responded as follows: Crystalyn, her wedding dress and the venue, Tess said the venue, Jodi said her officient was most important to her, then her cake and venue, Tammi Lee felt the music and photography were most important and for Tarah, her wedding planners were most important.
- 43.8% Photography
- 15.4% Wedding Consultant
- 7.7% The Venue
- 7.7% The Entertainment
Question #5: By a show of hands, how many of you hired a Wedding planner or consultant? Three of the brides on our panel used a Wedding planner. Survey said:
- 53.8% used a wedding planner
Question #6: Was your planner “day of” or “full service”?
Of the three panelist who used planners, two were day of and one was full service. Tarah, the bride who used a full service planner said her wedding day experience was perfect and she attributed it to the fact that her planners really incorporated her personality and desires into everything they did.
- 55.6% used “day of”
- 44.4% used “full service”
Question #7: What product or service do you think was most enjoyed by your wedding guests? Crystalyn said the music was most important to her guests, Tess felt her guests enjoyed the venue and dj, Jodi’s guests enjoyed the venue, Tammi Lee said it was all about the food and Tarah said her guest most enjoyed the venue. The brides who had photo booths also felt this was a big hit with their wedding guests! This question was not on the internet survey.
Question #8: Did you attend a bridal show? Four of our five panelists had attended a bridal show. The on-line survey was sent to bridal show participants so they had all attended a show.
Question #9: How did attending a bridal show help you? The four panelists who attended the bridal show found it very helpful. One found all her vendors at the show and the others found many vendors and helpful information.
- 42.9 It was extremely helpful, finding many of their vendors there.
- 35.7% Said they hired at least 1 vendor from the show
- 21.4% Said it was moderately helpful – they found lots of ideas and collected information on vendors.
Question #10: Which of these factors most influenced your buying decisions?
Meeting the Vendor in Person, Internet Research, Print Ads, Personal Referrals The Survey responses and panelist responses were in line with each other: (multiple answers allowed)
- 42.9% Meeting vendors face to face
- 35.7% All of the above factors influenced them, Face to face, Print, Referrals and Internet Research
- 14.3% Internet
- 7.1% Personal Referrals
Question #11: Did you get to choose your vendors or were they preferred vendors from your venue? Crystalyn said she got to choose from a vendor list, The rest of the panel all selected a venue that allowed them to choose their own vendors. Survey said:
- 50% We got to choose our own vendors
- 21.4% Our vendors were included in our package
- 14.3% The venue provided the vendors but we were allowed to hire someone not on the list if we paid extra
- 14.3% The venue gave us a preferred vendor list and we picked from that
Question #12: If you got to choose your own vendors, how did you find them? Our panelists answers were in line with the survey answers: Survey said:
- 50% Bridal Show
- 36.7% Bridal show, Print Ads, Internet and Friend referrals
- 14% Print Ad From a regional wedding publication
- 14% From a friend referral
Question #13: When selecting your vendors, what was the most important criteria to you? Our brides on the panel felt price and quality were very important to them, but also felt strongly that your printed marketing pieces had better be professional quality, grammaticly correct and not have mispelled words. They said a poor quality printed product to them would effect their decsion to do business with someone. Over all our panelist answers were in line with the survey answers: Survey said:
- 64.3% Quality of Service
- 28.6% Price
- 8.3% Creativity
Question #14: What factor was most likely to turn you off when choosing a vendor? The panel again shared that quality of your printed materials is very important, communication needs to be quick and don’t be hesitant or hold back on giving them prices. They don’t want a “car salesmans” approach and personality and chemistry is everything.
- 35.7% Personality
- 35.7% Not returning calls or e-mails
- 14.3% Price
- 7.1% Calling unsolicited
- 7.1% Badmouthing the Competition
Question #15: Who paid for your wedding? Four of our five panelists stated their parents paid for the wedding. Survey said:
- 50% Bride and Groom
- 28.6% Combination of parents and bride and groom
- 21.4% Parents paid
Question #16: What creative factors for your wedding were most important to you? Flowers, Invitations, Food, Etc. The answers on our panel were varied. A couple of the brides felt most creative in the area of invitations, another felt she got most creative with her food. For another creativity with her flowers but keeping within her budget was very important. This question was not covered on the on line survey.
Question #17: Our panel was asked how much time they devoted to wedding day beauty. A couple of them spent about 3 hours and the rest started early in the morning until just before the wedding in order to have their beauty professionals style the whole wedding party.
Question #18: If you could do something over what would it be? Here are just some of the answers we got from our panel and brides who answered the survey:
- Insist the DJ play some of the songs we put on our play list
- Hire our own wedding planner, the church provided ours.
- Interview photographers more carefully, we had a personality clash with ours.
- Make sure the champagne is poured before the DJ starts the toast.
- Hire a videographer.
- I would have hired a full service planner, day off was just not enough and led to many stressful moments.
- The disc jockey was terrible
- Hired someone to do my hair
- Planned for a longer reception, 3 hours was not enough
- Hired a different caterer
- Nothing, my wedding planner executed our wedding to perfection taking into consideration all our requests!
Question #19: What will you remember the most about your wedding day? By far, the answer was “what counted most were the moments between them and their husband”. Nothing that went wrong could over-shadow how important the day was to them both.
Question #20: What local wedding planning publications did you use in your planning? (pick all that you used):
57% Spectacular Bride
43.8% Perfect Wedding Guide
37.5 Las Vegas Bride
24% None used
Additional Questions from the Wedding Professionals:
#1 Jodi Harris of Sight and Sound asked our panel if they preferred to use their phone, their I Pad, their desk computers or their laptops to do their wedding research? The primary response was their lap tops were used the most, they found using their phones did not work well for wedding research as the pictures were not large enough. One bride stated that if she had owned an I-pad at the time she would have used it.
#2 Arlene Barba of Sound Fusion Entertainment asked the panel “what could a DJ company show you to help you make a good decision on choosing one company over another?”
#3 (Sorry not sure who asked this one) One vendor asked how important it was to have a cake tasting before choosing their wedding cake? Most of the panel had done cake tastings either directly or at a bridal show and felt it was very important in making the final choice. One panelist that did not get the opportunity to taste the cake prior to choosing was dissapointed in the taste of her wedding cake.
Suggestions from the panel were:
- Make available the songs you would play at their wedding so they can say no if they don’t want a particular song played
- Be able to see video from other events you have done
- Listen to them, find out what their likes and dislinks our and then create your song list based on that
- Give them a CD of your typical song list
- Give them a list of past clients they can call to ask about you, or at least a testimonial list
Thanks to all the brides who participated on our panel and our survey for all the great tips and information offered to our wedding professionals!
The on-line survey was sent to over 1,000 brides who attended at least one of our Bridal Spectacular
events in the last two years. There was a 2% response.