How do couples prioritise their wedding ?

23rd September 2014
There's no denying that a wedding is a big day, and takes a lot of planning.
Let's also not hide from the fact that the girls do most of that. At almost every pre-wedding shoot I do, when I ask the couple how all the plans are coming along, I'm usually met with a shrug from the guy, while the girl tells me all about the venue, what the band is like, why they picked them and so on.

I'm always curious though at what stage of the planning did I appear ?

About a month after every wedding, I send the newly weds a survey, asking about our services. Where can we improve, how do they rate the speed, quality and presentation of the finished work and so on.

I also ask them to list in order, the parts of the wedding that were most important to them. I always hope that every returned email will say "GWS Photography was booked first , nothing else mattered that much!" , but alas, that isn't always the case.
Ok - it's never been said like that.
Although , in all honesty twice in the last few years, couples have changed dates because I was booked on their first option. Now THAT is a compliment to your work.

So, I've analysed the last batch of surveys to see where peoples train of thought goes in planning a wedding.

Below is a lovely pie chart, showing the average priority of items mentioned in the results.

No real surprise to see Venue as number one choice. Only once did it dip below second choice, with mostly 1's and a few 2's.

The rest were a little bit surprising. I thought photographer & entertainment would battle it out for second & third, but (maybe because of the girls doing the planning and filling out the survey) the Wedding Dress was a good strong second. Well, let's face it - most dresses are amazing , and the bride's most expensive sole purchase.

The hard working, ever faithful photographer was placed third in this race. But on the upside, we beat all the bands & DJ's into 4th place. Take That songsters ! (see what I did there).

Wedding cake, followed by flowers then type of ceremony then placed.

Mind. These are all averages. From all the surveys back, Photographer was number one choice (once) and number two choice a few more.
Sigh. I'm so unappreciated :)

There's a few choices that run against the average mind, with type of ceremony being picked as number one or two choice 4 times, but not enough to get a good high average.
I suppose that's because of all the fantastic venues being picked first... then someone to do the ceremony in said establishment once everything is picked. But you can see a thought process developing.

But aside from all the fun facts here. I use this data so that when I meet with couples for the first time, at the pre-wedding shoot etc, I can advise what every other couple thought after all the dust has settled on their big day.
By that I mean, everyone wants their own day to be special, unique and tuned to fit them. Sometimes they make decisions that seem good in the planning stage, but they might look back afterwards and wish they'd done something slightly different.

Many of the returned surveys say that.
A good few couples think it would have been better had they done something a different way, or spent more - or less time with certain parts of the photos or other part of the wedding day.

We photographers, hotel managers, florists et al, have been at many weddings , and we're here to help, to advise and suggest that a small tweak here or there could help improve the day.

But to finish on a plug for GWS Photography, I do these surveys to ensure we are always staying ahead of the curve and offering the very best service to every client.
You guys really do matter - even after the wedding day.


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