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Here comes wedding season, and with it-the dolla dolla bills. The bridal industry is a BIG business, and if you’re not strategizing on how to attract and maximize your “Future Mrs. So-And-So” clientele, you’re missing out. A study conducted by The Knot revealed that wedding costs topped an all-time high in 2014, averaging $31,213 (excluding their honeymoon).

Looking good is instrumental to feeling good and there’s no bigger day for brides to feel their best. This is, without a doubt, one of the most special moments in their lives. We sat down with JoAnn Romeo, professional makeup artist and owner of JoAnn M. Romeo Makeup & Studio in Blaine, MN, to come up with a few helpful hints on making wedding bells not just ring, but also ka-ching.

Create Packages

This is a time in most brides’ lives where people are bending over backwards to make them feel like a queen. Your services should be geared towards the same mentality. Evaluating and labeling a handful of packages for the bridal party will give them a sense of exclusivity and let me know these are designed with their satisfaction in mind. Once you’ve got them ready, JoAnn reminds us to “let your current clients know to "LIKE" your Facebook Page, follow your Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest accounts to keep them up to date with these special promotions.”

1. Something Blue: Are you a nail technician? Offer packages for wedding day manicures and pedicures to the bridal party. Include free upgrades for the bride, like a sugar scrub and paraffin treatment.

2. Blushing Bride: One of the greatest fears for a bride is having a poor complexion on her big day. If you’re an esthetician, create a skin-care regimen that includes a series of visits and ends with a pre-wedding facial.

3. Dapper & Dashing: Don’t forget the fellas! Men are no strangers to being pampered so if you’re a barber, put those hot-shave skills to good use on the groom and his posse. Offer group discounts to create an incentive to buy so the groom can get his for free.

4. Mother of the Bride (& Groom): Invite the moms to receive a basic blowout - one at full cost, one at half price. 5. Pretty Through the Honeymoon: include a lip gloss and nail polish that the bride can use through all the festivities. BONUS: The great thing about being at Sola Salon Studios is that if you don’t provide the service, somebody down the hall probably does, so don’t be afraid to collaborate!

Spread The Word

Now that you’ve created your special packages, it’s time to let people know. “Contact wedding shops to see if you can have your cards or brochures at the checkout counter and let the staff know about the services that you offer,” says JoAnn. And she’s spot on. You can be the best in your industry but nobody will know that unless you start speaking up. Word of mouth will be your best source of marketing, but if you’re looking to break into the bridal market, you’re going to have to do the work before your reputation will precede you.

1. Bridal Expos: This is a great way to meet brides in your area, but be advised: you are one in a hundred so make sure your booth stands out, have a ton of before and after photos in your portfolio, and be prepared to give discounted offers. Here’s an idea: The stylists at Sola Salon Studios Park Ridge recently hosted a bridal expo at Sola, alongside some of the other big players in the wedding biz like wedding dress retailers and photographers. They invited all of the local blushing brides to attend!

2. Host a Girl’s Night Open House: Champagne and hors d’oeuvres are your friend. Hosting a night with mini-facials, manicures, and massages will put you at the forefront of minds who will likely remember you when they become a bride, bridesmaid, or know someone looking for a referral.

3. Social Media: Come on guys, this one’s a no-brainer. If you haven’t put your business on social media yet, start here.

4. Start Name Dropping: Your own, that is. “Contact wedding shops to see if you can have your cards or brochures at the checkout counter and let the staff know the services that you offer,” adds JoAnn. Putting your business cards or pamphlets in other wedding industry businesses will increase your exposure and make it easier for happy couples to find you. Make sure you feature all your wedding packages even if it’s just by the cutesy names you created!

Make Friends

“Partner with wedding planners and photographers, also invite them in to experience your services,” says JoAnn. While you’re asking those local wedding professionals if you can leave behind your contact information, it’s important to start networking. Referrals are going to take your business further than it’s ever gone before, so don’t be afraid to reach out.

1. Photographers: You both have something in common; you want to make the couple look as beautiful as possible. Building a rapport with local photographers allows for creative collaboration and learning lessons on how to bring out the best features in everyone.

2. Wedding Planners/Hotel Concierge: Both want to be a wealth of knowledge and resources for their clients, especially if their couples are coming for destination weddings. If they’re not from your area, they wont know who to trust except for their wedding planners/concierges. These folks are the gatekeepers, so be extra nice to them.

3. Local Beauty Editors: One way to get extra special coverage for your wedding packages is to entice local beauty editors and bloggers. Here’s where freebies go a long way. Invite a media rep to be pampered and dazzled by your services and they’ll undoubtedly give you the raving review you deserve.

Show Your Stuff

You’ve worked hard to become the creative genius you’ve blossomed into. But none of it matters unless you put your money where your mouth is and start showing off your wedding skills. “Always keep your website and Facebook photos up to date with your work,” says JoAnn. Photos of your work are essential and they should be everywhere.

1. Call For Reinforcements: You’ve done the hard work-now reap the rewards. Contact the photographer, the couple, or the wedding planner after the big day and ask to use some of the photos in your portfolio.

2. Upload Like There’s No Tomorrow: You’ve always got your smart phone right? Then you’ve also got a mobile portfolio that never leaves your side. Create folders specifically for each member of the bridal party and you’ll be ready to strut your stuff anywhere and everywhere.

3. Phone A Friend: Once a Miss becomes a Mrs., she’ll be happy to share the secrets of her success, AKA your contact info. “You never know, they may know someone who is getting married,” says JoAnn, so send her a congratulations card after the wedding with an incentive like 25% off her next salon service for each referral. “If you have a referral program, make sure you let your current clients and potential clients know. Word of mouth is the best advertising.” Weddings are a fabulous way to showcase and utilize your talents, and you never know…a bride (or bridesmaid!) might turn into your newest client for happily-ever-after. Special thanks for sharing your tips with us, JoAnn!

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