There are few absolute rules in the world and the following is by now means universal, but when it comes to weddings, the bride usually chooses and values the wedding photographer. Despite this fact, don’t forget the groom for he also plays a role.
What does this mean for your marketing plan? Your pictures should appeal to the bride. Men and women often find different stories appealing. This fact is evidenced by the numerous movies that are marketed primarily to women and those marketed primarily to men. If the industry thought the movie would appeal to swaths of both genders, in its own self-interest it would have marketed to both. A wedding photographer needs to follow the example of the movie industry and produce contact information that strongly appeal to the bride.
What is an example of how this can be implemented? Find out what is the age range in which most women in your area get married and get feedback on your pictures from those women on which of your pictures are the most compelling. Create a web gallery of the 20 pictures YOU find the most compelling. Send out a link to the gallery to friends or family who are in that age range and ask them to pick the two pictures which most strike a cord in them. You will begin to see a pattern arise of which pictures get most highly ranked. Put those pictures on your website and other promotional material. A comment on the type of pictures that will likely win out in this selection process: Brides want to see pictures that make the bride look beautiful. Usually the bride looking beautiful is important to the groom as well. How good the man looks, while important to a bride, is not as important as how the man is interacting with the bride. He should be looking deeply into her eyes or admiring her from a far. A chemistry between the two should be readily apparent. These types of pictures, from my experience, most often appeal to the bride.
When meeting with couples sell your work to the bride but don’t forget the groom. After all, with any luck, a significant chunk of change from their assets are going to be paid to you for your service. Help him to see the value he will be receiving by investing in photography. Help him to see that the wedding photos is (at least for this particular couple) a once in a lifetime experience – one that can never be replicated. It is important that he see the value in your work. More than one groom has vetoed the bride’s choice of photographers because he didn’t see the value in the service. Helping him come on board with the bride’s choice is one way to prevent a potential conflict between the couple and capturing marital harmony is after all what the service of wedding photographers is all about!