Matthieu & Regina's intimate civil ceremony at San Francisco City Hall

And here we are on to our third and final part of our answer to A in Australia. We really hope that this has been helping you guys out so far.

9. Your own realistic budget

Be honest with yourself and come up with a realistic marketing budget. We do not believe in going into debt for this so we are careful about our advertising dollars. Magazine advertising tend to be quite expensive. Website advertising have variable structures, some with pay per click features while most website fees really depend on their popularity and traffic amount. So choose wisely. And make sure that what you choose will give you a good return on your investment. Do not go over budget and spend $5,000 on just one single advertising when realistically, your budget is $2000.

10. Wait, why are you advertising again?

What are your goals or objectives in your advertising? Is it purely to attract new clients? Not every advertisement is directly selling a sale. When we first started, we took out an ad locally with one purpose in mind: to let other wedding industry vendors know that we are here. We had no intention in booking clients with that advertisement and whatever clients we did book from that advertisement was icing on the cake! Why did we do this? We wanted local industry recognition and awareness. We knew that we wanted to create a buzz within the wedding industry about ourselves. Once we did that, we dropped the advertisement since our objective was met.

What is your objective in advertising? Have you ever considered it?

11. Master Your Marketing Strategy

Lastly, have you asked yourself if advertising in a publication, either online or print really the answer to your marketing needs? Some photographers do better with a word of mouth based referral system. And some do extremely well where they can meet and chat with prospective brides one on one at a bridal expo. And some really do better with an air of mystery. Or maybe, you have the kind of business that would benefit from a viral campaign. Publications are not necessarily always the answer. And even with print or online publication, consider the design of your advertisement. Is it going to appeal to your target audience? Is it in line with the style of the publication? Is it in line with your style? Will it convey the message you want it to?

Again, go back and look at your referral sources and you will find the answer.

12. After The Ad

With any marketing effort or investment, remember that you should also consider a method for you to reap the rewards and maintaining your advertising stratergy. In a bridal show or expo, do you collect email address from brides to contact after the expo? If you have google adwords, how are you managing your campaign? If you are advertising online on a website, are you constantly keeping track of your referral traffic? If your business is based on word of mouth, are you thanking the correct people and fostering friendship to continue the relationship? Remember it doesn’t just end when you pay for an advertisement and kick your heels up in the air!

At the end of the day the number 1 answer to your question is: target audience. It’s all a risk, so make a calculated one. We have never had a hard time deciding what to do as far as advertising and marketing because we knew our target audience even before we knew what our company name would be. To be perfectly honest, we developed our branding with our target audience in mind. Sit down, figure out your target audience, and develop a business plan. We can’t stress this enough. Remember: target audience is King!

Dear A in Australia, we really hope that these series of short blog posts have helped you and husband; not only on where to advertise but also on where to take your business. And we sincerely hope that we haven’t hurt your brains too much! Keep the questions coming!

Martha - Hi guys, Thanks for the great artical. Very helpful. Now I am waking up at 2 a.m. asking myself, who is my dream bride????
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