A logo isn’t enough to brand your wedding business. Every interaction is an opportunity to connect with clients and build relationships.
I’ve previously discussed why branding matters for your wedding business, but it’s time to get out of the theory and into the practical. Let’s discuss the design elements, client touch-points, and marketing channels where who you are matters as much as what you do.
“It is about belonging: belonging to a tribe, to a religion, to a family. Branding demonstrates that sense of belonging.”Wally Olins in Brand Thinking by Debbie Millman
Your wedding business is there for clients during a high-stress, once-in-a-lifetime moment. Clients will choose the service that speaks to them, that they feel reflects their values. And it’s a brand that communicates that connection.
Branding Vs. Design
Many people often assume it’s simply a logo, web design, and fin when it comes to branding. But that’s not true, any more than a bed, kitchen and bathroom make a home. A home is a reflection of the life lived and the personalities of the people within the house. You could have the same structure, but it will be different for each family that lives within it. And those differences are made clear by what goes into the house. It’s the tile choices, which pictures are on the walls, and even the food in the fridge.
Design and branding work in a similar way. A logo, a website, even a color palette are pieces of your brand. They’re avatars through which your brand is communicated. But they’re also not enough. Your brand requires a foundation of values, and while a logo can indicate your values through iconography, it’s not enough. Your values are also communicated in your copywriting, wedding portfolio, email tone, and even invoices and proposals.
How To Brand Your Wedding Business
So you’ll need to look at your entire identity to brand your wedding business. And that’s where you’ll need to begin.
Your Brand Values
Brand values are not new-age woo-woo corporate nonsense. Rather these values serve to guide you in your decision-making, client-service, and design choices.
Brand values also attract employees and couples whose values align with yours. And when you’re working with people who care about the same things you do, well, it makes for a productive, rewarding business culture. Even further, it will help your work quality be consistently exceptional.
To define your brand values, try and answer some of these questions:
- Why did you choose to become an event professional?
- What drove you to launch your own business?
- When things are difficult, why do you power through?
- What clients do you most love working with?
- What people do you admire, and why?
- What companies turned you off, and why did it leave you with a negative feeling?
- What makes you proud at the end of each day?
Then, when it comes to documenting your band values, keep it simple, actionable, and short. You’re creating your lodestar for your wedding business, so the more precise, the better.
The Design Basics Needed To Brand Your Wedding Business
Okay, let’s get away from the conceptual and into the practical. When it comes to your brand, you’ll need to design your logo, but also a few other things:
- Graphics (icons, image style, etc.)
This can start relatively simple but gets quite involved. You’ll likely work with a designer, but if you’re a DIY type, here are a few things to think about.
I’m not going to get into how to design a logo. I’m not much of a designer myself. But there are a few technical things to think about. Just as an aside, you might have a wordmark – a text-only graphic, a la Coca Cola – but the below ideas apply just the same.
How does your logo look when rendered in different sizes? Does the filigree still look clear even at a small size?
This one comes up a lot. In ThymeBase, when branding your client portal, square logos work better than a rectangle. But in other places, a wider logo looks perfect. That’s why we’ve designed multiple versions:
Margins & Spacing:
also, consider the margins. You may need to bake in margins into your logo to look its best in many situations.
Does your logo only work on a light background? You may need to consider how your logo looks on light, dark and transparent backgrounds.
The typography of your logo is super important. I made a big mistake once in allowing the designer to use a rare font in the company name. Then the designer also tweaked the font further. While it looked gorgeous, it meant that if I ever needed that font again, I had to pay for licenses, and even then, it wouldn’t be quite the same.
My recommendation is to use a font you can find on Google Fonts or one that has a low-cost license. I’ve uploaded my fonts to Canva and InDesign, and I can use them whenever I need them.
When it comes to branding, you’ll need to decide which fonts you’ll use in your web copy and proposals. I recommend using Web Safe Fonts if possible. It’ll mean your website will always look as expected, and any software you use will likely have those fonts available.
When it comes to the web, it’s perfectly normal to mix both serif and sans serif fonts. Still, in general, I prefer serifs for headings and sans serif for the body copy. And if you’re sticking to standard fonts, it won’t matter much. Just try to use your judgment and prioritize readability over flare.
To brand your wedding business, you’ll need to choose a color palette. I love looking at palettes, but I never feel confident in my choices. You’ll need to consider both bold and light colors, and I always begin by exploring. My favorite site to look at is Coolers, where you can play around with color palettes and find the one that speaks to you.
Your brand is reflected in the graphics on your website. From the choices you make in your portfolio to the little social media icons. Aim for consistency and think about who your ideal client is. Will these images appeal to the people you’d most love to work with?
Here is an excellent example of the role that graphics on a website can play.
Brand Tag Line
To be candid, I’m not a huge fan of tag lines, but many branding experts feel it’s essential, and they’re probably right. I’ve been setting up some virtual events, and when it comes to expo booths and marketing materials, the tag line is ubiquitous.
Tag lines should be short, punchy, and memorable. I find that they often devolve into cheesy and unbelievable, but that’s just me. Some tag lines focus on either what makes the brand special or unique. Other tag lines say something about their customers, and those are my favorites.
The Marines tag line is “The few, the proud, the marines.” See, it’s less about the Marines and more about the people in the marines. However, Allstate’s “you’re in good hands…” reflects aspirational assurance and confidence.
Frankly, I think it’s more art than science. [shrug]. But just note that they don’t need to be too short.
Web Copy Is Part Of Your Wedding Business Branding
I’ve seen most event pros get this perfectly right. Most wedding business web copy seems to be entirely matched to the people behind the business. But if you’re not sure about the role that web copy plays in branding, I’ll touch on it.
When clients visit your website, they read. They’ll read your “about” page, your service descriptions, and everything else. Couples select you for the biggest day of their lives, and web copy is where you can connect. If you speak how they speak, and if your web copy is written with your brand values in mind, then you’ll go along way in helping close the sale.
Especially when it comes to weddings, clients want partners, and you only partner with those you respect and like. So your web copy should explain your values and be infused with your character!
Web Design And Your Brand
You can also use your general web design to brand your wedding business. This includes your site structure, background colors, button style, and more. If your brand is all about luxury, your website design shouldn’t have a boho feel. Instead, you’ll likely choose a design that’s light and spacious with a sense of elegance.
But if you’re using websites like Wix to build your own website, just keep an eye on this. It might be worth hiring a designer to give it a once-over if you feel like your self-designed website doesn’t quite reflect your wedding business.
Email Copy Is Important
Every interaction you have with clients is a part of your brand. And since email is a massive part of the wedding business workflow, I believe you should define how your brand is communicated in everyday emails. We’ve done this at ThymeBase. Our guide includes when to add emoticons, when colloquialisms are appropriate and when to be serious. Because communication IS your brand.
Brand Your Wedding Business In Person
Wedding pros do a lot of face-to-face meetings, and they’re an opportunity to highlight your brand as well. It’s the clothing choices you make, whether you take notes on pen-and-paper and more. You can showcase your brand with the notebook you bring along.
And no, I don’t mean that you need to wear expensive clothing. A worn leather notebook with a clasp is an extension of a boho-chic brand. And if you’re all about luxury weddings, notes on a napkin won’t instill confidence in your client. Or, if your brand is all about impeccable efficiency, be early to appointments, and have your notes ready.
Consider what your brand projects, and bring that energy with you to in-person meetings.
Software And Your Wedding Business Brand
Okay, bear with me with this one. The software you use says a lot about you. And how you use your software. Whether you’re using ThymeBase’s event planning software or Google Drive or AllSeated or Asana or nothing, each of those choices says something about you and your brand.
And there’s no right or wrong. Again, who you are and who your clients are all matter when it comes to branding. To brand your wedding business, you’ll need to understand your clients. Are they looking for collaborative client portals? Maybe not. Maybe they just want a PDF wedding timeline emailed to them.
Every interaction you have with a client is an extension of your brand. Consider your software choices, especially if your clients will interact with them.
Get A Photoshoot
When gathering client testimonials from event planners who use ThymeBase, I was surprised by the number of people who didn’t have headshots or candid photos handy. I shouldn’t have been. I don’t have any recent headshots either.
But in the event industry, you’re such an essential part of your brand; your pictures matter. So I recommend getting a photoshoot done just for you and your team. And of course, these photographs absolutely must reflect your brand as well.
The shoot isn’t to show what you look like. It’s yet another way to signal your brand values, style, and principles. A good photographer will work with you to communicate that.
Brand Your Wedding Business By Investing In You
Your brand is nothing without the genius behind it – and that’s you. Invest in yourself, and you’ll be better positioned to show off your brand, work, and skills.
This investment can be in any form that helps you feel proud of your work every day, whether it’s investing in more family time, better boundaries, or a design class. Whatever it is, you matter more than your brand. And when you’re thriving, your brand will too.