A cookout event for AMP couples only
So, I did a thing this year. Instead of spending a crazy amount of money advertising with Wedding Wire, I invested back into my couples. Every single year, I really sit down to look at a budget for Amanda May Photos. I allot so much to advertising, so much to contract labor, so much to operating expenses, so much to education, so much to equipment, etc. A huge chunk of my advertising budget was spent on an account with Wedding Wire. This is something I’ve done for the past 4 years, and every year the expense gets higher and higher. It was a hard choice to make, but for 2019, I actually decided not to renew my account with them. Instead of forking over a payment to have a profile on a website, I decided to host a get together in the form of a cookout for all of my AMP couples.
This cookout was birthed out of my desire for my couples to know how much I love and appreciate them. I recently did a poll with all of my brides and asked how they found me. The number one answer was word of mouth that led to them falling in love with me as a person as well as my work. When I learned this, I wanted to take my advertising budget and allot more of it towards word of mouth marketing. That’s not an easy concept though. It’s something that happens naturally, and it’s not like I can go to each couple and pay them money to talk about me. That doesn’t make any sense. Any talking they do comes from a place of feeling loved and like their expectations were exceeded. And I want them to do it authentically because they loved their experience not because I paid them! At that point, I started brainstorming what it would look like to invest more into my couples. How could I truly show them how geniunely thankful I am for them choosing me as their wedding photographer? Then, it dawned on me. An event where I could get everyone who wanted to come in one place, and I could just love on them. I could help them get to know one another a little better, give them some yummy food, a mini mini session, a couple lawn games, a warm fire, and a small gift to take home. But more importantly, I could show them that I care.
So, that’s what we did on a Friday night in October. It was a small, intimate gathering with six amazing AMP couples, and it was so much fun. I think corn hole and the fire were the biggest wins at the cookout for the evening, and Dustin and I quickly realized we need to use our fire pit more. After everyone left and both kids were alseep, we spent another couple hours relaxing around the flames, and I have NO idea why we don’t do that more often.
I’ve decided this cookout definitely has to be an annual thing, and I hope to grow it to at least 10 couples next year. Hopefully, more every year after that! Maybe hire a photographer to take photos of it next year and maybe even a videographer to truly preserve the memories! This year I opened it up to all the brides in my #AMPbride Facebook group. Next year, I’m going to be very intentional about talking to my couples about it at their engagement session in case they don’t get on Facebook much. That way I can make sure anyone who wants to come, knows about it, and can make it happen!
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