Twas an excellent meeting with Wendy (from London) and Michael. They both have full time jobs, his out at the airport and hers in the medical field, they both finish around 4pm and most weddings are 5 or 6pm during the week and on weekends. So they are doing the wedding officiant/photography businesses for fun money. He mainly does photography but is stepping up his marriage officiancy business even though he doesn’t like people.
It was most kind of them to impart all their knowledge, mostly marketing. It seems the best marketing tools are Google and word of mouth. They have tried the wedding fairs and paid for ads but got nothing out of them. Said visiting wedding venues is a waste of time also. They suggest rotating free ads in websites like weddingwire.com and wed.com which will increase views to my website which helps place me higher for Googles searches. They know their stuff as all 3 of their websites are on the first page when one does a search for ‘Tucson Wedding Officiant’. I can set up a system to track who visits my website through Google.
So it seems Kent was full of bull when talking about being able to do wedding officiating full time if he advertised more. He recently passed on an October 12th wedding to them. He did not acknowledge my email, I thought I might have gotten an ‘Oh goodie, thank you’ or something email in reply to mine saying he was off the hook as far as creating a website for me. So somehow I don’t think I will be taking over his business. It’s all GOOD!
Wendy and Michael said it is rare to have an ‘in person’ initial meeting, if they do it is where we met or a coffee shop on Grant Rd. if the couple are from the east side of Tucson. Michael says he meets the couple on the wedding day for the photography. He has most kindly offered to take a video of me officiating a ‘fake’ wedding if I can find a couple. (If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, Max) We will do it in my desert backyard. I shall ask Christine and Jim, they can take it seriously if they want, renew their wedding vows, invite people, but knowing Jim, if they do it, it will be low key. If not them, I will ask Pam and Frank. Or maybe I could do both! Gotta get some vids and photos on my website. Michael will earn a SOC Thank You card and brownies for his efforts. I’ve already sent them a Thank You card for sharing their expertise.
They told me about their favorite wedding venues and the free or very cheap ones. They agreed that most weddings are disorganized and you sometimes become their organizer, the wedding officiant is one of the last things organized would you believe. Most weddings are still done in churches. There are TONS of those her in Tucson, using all sorts of ‘tricks’ to get new parishioners in like a ‘café’ atmosphere, rock banks, movie screenings. The church closest to me doesn’t look like a church. It is called ‘Alive Church’.
So it’s a matter of making sure my website has the right SEO keywords, that I put ads on some of the wedding websites and then sit and wait. I will get the over the car window business card holder. Tis inexpensive to get in the business so whatever gigs I get, Michael reckons in full force 25-30 weddings a year is the average, will be greatly appreciated. They will pass on whatever weddings they can, they have 2 others they pass on to also. They go on vacation a few times a year and always get requests when they are going to be away. The wedding season is, as expected, March to May and September to November. It will be FUN, so bring it ON!