What Catering Sales Managers Can Learn From Personalization At Indian Weddings

As you know many Indian weddings are big productions and even more so when you consider all of the personalization that many couples put into them. If you scroll through the photos, you’ll see that from saris to buses, couples are branding their weddings more than ever!

Personalization is like an accessory for an outfit. It completes the whole event. It’s not necessary and to be honest, often not practical, but it is fun! And why not on the biggest celebration of their lives?!?

{How Is This Relevant to Catering Sales Executives?}

If you scrolled through the photos you’ll see a lot of details that you don’t get directly involved with like the wedding ceremony programs and the personalized glasses for the bridesmaids.

The value in sharing these details with you is insight. Insight into your clients.

Wedding Programs and Site Visits. You won’t be involved in creating and placing wedding programs BUT you can mention this on sites. You can say, “the chairs will be setup here, facing the mandap, and you can place the wedding programs on each seat.”

Details like this will set you apart and make the couple feel comfortable which is extremely important when couples are starting their wedding venue process.


Lighting and Negotiation. Most couples get their lighting done from their DJ. But you probably have an AV team either in-house or that you contract with. If you’re in the final negotiations with a couple and they want you to lower your price and you can’t, then the other way to win them over is to increase value.

Offer a ballroom uplighting package or a personalized gobo. Those things will come out of the venue’s pocket but are they worth it? I paid $150 for a gobo at my wedding. Is spending $150 to secure a multi-thousand dollar contract worth it? In some cases it will be and some it won’t. The point is to think outside the box.

I am NOT suggesting to offer this upfront. Offer it when you’re in final negotiations and the couple has your venue pinned with another. 


Use The Assets You Already Have. Many ballrooms have screens outside of them. Offer to personalize the screens for the cocktail hour and reception with a photo of the couple. How much additional will that cost you? Nothing or practically nothing.

And again I don’t suggest offering this upfront. Leverage this when the couple isn’t responding. Then send an email,

“Hi Bride, did I mention that we’re going to personalize the ballrooms screens in the foyer for you? Yeah, just send us a photo of you two and we’ll have that on display during cocktail hour and the reception.”


Will these tactics work every time? No. But as you try them you’ll learn to read the signs of who will value these amenities and who won’t. And you really only stand to gain by trying – gain knowledge, gain insight, and of course gain business.

Good luck!

{Examples of Personalization at Indian Weddings}

{Hashtags}

It starts with the hashtag. Couples are increasingly creative with their hashtag. A couple years ago it was a single word melding the two names together, but now hashtags are whole phrases! Moreover hashtags aren’t restricted to the couple, but for the bachelor/bachelorette and bridal shower too i.e. bride Renu’s bachelorette hashtag was ##RaesBaes

poonam_jayson_wedding-2064
PC: Braja Mandala Wedding Photography

{Logos}

Some couples create a logo to incorporate throughout their wedding week like this cuople’s infinite symbol with their wedding date enclosed.

jayson_poonam_reception-1466
PC: Braja Mandala Wedding Photography
jayson_poonam_preparty-1357
PC: Braja Mandala Wedding Photography This was a pre-wedding cocktail hour where the couple got a custom gobo made to project their logo on the venue’s wall.
poonam_jayson_wedding-1805
PC: Braja Mandala Wedding Photography This unique baraat with a British style double decker bus customized with their logo, names, and hashtag.
personalized-sari-blouse
PC: Pothys Blog Mark the occasion by getting your names embossed into a sari, sari blouse, or achkan.
For Gujarati brides and grooms, if you’re headed to India to go shopping, get personalized dandias!
Indian wedding ceremony programs that doubled as fans placed on each chair
This couple placed program-fans with their personalized tags, on each chair for the wedding ceremony. PC: Greycard Photography
Custom made wire hanger with the bride's new last name ion it.
PC: Greycard Photography Personalized hangers are a nice keepsake. These make great bridal party gifts too!
Indian bride qith friends cheersing before the wedding ceremony.
Another great idea for the bridal party. Each glass has a bridesmaid’s name on it. PC: Greycard Photography
A gobo of the bride and groom's names at their wedding reception.
Personalize with lighting. PC: VEK Photo
And dance floors. Photo: Greycard Photography
And personalized bangles! PC: Greycard Photography
Indian bride and groom cake topper with the clothing designed like the bride and groom's actual lehenga and sherwani
Get cake toppers with outfits that match your real wedding or reception outfits! PC: Greycard Photography
Fun and useful for a sunny, outdoor wedding! PC: Greycard Photography

There’s another way to personalize too. Personalize your wedding for your guests. Here’s how one bride and groom did exactly that.


{Take Aways}

Couples like to personalize many aspects of their Indian wedding. Seemingly irrelevant to Catering Sales Executives, it actually provides insight into their mindset which you can use during the venue sales cycle.

By pointing out details that they care about and during negotiation offering amenities that they care about, you will set yourself and your venue apart from the competition.

It’s hard to know what people value but if you try these tactics you have nothing to lose. You will gain insight which you can continuously apply to future clients.


I hope this article has been helpful to you. If it has, please let me know in the comments; and you might like to follow us on FacebookInstagramTwitter, and Pinterest – whatever your preferred media is, as we frequently publish articles for venue catering, sales teams.

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Samta Varia Founder & CEO ShaadiShop: Indian Wedding Venues

 The #1 Destination For Indian Wedding Leads for Venues
Contact Us for info on advertising with us.

We have packages and services specifically designed for venues that are:

1. just getting started in Indian weddings

2. want to increase marketshare

3.  knee-deep in Indian weddings

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{Testimonials}

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cover image: Greycard Photography

 

 

 

 

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