Wedding Planning: A Special Kind of Service Marketing
Professor and Director of the Continuing Education and Career Services Center Antonella Salvatore welcomed wedding planner Claudia Bisceglie to the “Service Marketing” class in November. A well-established wedding planner operating in Italy, Bisceglie has organized over 500 weddings and events for international clients. She has just published a book in Italy, Surfing the Bride, in which she illustrates the complex world of wedding planning.
During her presentation, Bisceglie underlined the importance of understanding your clients before trying to fulfill their requests. Many couples invest a lot of time and energy on their wedding and they want every detail to be perfectly organized. Therefore, it is important to arrange a preliminary face-to-face meeting with the couple in order to understand their expectations. During this first consultation it is also crucial to be informed about the budget the couple has at its disposal and try to stick to it during the organization of the event. Another important step in the couple’s decision-making process is the choice of the location for the ceremony, Bisceglie said. The location is important because it influences the decorations and style of the wedding. For instance, a ceremony on the beach will necessarily be different from one in a church. Once these key points have been taken care of, the wedding planner needs to consider other aspects of the ceremony, such as catering, flower design, music, pictures, videos, and styling of the marrying couple. It is up to the wedding planner to set up a meeting with all the professional figures involved in order to foster a successful cooperation, Bisceglie explained.
Bisceglie’s testimonial gave marketing students an idea of how complex service marketing is, from the outline of a detailed plan to the management of different professionals working towards a common goal. Bisceglie also remarked how, in addition to technical capabilities, it is important to have excellent soft skills, such as empathy and organizational skills.