How Dubsado Works For Your Business: Wedding and Event Planning
Heather: I'm Heather and I have been in the event/wedding industry for the last 5 years. Eventually I decided to make my very own dream come to life and start Forever Cole Events. I pride myself in making the planning stress free, fun and exciting throughout the entire journey. Life is too short not to add cheer to someone’s life and showing love to others so let your light shine!
Janelle: Hey, I’m Janelle the owner and creative director behind Kayla Belle Weddings & Events in New York City. I plan and design one of a kind weddings and chic events. When I'm not selecting linens or creating design boards, I'm hanging out with my two toddlers, hubby and pitbull Snicker. When I get some free time you can find me out in nature or at the roller disco rink rolling all night.
Lauren: From wedding photography studio manager to wedding planner to wedding business visionary, I have participated in my fair share of industry areas. After 5 years, I have discovered what truly lights me up about the wedding industry — and that’s teaching fellow creatives how to automate the behind-the-scenes of their businesses so they aren't being burnout by the stressful day-to-day tasks. With a background in Psychology and a fierce passion for all things tech, I bring a myriad of expertise to the ((buffet)) table.
Rebecca: My name is Rebecca Chan, and I am the owner and lead planner for Rebecca Chan Weddings and Events, a luxury event and design company in Toronto. We are known for stylized and beautiful events, that are also seamlessly executed.
1) How did you get into wedding/event planning?
Heather: I started out in fashion while I was in college & shortly after. I loved the fast-paced environment but wasn't sure it would be able to become a reality. After college, I started managing a bridal boutique where I essentially planned the bride's weddings while they came in and fell I love. A few years later I decided to launch my own business after I planned my own & now I am a full-time planner & florist.
Janelle: While planning my own wedding in 2007 I feel like the creative bug zapped me. I started creating my invitations and menu cards. Then I courageously jumped into boutonnieres and bridesmaid bouquets since we used silk. After these smaller projects, the desire to create wouldn't let me go. I've always been good with my hands but never thought it would lead me to my passion of design.
Lauren: I met a Boston wedding photographer in 2012 who desperately needed someone to run her studio. I scheduled shoots, invoiced clients; I did all the behind the scenes, day to day business tasks to keep things running like a well-oiled machine. I did all the marketing and dealt one on one with clients doing a lot of problem-solving and answering questions.
Rebecca: I started out planning non-profit events, and my friends started getting married all around me. Some of them asked me to help them with their wedding since I did events already, so I jumped right in. A few years down the road, it got so busy that I could no longer keep it up as just a side hustle. I quit my day job to pursue wedding planning full-time. That was about 10 years ago, and now I have a team of planners who work with me and manage about 50 weddings and events a year.
2) How has Dubsado been most impactful to your business?
Heather: It has streamlined a lot of my processes and kept my inquiries under control. Dubsado has allowed me to streamline my invoicing, contacts, and proposal systems. I love the automatic invoice reminders and canned emails. It truly has taken hours out of my daily and weekly work load.
Janelle: Working full time and running my company (do you remember I have 2 toddlers) Dubsado was a lifesaver in helping me create systems that make my work process extremely simplified. The greatest thing Dubsado ever gave me was workflows! Not feeling the pressure to jump and respond to emails because my workflows are in place and they start the conversation with the client immediately. This is super helpful by allowing me to be there for my client as well as my family.
Lauren: I created an acronym that I use regularly when talking with my Wedding Boss clients (DDBD —Dark Days Before Dubsado). The automation that Dubsado provides my business has truly been one of the most freeing experiences I’ve ever encountered as a biz owner. In the midst of wedding season when you are pulling your hair out and surviving on lukewarm coffee and energy drinks, just knowing that the right questionnaires and forms are being sent out to your brides without having to even think about it is worth its weight in gold to me.
Rebecca: Once it's all set up, Dubsado has streamlined the administration for my business. I used to have a giant spreadsheet of numbers, and all these canned emails saved in a document. It was manageable for when I had only my own clients to manage, but now that I have a team of planners and a ton of clients every year, Dubsado helps take the paperwork off my hands. I don't have to worry if the contract has been paid or if payments have been made. It has allowed me to focus on what really matters - the work and the clients!
3) Do you have any processes in Dubsado you think would be helpful for other wedding/event planners?
Heather: I have a month-out questionnaire that I send and it is very detailed in asking about their vendors, contact information, details, and design. This document helps me with their timeline & schedule.
Janelle: Client portals for the win. Having the journey with a client captured in one space is just awesomesauce! Workflows are our saving grace (see above), then design boards, this allows our design proposals to be simplified but professional and aesthetically clean. Super excited about form logic. It's gonna allow workflows to be that much better.
Lauren: Why yes, yes I do! My free wedding planning workflow is my biggest hit amongst planners. All of the questionnaires, client forms, blogging forms, etc. that are listed in the workflow are forms I use in Dubsado on the daily! The blogging questionnaire is the second most popular process I’ve created amongst planners because the way I blog makes my CLIENT do all the work after having automatically sent a form to them since it is part of the workflow. A task which could easily take 2-3 hours if you let it now only takes me 20 minutes tops.
Rebecca: The proposal, contract, and payment reminders are extremely useful for me as a whole, however, I also love the workflows I can create for different kinds of clients. For clients who only want Day-Of Coordination, for example, they may need a few more reminders leading up to the day - getting their marriage license, meeting with their planner, sending vendor contacts, etc. I have put all the reminders I like sending to clients into the workflow, so neither of us forgets and they feel like it is value added.
4) What would be your dream event to plan/manage?
Heather: I think this would be an elopement in a place with a breathtaking view. I want it to be a day with just the couple, a few of their loved ones, and their photographer. Starting the morning with breakfast and a little pampering before they head to say their vows. I would have a bigger celebration that evening or when they got back from their elopement. The elopement could be in Ireland, Maldives, or some gorgeous mountaintop.
Janelle: Dream events for me consist of my ideal client trusting their vendors and having a budget the fits their wants. Dream events are full of unique but fun design customized to that client. Not just what the client has seen but where the imagination takes us.
Lauren: A week-long retreat/workshop for wedding and creative business owners post-wedding season. It would be a perfect combination of relaxation and pampering (and cocktails!!) sprinkled with business growth tools and actionable steps that would leave attendees feeling rejuvenated and inspired to start automating and organizing their businesses to finally achieve the levels of success they have dreamt about.
Rebecca: A lot of my events and weddings have honestly been a dream come true already. Recently I've had a chance to plan a private party for a Rupi Kaur, and a wedding for a Toronto Raptors player. I would love to design a unique party for a singer or actor, with a lot of unique elements.
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