As June—that most marrying of months—approaches, well-prepared salons will find real opportunities for growth and profit from the $50 billion Bridal market. Business from brides, grooms and other wedding party members can be an annuity that pays off month after month—and that’s as true in January as it is in June.
A big part of preparing for wedding season is relationship building. It may be natural enough for a salon that has coiffed a client for her Sweet 16, senior prom, and college graduation to be selected to “do the ‘do” on the big day. Nurtured over years, that relationship is foundational, and the bride-to-be will automatically look to her trusted stylist for guidance on pre-wedding services to keep her bridal train on track.
While every stylist dreams of having those kinds of relationships, they represent only a fraction of the bridal business your salon can generate. There’s an even greater opportunity to attract new clients looking for wedding services. In this article, we’ll explore several salon ideas for bridal season that you can implement in your business.
Building Your Bridal Reputation
To get started, you need to invest in building your name recognition within the wedding planning community. A few ways to do this include:
- Attending and displaying at local bridal shows.
- Offering services to local newspaper and magazine bridal sections.
- Reaching out to local daytime newscasters to participate in bridal and makeover segments,
- Working with media-sponsored bridal expos in exchange for a credit.
Don’t forget to include local hotel concierges and hotel event planning staff in your outreach plan. Invite them to sample your services so they can experience firsthand the treatments they’ll be recommending to their guests.
Offering Onsite Beauty Services
Onsite salon services aren’t for everyone, but they can be a great revenue generator for your business if you’re in an area with many local event spaces. This was true for Andre Richard, owner of Andre Richard Salons in Philadelphia. Before he opened his first salon, Andre began his career as a freelance practitioner who traveled to locations to perform hair and makeup services for brides and their bridal parties.
Today, while Andre’s salon staff still provides offsite wedding party services, economics dictate that there must be at least three services booked. They also charge a premium (typically twice the in-salon service rate) for trekking staff, supplies and equipment. If you’re considering adding onsite services to your bridal package menu, you should consider your clientele’s preferences and competition before setting prices.
Creating the Perfect Salon Experience
The majority of brides will come into your salon to have pre-wedding and day-of services performed. It’s important to offer a variety of packages, including trial runs of hair and makeup, to ensure that the bride’s final look is exactly what she envisioned.
At Andre Richard’s salons, “We offer pre-wedding trial runs for the bride and anyone else she wants to bring with her. We try three different looks to help her decide which she wants.” They also do makeup and hair trials and styling for bridesmaids and other wedding party members.
Catering to the Groom and Male Wedding Attendants
Most salons tends to focus on services for brides and bridesmaids. But there are other members of the wedding party who could also benefit from salon services, including the groom, groomsmen, and the father of the bride. If you already offer manicures, haircuts, and shaving or waxing services for men, adding tailored wedding services would be a natural extension of your existing menu.
The Bottom Line
The bridal market represents a huge opportunity for salons. If you invest in building your reputation with local vendors and press, creating flexible service options for brides and their parties, and catering to grooms and other male attendants, you’ll be able to capitalize on the upcoming wedding season and position yourself as a bridal expert.
About the Author
Richard is the owner of REA Communications, a consulting group providing public relations, marketing communications strategies, advertorial and editorial services to client companies.More Content by Richard E. Altman