Post # 1
I need your input and advice. Today I came up with the idea of a Wedding Dress Consultant. Not a wedding planner, but someone who helps you find your dress. A lot of people come to my city from outlying areas. They are intimidated by the size of the city, the number of bridal salons, traffic, etc. Based on their budget, theme, etc., I would take them to the appropriate places. They would be working with the best consultants, their search would be targeted to what they are looking for. The brides would pay me directly, I would not work for the salons, although I would hope to establish good relationships with them. I have 20 years of retail experience–yes I get fashion, styling, accessories, etc.
Would you pay for this service, especially if you were plus-sized (and can’t find samples in your size), on a short time-frame, had a lot of conflict with family/friends and needed a mediator?
How much would you pay? I was thinking (pulling this number out of my head) $200 a day, for an unlimited day including lunch and transportation. I was thinking towncar/limo for that.
I really value your feedback, so be brutally honest.
Post # 3
I am not sure that I would personally pay for it, but I don’t think that $200 is bad considering you would provide transportation and lunch!
Post # 4
Personally I wouldn’t, but I love the hunt of shopping. I do have friends that would totally pay for someone to set that all up for them and just have them walk in and try a few on and leave. I am not sure how much they would pay, but I would think that no more than $200 would keep them from walking into a store by themselves. I would skip the lunch though, but would offer to make them reservations and drive them there, well of course it would depend on how many are in the party. You would have to at least cap it at just the bride or the bride and the mom.
Post # 5
I would not. I can do all my research online if I were to go to a different city to find my dress.
Post # 6
I think it’s a reasonable price, especially including lunch and transport (though I’m guessing a limo would cost more than $200 to rent for a whole day). I think it’s a service some would definitely pay for, to ease their stress.
Post # 7
I’m giving this a bump. Any more feedback?
Post # 8
As a bride on a budget it isn’t something I’d pay for, but I could see it as a useful service for women who don’t know where to stop or who are going to big cities to shop (like New York where there are tons of salons and many designers have their own places). But there are two main problems I can see.
The first is that I think as is, your costs will exceed your profits. A towncar + lunch for the day will cost more money than $200, so I think you should research the costs of transportation and lunch and whatever other amenities you’d want to offer and then figure out how much you want to make from this. Personally I think this sounds like a luxury service for brides with bigger budgets, so you can do one of two things: charge a lot, or create a number of packages like a lot of wedding planners do, with more bare-bones packages being cheaper and the bells and whistles being more expensive.
The second issue is that your work may overlap a lot with the work of two industries: wedding planners and the bridal consultants who work in stores. Most of the brides who could afford to pay for a bridal gown consultant (or are splurging) can also afford to pay for a wedding planner, and this may be included in the wedding planner’s services. Either that, or these brides are going to higher-end salons in order to find a gown and those salons already have bridal consultants that work for the store and know the merchandise they sell. They may not take very kindly to a bride bringing an outside, paid consultant interfering with their work and their marketing, so you’d have to tread carefully and like you said build relationships with salons reminding them that you are doing them a favor: bringing them business!
Post # 9
I wouldn’t pay for it. I’m sure some people in ATL would though, depending how big their budget is. I hate ATL traffic as much as the next person, but I wouldn’t be willing to pay that much for someone to drive me around in it and to the bridal shops. I have my GPS and because most Georgia driveers suck, I would be annoyed if I wasn’t driving. Just personal opinion. I also made my dress decision after 3 days of being engaged, at one bridal store, in 4 hours 🙂
Post # 10
@Georgia Bee: I don’t think I would pay for the consultant service alone. However, if you really made an experience out of it (ie: limo, champagne etc) as you mentioned than yeah it might be another way to make the dress search just a little bit more special.
I think this idea is dependent upon the targeted location of the business as well, some areas like where I am (Wine Country, CA), New York etc might be willing to invest additional costs into the experience than other areas.
Post # 12
I would not personally pay for this service. And I don’t think a lot of my girlfriends would either. “The Hunt” for a dress is part of the whole wedding experience. I honestly would look at this as paying someone to make phone calls for me and to play taxi driver.
But $200 you are suggesting is not much at all if someone would like to use your services. I wonder based on gas prices, mileage, wear and tear of your personal transportation you surely would be in the red by the closing of service for particular clients. Especially since you also would provide a lunch…
If you do venture into this good luck! My only suggestions would be to increase your price and market to women with above average income.