One Thing You Need To Be Doing At Wedding Receptions

One Thing You Need To Be Doing At Wedding Receptions

When it comes to marketing yourself, there’s no better time than on the job. There’s also no worse time to be slacking off and looking like you’re not working. This tip will kill two birds with one stone, giving a huge benefit to the couple and their guests, as well as bringing in great leads and spreading your name.

Receptions are a great time to really show your personality as a photographer. You can mingle with guests to make them comfortable with you as you photograph them. You can be engaged with what is going on in the wedding by reacting along with everyone to funny and touching moments. Most of all, you can show people the real you while you’re working, and not have it detract from your present job of capturing the moments of your couple’s wedding.

I’ve found that one of the best ways to maintain the attention of the wedding guests after the wedding day is to make sure they have something to go home with that they want to interact with. Obviously for us, that is the photos from the wedding day. The hard part is making sure the guests know where to go and not just relying on our couple’s Facebook wall to make sure they get there.

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We give out “Table Cards” at our weddings to all of the guests so they have a physical copy of the website link for the gallery, as well as a small photo from the couple’s engagement session which may have likely not seen. At most weddings, we will print off 5 different photos for the table cards, and they’re almost like trading cards, people love them!

If you would like my Lightroom 5 Preset for an 8x12 sheet of table cards, you can get it here.

STEP-BY-STEP

Select 1 - 5 photos from the engagement session and highlight them (you may want to select a few extra in case some of them don't work well with text going across the image)

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Click on the “Print” tab in Lightroom 5

Select the 8x12 table card preset that suits your printing system (border or no-border depending on whether or not your printer adds a border automatically or needs bleed)

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Edit the text watermark to include the correct URL and the proper positioning and color for the image

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Select “Print to file” and choose a destination folder (If more than one image works well with the text watermark layout and color, then you can highlight each of them and they will all be saved with the watermark)

Upload your images to your print lab (I like to use PASS as they end up costing me $2 per 8x12 and shipping is spread over 4-5 weddings usually, making my entire purchase per wedding around $12)

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I will often order the table cards all at once for each month or two of weddings so I can save on shipping costs and keep my system efficient. When you receive your prints, simply cut them using a good paper cutter and ensure your lines are straight. There’s nothing worse than crooked borders!!

WHAT TO PUT ON THE CARDS

We've been handing out these table cards since day one of our business, mostly because our wedding photographer did a similar thing at our wedding. Through trial and error we've found a few key things that are important to keep in mind when making these cards.

1. Readability is key. Strong lettering and contrast from the background is important. You need to be able to easily read the URL, because people with much worse eye-sight than yours will be looking at this in a dim room. Use as short of a URL as possible, and real words and names are always the most readable.

2. Make it all about the couple. Don't make this a business card. Don't try to get likes on your page and people to your website with this. Make it all about them and people will appreciate the gesture. You'll get people who assume this is sleazy marketing before they see it, and then they'll be impressed and grateful when they see that it's all about them and for them.

3. Have one call-to-action and very little instructional text if any. People can figure out how to get to the site and how to use it, and when you're giving it to the guests you get to have a 10 second interaction with each of them which is priceless when it comes to referrals.

4. If using a double sided layout, have just the image on one side, and the URL on the other side. These cards will likely cost you much more, but they do give off a high-cost appearance which may be more suited to your brand. www.moo.com is a great option for these.

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19 Comments

Wow, those are some really cheap print prices. Not sure how that's even profitable.

Another great way to get leads from weddings is just to be really good at your job - both as an photographer and as a person.

Matt Kennedy's picture

Is that not what I was saying at the top of the article? Totally agree that your prime objective is being a good person and photographer...then you want people to be able to easily enjoy your work and get to know you...a great way is by giving them access to that through the client website. I think we're on the same page here.

Agree, Hunter. I use PASS top deliver digital files, but always disable the print option because they don't let you set prices. Also, those $1 4x6s become anchors in people's minds and make it difficult to sell large wall prints.

Matt Kennedy's picture

Lots of people do this for sure...the interesting thing is that I can order these prints at $4 a piece for an 8x12 and get half of that back, so $2. I would much rather do that than pay $5 per 8x12 from my local cheap print shop, or $15 through a half decent local print shop.

Jason Vinson's picture

we just set up a laptop with same day slideshow and have a stack of card next to it. We build a custom website for each couple and for the cards, one side is a pic of the couple, no logo or site or anything, then the other has just our logo and the link to their site. that way the card not only gives them the link to the site, but it also doubles as a gift to the guests from us. since the side with the picture can be displayed. We also print with the option through MOO cards where we get different images on cards. so not every card has the same image.

Matt Kennedy's picture

That's great that you do the moo card option I talk about at the end of the article. Good job!

....or you can just take great pictures and focus on the couple so the couple can tell their friends about it and not put on a dog and pony show for the guests. They are the ones who are paying for this after all and people notice you treating the couple well more than them talking to you.

Matt Kennedy's picture

Interesting. I guess I'm not seeing the Dog and Pony show here. I've never once had a client nor guest be dissatisfied with this at a wedding, in fact, most of the time I get thanked by the couple for going above and beyond for them. Just like I did when my wedding photographer did it. I find this comment humorous.

It's two sides of the same coin. I don't agree with the dog and pony show comment, but unless you have a full team, your suggestions can be difficult, especially for beginners.

Your strategy would work well for someone who is for lack of a better term, a purist. Someone who doesn't have a "look" to how they post process the photos. Myself, I have a look to my finished photos that gets me noticed, and if I were to try your approach, it might conflict with how I do finished results.

But that's my opinion. All in all the service is what matters. And like the Bud Light commercials say, it's not weird if it works.

I would have to agree. I like my brand to really represent a high end product and not something that is being sold to the client. but I would imagine that would all have to depend on how its being delivered by the photographer.

Joel Nickerson's picture

Wow, lots of 'over thinkers' here. The idea of leaving a calling card so the guests can find themselves and the photos they may be 'in' is a great idea and something that should be practiced. Matt gave a low-risk, low-cost, example of great marketing - one I use myself - that gives the attenders to any event (weddings specifically here) opportunity to enjoy the photos taken. If further business and sales are made, then they were meant to be and the calling cards did their job.

Very well said, there's a lot of negative people in this thread as well.

When do u have those images up on the site for the guests to see? Next day? week? month? Surely this is a factor if you go this route, unless you r a jpeg shooter that for sone reason doesnt spend time editing the thousand/s plus images that a wedding can have. You think the guests are going to keep checking the link every day since the wedding?

That's easy then - put a date on the cards for when you expect to have the pictures available.

Is that easy? You really think people are going to bother waiting or remember to go to your website in that date? Unless it's up there pretty quick I don't see how it would work. You could have a taster on the page with a countdown I guess? But I think u loose the whole wow factor

Jamie Gellings's picture

I have a hard time even remembering to have business cards on me! So, I really like this idea, and glad to hear that you never had anyone 'disapprove.' That would be my only concern, maybe the couple wants to keep their images more private for some reason or another... But all I would have to do I suppose is just give the couple a heads up and feel em out. Thanks for the tip Matt!

Matt, do you ask the couple if they are ok with you putting the cards on the table or do you just do it?

I think this idea is a bit tacky. The couple you are working for works hard to be able to make table settings and set ups the way they want them. Then adding your own clutter to them I think is a bit rude. If you produce great work and you provide the client with a great experience, then I believe they will recommend you no matter what. If my wedding photographer did this at my wedding I would be quite upset because some of those moments in my wedding I want to keep personal, and not have everyone see. Just my opinion, in this industry everyone does what works for them, and if it works, great. I'm just looking from a different angle.

Great Idea. I'm doing the same, but a little bit different. I print my link on the backside of a 10x15cm FineArtprint (Tecco PM 230, Epson R3000) and use a thick white border to reduce printing costs. Costs are about 30c per picture with original ink.
During the evening i take the micro, explain the fotobooth and tell the people abouth the cards with the homepagelink and how to find the photobooth pictures there. So everyone is taking the cards and happy to have a nice picture of the couple in a perfect printing quality. Mostly i also have an ipad with a nice slideshow laying on the place where the guests can find the pictures!