As wedding planners and business owners, we tend to be masters of all trades. From accounting to design to social-media management, we wear a ton of different hats each day—which is why having streamlined processes and smart technologies in place is absolutely key when it comes to growing your planning business and increasing your profits.
I look back to when we first started LVL Weddings and can’t believe the bare-bones digital diet we survived on back then. We had the basics—a website, Google, email, the Microsoft Suite, Quickbooks and online banking—but that was about it. There was no Dropbox yet, no Google Drive—and certainly no Aisle Planner or Honeybook! Tech companies weren’t paying attention to the planning industry, and we were left with antiquated systems or systems that were geared toward big businesses and far beyond our budget.
Fast forward to about two years ago, and suddenly companies like Honeybook, Aisle Planner and All Seated showed up on the scene—which came at the perfect time for LVL Weddings. We were in the middle of growing our team and were in need of better systems that could help us maintain quality and consistency with our growing roster of clients. These three technologies have since become so crucial to the way we run our business, so we wanted to take a moment to break down each one of them for you below. Read on, and get ready to start delegating those tedious tasks to some seriously savvy technological tools:
Aisle Planner, a cloud-based wedding-planning software program for event planners, is one of our all-time favorite technologies. Prior to Aisle Planner, we were using Dropbox, Gmail Folders and Google Docs to plan our clients’ weddings. Since the implementation of Aisle Planner, though, we’ve been able to throw those tools out of the window and, instead, house all of our wedding-planning needs (everything from color palettes to client communication to timelines) in one comprehensive and streamlined program.
Aisle Planner includes functions like wedding-planning checklists, a design studio, and budget tools. The best part, though? It allows for easy collaboration with clients, which is a huge selling point when marketing your planning business to potential clients (they can finally kiss that overstuffed wedding binder goodbye and forget about long email chains and dated Excel files). Using Aisle Planner has allowed us to develop a consistent workflow using the Checklist feature, and create (and stick to) strategic systems internally, which means all of our planning is now done the same way—so clients know exactly what to expect when they’re working with our team. We also love the fact that Aisle Planner was founded by seasoned wedding planners, so they completely understand what it is we need as industry insiders and are always making updates and additions. We are absolutely obsessed!
Thanks to HoneyBook, proposals that once took us 30 minutes to create now only take us 5 minutes. HoneyBook’s system streamlines proposals, invoices and payments, sends customized agreements to your clients, and allows for seamless collaboration with your clients. We love it because we now have a reliable hub where we can keep track of contracts and payments—plus, everything is wireless and paper free. Our clients tend to appreciate the efficiency of not having to print out and hand-sign a contract, and then send a check via snail mail. It streamlines (and shortens) the payment process for both parties, which is absolutely crucial in this day and age when people are used to mobile banking and apps that allow you to make payments in a matter of seconds. We also love that HoneyBook is able to integrate with your website and Quickbooks to capture all your leads.
AllSeated offers users exact floorplans to scale, guest lists, and seating arrangements at no cost. Crazy, right?! We thought so, too—it seemed to good to be true at first, but, after using AllSeated for a few weddings, we quickly realized it was not. This incredible program allows us to easily create diagrams and visuals for our clients to scale. Our favorite part? If a venue is not in AllSeated’s database, you can email their team the pdf of that venue’s floor plan—they will then add that venue to their database at no charge, and the venue will remain in their database for good. The software is super user friendly and—since we are not graphic-design savvy in our office—has been unbelievably helpful when it comes to laying things out for our clients!