Being a wedding calligrapher (well, that and being my own proxy wedding planner when we got married) taught me a thing or two about organizing a wedding guest list spreadsheet.
I’m also crazy-obsessive about a high-end client experience: Even when I still offered calligraphy services—before I moved to full-time copywriting services & was still going half-and-half, I said then what I still say now:
If we’re going to charge BMW-style prices for our clients (aka: high-end, white glove-level service), then we need to give a BMW experience.
In this post, I’ll give a little bit of a behind-the-scenes into one part of our client process: onboarding bridal and wedding clients WELL to set me up for success as the service provider.
Here’s your guide to creating your own wedding Excel template — orrrrr a guide to just using my free wedding guest list template as your own. 🙂
You may also be interested in: My Sales Call Workflow
Wedding Calligrapher Client Onboarding Workflow
Ok, after a client is officially signed and booked, the fulfillment portion of the workflow kicks in. You can see my steps below, but for dozens and dozens of brides, here’s how it went:
To outline a few things there, these extra details below may help!
Sidenote—I’m IN LOVE with sales calls … it took me a long time to nail, though. Click here to read up on my sales call workflow!
Wedding Calligrapher Contract/Proposal Process
There are a few things involved in booking a client for a high-end service, but one is sending a killer proposal.
It’s a LOT more than just typing up what you can do for someone and pressing that send button (kinda nerve-wracking)—there are some ninja secrets that I’ve learned to weave into the process, and I’m breaking it down in this video.
How to Send a Client Welcome Packet as a Wedding Calligrapher
This email fires after that first payment came through & the agreement is signed. It’s hefty, but includes the need-to-know about working with me, presented in a magazine-style format. (We STILL do this years later for my copywriting business, and I’m OBSESSED. It’s a part of client onboarding you can pry from my cold, dead fingers—it’s integral.
I like to deliver this with HoneyBook’s Flows feature, and outline numerically what I need to get started. Part of this is including both the wedding addressing spreadsheet (more on that in a sec, you’re welcome to steal mine for your clients!) as well as an etiquette guide. I found I was answering a ton of questions via email (ex. they’re both doctors, how do I list them? How do I list names if they live together but aren’t married? etc.) … while I was MORE than happy to straighten this up & fix names during the fulfillment process, it added time to the client workflow.
So, every Welcome Packet I sent to brides included 2 “freebies” or tools:
- The wedding addressing spreadsheet (details below)
- an etiqutte guide PDF download.
“For my sake and sanity a good, organized wedding spreadsheet is a MUST,” one of my clients said after I sent this over to her.
Okay—I’d recommend either GIVING her a spreadsheet, click here for mine, OR, include communications that show her how to do it herself. This is a MAJOR helpful asset when you’re addressing things down the road, so give it to your clients early on!
- First, head to sheets.google.com and click “Start a New Spreadsheet.”
- You’ll want to add some more tabs, so hit the plus sign in the bottom left.
- Add tabs for Bride’s Fam, Groom’s Fam, Rehearsal Dinner, Bridesmaids Luncheon, Bachelorette Weekend, and add any shower or party you’ll be having.
- Now, go back to your first tab, likely the Bride’s Family.
- Lable A1 the name of your spreadsheet, like “Her Family.”
- Drop down to the second row, and list out your columns from L to R. I’m from an etiquette stickler part of the world, and if you are two, here’s the order I went in: Last Title First Middle Suffix Inner Envelope Names w/ Children Mailing Address City State Zip # in party Gift Received Acknowledged
- Copy and paste that row—after you “dye” it whatever color, of course—into each tab you have built out.
Voila! Now, give your fiance to complete their side, until both families have their tabs mostly done (hint: you’ll be adding names you forgot from time to time!). It could take a while, but once it’s built out, you can tell your client how valuable this will be for showers, Christmas card lists, baby shower lists … the list never ends.
- Adding gifts and checking the “Acknowledged” column once you put a thank you in the mail
- Divvying up into different party address lists, because your hostesses will ask for them
- Pulling a quick headcount of guests
- Peeking back at gifts someone gave you when it’s time to send them a gift 6 months later (hashtag true life)
Prefer to grab my Google Sheets version of the download to add to your Drive and send along to your clients? Click here.
Remember—this kind of thing is GOLD to give your clients during the onboarding process … it makes things so much easier for you later down the road, too!
Snail mail and client gifting goes SO far—check out John Ruhlin’s book Giftology if you haven’t before!
I’d traditionally gift clients at the end of the experience with a framed monogram or piece of their stationery suite (you’ll see that below!), but early on, popped an early gift in the mail. I still do this with the copywriting side of our business—3-5% of the client package goes to the gifting/thank you part of the process … I’ve operated by that standard for 5 years, and it’s worked out ok. 🙂