Eek! I know, who still uses Craigslist? With all the spammers and scammers, and let's not forget to mention the Craigslist killer, why does this thing still exist? Well, from my experience, it wasn't bad at all. Hear me out! I was a newbie wedding planner, and needed to drum up business, badly! While I had a few brides booked via word of mouth, I wanted MORE! So, once in a while I'd peruse the gigs posts on Craigslist. One night (because this labor of love burns the midnight oil), I came across an ad looking for a day of coordinator. So, I responded.
How am I different?
If I search my emails long enough, I'm sure I can find the exact email I sent. But, it took a lot of thought to make sure I differentiated myself from the 1/2/3-hundred dollar day of coordinators. I had to prove that I wasn't like the others while also asking them to take a chance on me! Therefore, I knew I had to be honest! I told the poster that I'd just started my wedding planning business after recently planning my own wedding. I made the case for why I was different, and what I'd bring to their wedding day. You see, you run a 50/50 chance responding to ANY inquiry. The worst anyone can say is, no. So I had to make sure that my pitch was so GOOD, that they'd say YES!
Are you Real?
After I drafted my pitch, and hit the 'send' button, I was relieved to see a response the next day. The poster (bride-to-be) was hooked! She'd been interviewing wedding planners and really wanted one that wouldn't break the bank (easy, I was cheap back then!). The kicker, she wanted to meet in person! So, I arranged to have a consultation at my favorite meeting spot! Which is a good thing, because it proved that she was genuinely interested in my wedding services (and not a stalker, scammer, potential axe murderer). AWESOME!
I know I asked for X, but I think I'd really Like Y.
After a minutes of getting all the details for her wedding day, my bride to be decided that she wanted to hire me for partial wedding planning (GET OUT!) Behind my poker face, I was ELATED because she'd be my first partial planning bride (actually, I think second, but still!) I guess during the meeting, she felt so relieved knowing that I'd be ON IT, and involved for so long, that she trusted me with leveling up. (SCORE!).
Great Couple. Great Wedding!
The Craigslist Bride turned out to be one of the best and most memorable weddings I'd ever planned. It's also why I LOVE being more hands on in the planning process, because I was able to involved every step of the way (from catering calls, to floral meetings). For a New York City wedding planner, I found a gem in a couple and in a planning experience. Looking back, I know I took a risk and a gamble in booking a wedding (partial planning, at that!) via craigslist. But, I have an awesome experience, photos, and reviews to show for it, and no regrets. At. All!
Moving forward, I've not booked a wedding via craigslist ever since. But I wouldn't advise against it, but I'd still recommend proceeding with caution when and if you do decide to follow a craigslist lead.