"I Totally Want To Hire You!! Please Send Over Your Retainer Invoice and Contract and Hold That Date!" ... Definitely Don't Do It!!!
Nothing gives a business owner more joy than hearing these little words: "Please send over your contract and retainer invoice! I'm so excited to work with you!!!" You zip over your contract and retainer invoice and go straight to your calendar to cross off that date for this client. Wait, what?????? No, no, no, noooooooo.
Never Promise A Date To A Client Without FIRST Getting Their Retainer and Signed Contract!!
In the wedding industry there are typically a few HOT DATES that you know you will book ... weddings have a 'season' ... perhaps you know that each year you will definitely book all of August and September. Holding a date means you are turning away other clients who are interested in the same date. Now let's say you get an ecstatic 'YES' from a client that you've sent over your retainer and contract to and you 'soft hold' that date for them while they 'take their sweet time' sending them in ... along comes another eager client who wants the same date ... you tell them that date is booked and they sadly accept and go on to hire the next ... then the first clients who have your retainer and contract in their hands NEVER PAY and you never hear from them again ... UGH. You just lost out on booking that weekend!!! Eek!!!
I don't care if the clients you are holding the date for without a retainer and contract are PERFECT PERFECT PERFECT!! I don't care if they have a million dollar budget and the bride is having 3 exclusive dresses designed for her by Vera Wang herself ... I don't care if it's at a venue you have been DYING to work at ... I don't care if this bride has cupcakes and rainbows trailing behind her after every step. Do. Not. Cross. Off. A. Date. Without. A. Retainer. And. A. Contract.
If you want to give a client 'time' to send in their payment to hold the date let them know that you will hold the date for 24 hours ONLY ... after 24 hours the date will be released.