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Growing a Business

Finding Your Core Values in the Wedding Industry

January 2, 2024

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When most of us start our wedding businesses as solopreneurs (wide-eyed, with a stack full of wedding magazines), the thought of coming up with “core values” for our business seems like corporate jargon. And hey – didn’t you set your sights on leaving your corporate job to ESCAPE that nonsense? While I do know exactly where you are coming from, after over a decade in the wedding industry, I’m here to tell you that finding your core values in the wedding industry is one of the most important things you can do. 

Your core values are the guiding principles that will keep you on track when it comes to making decisions – big or small. They’re the values that make up your business ethos. They also shape how customers and partners perceive you, and they determine which clients you work with. Ultimately, finding your core values in the wedding industry helps bring a sense of purpose and clarity to your business – helping you stay focused on what matters most. If you know me, you know how important that is to me. If we haven’t met yet, you can find out more about me here!

In the meantime, let’s jump into what core values are, why they are so important, how to get them, and what to do with them once you have them. Sound good?

A woman's hand writing core values in a notebook on a marble table.

What Are Core Values in the Wedding Industry?

Core values are guiding principles that help people distinguish between right and wrong in your business. They create an unwavering guide that everyone follows, keeping you on the path to fulfilling your mission, vision, and purpose. Core values serve as important reminders of what it takes to help your customers.

Yes – You Need Core Values Even if You Don’t Have a Team Right Now.

I’ve been a business coach for over a decade now, so I know at least a little part of you is thinking: do I really need core values laid out if I don’t have a team? The answer is yes, friend. While building a team has been on my mind (I created this guide recently – if that’s your goal!), the truth is that as a business owner, you will need to make tough decisions throughout your career. 

Core values help you make the right decision in high-pressure situations, and while they are absolutely essential when you have a team, they are important for you to have when it’s just you, too.

4 Questions to help you create your core values

  1. What behaviors will the company value over making (or saving) money?
  2. What values support your customer's happiness and needs? 
  3. What values will support your team's (including your) happiness and needs?
  4. What values help your business live out its mission, vision, and purpose? 

Now that you've established your core values, it's time to implement them. These shouldn't just be words on paper in a dusty document; they should guide your decision-making, marketing, website, systems, and processes.

Examples of Core Values in the Wedding Industry

Core values can be words or phrases. Here are just a few examples to help you start brainstorming:

  • Adaptability
  • Ambitious
  • Ethical
  • Enjoyment
  • Innovation
  • Create an impact
  • Celebrate Success
  • Find the Good
  • Under Promise, Over Deliver
  • Do the Right Thing

The important thing to remember is that your core values should be deeply meaningful to you. They shouldn’t just be fancy words scribbled on a page. For example, you can’t truly value a perfectly branded experience and authenticity, right? One will take priority, and that’s okay. These values need to be honest and true to you.

Once You Have Your Core Values, What Do You Do With Them?

I promised this would be an actionable blog post, so now let’s talk about what you should actually DO with these core values once you’ve decided on them.

  1. Add them to your employee manual so that everyone, whether they're a part-timer, full-timer, or even subcontractor, understands your company's values. 
  2. Put them on your About page or your Philosophy page on your website. If you explain your process online, include your values within it.
  3. Talk about them on social media, and you can even create a highlight section in your Instagram stories that speaks to your core values. Trust me when I say that couples want to hire vendors who value what they value. They want to see it! 
  4. Post them where you can see them. Remember, core values are not just for clients or for your team. They are good to have on a sticky note. They're good to have as your computer background. They're great to have on a whiteboard in your office somewhere.
  5. Add them to your sales copy and to your brochures. As I mentioned above, you want to put them right in front of your customers so they understand the values that you operate from. 
  6. Check in on your systems and processes to ensure they live up to your core values. If you value innovation, for example, how does that come through in your planning process?  
  7. Add them to your hiring guides, your interview sheets, and your job descriptions. You want to work with couples that value what you value, but you want to work with people who value what you value too. 
  8. Infuse them into all aspects of your marketing and use them seriously
  9. Use them as checks and balances when you're making difficult decisions. Whether you're making decisions to support a client in something that you didn't expect or you're having a hard conversation with a team member, a fellow vendor or a colleague, there are endless hard scenarios in the wedding industry. Your core values should serve you well when making difficult business decisions. 

Finding Your Core Values in the Wedding Industry

In conclusion, core values are essential in the wedding industry. They act as guiding principles that help you make decisions, both big and small, throughout your career. Even if you don't have a team yet, core values help you make the right choices. By answering the four key questions and brainstorming meaningful values, you can establish a set of core values unique to your business.

But it doesn't stop there. Your core values should be put into action. Incorporate them into your employee manual, website, social media posts, sales copy, and brochures. Display them prominently in your workspace and integrate them into your hiring process. They should permeate all aspects of your business, from your systems and processes to your marketing efforts.

Your core values serve as a compass when faced with difficult decisions. They help you stay true to your mission, vision, and purpose. Whether it's supporting a client unexpectedly, having tough conversations, or letting go of a client, your core values will guide you through challenging scenarios. Your core values should reflect who you are and what you truly value. They should resonate with both your customers and your team. By aligning your actions with your core values, you can create a strong foundation for your wedding business and attract clients who share your values.

So, take the time to define and implement your core values. They will not only shape your business but also contribute to its long-term success and fulfillment.

A woman's hands showcasing her core values as she writes on a notepad on a marble table.

Hey – While I Have You, Is the Vision You Have for Your Business Looking Crystal Clear, or Is It Kind of Fuzzy?

When it comes to building a business, I believe clarity is key (whether you are in the wedding business or not!). If it’s been a while since you’ve sat down with your “vision” or if you just started your business and haven’t looked that far ahead with your love goggles on, I have just the thing for you. In this guide, I’m going to teach you exactly how you can vision cast in your business, and I make it super easy to get started (no fluff – it’s kind of what you get around here). Download your copy now.

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