Panelists weigh in on the issues impacting the efforts of spas in their pursuit of top talent and the things they can do to retain their expertise
Spas say “I do” to the wealth of business opportunities this wedding season has to offer
With wedding season approaching, brides are scouting for the perfect spa or salon for their beauty regimen in preparation for their big day. Every bride wants to be the centre of attention—a princess for a day. From offering on-site visits to the bride on her day, to complimentary champagne and hors d’oeuvres, if you can simplify her life and be attentive to her needs, she may recommend your spa to friends who have upcoming weddings. So pamper her, prepare her, and create a spa experience she will remember.
That extra something
A tough economy coupled with wedding costs will have any bride searching for savings. “She will be looking for a deal or promotion, so always offer her an incentive,” says Caterina Cerilli, proprietor, Polished Beauty Bar, Richmond Hill, Ontario. Cerilli advises spa managers to keep in mind that a discount can go a long way, since the bride will be showing off your services to her guests. “She is literally a walking advertisement for your spa,” says Cerilli.
Brides tend to treat their bridal parties to a spa day, so group discounts are especially attractive. “If there’s a group of five or more we’ll definitely allocate a discount depending on the group and what they’re booking in for,” says Nicole Lynch-Welch, regional manager, Vancouver Vida Spas. For example, if a group books a mani/ pedi package, they may receive a 10 per cent discount.
Value-added perks, such as complimentary champagne and strawberries, can be built into the package price. If your spa does not have a liquor license, tea or smoothies are a great alternative to serve with fresh fruit or tasty treats. Lynch-Welch says while Vida Spas do not serve alcoholic beverages, guests are welcome to bring in their own treats to be served by spa staff.
Complete your bride’s spa experience with a take-home gift, a thoughtful way to express well-wishes for her wedding day. Consider a scented candle or deluxe product samples. If the bride is having makeup done, present her the lipstick so she can touch-up throughout the day. You may also choose to give the gift of spa. Absolute Spa Group is launching a spa bridal registry, says Jill Bryan, regional manager. Many couples live together and do not need a blender or towels. Luxury pampering can add up, and a registry allows guests to contribute to spa services for the bride (and the groom).
At your service
Brides may have manicures and pedicures done prior to the wedding, but on the wedding day they need hair and makeup. “Having staff that are willing to travel to the bridal party is of increasing demand,” says Alison Slight, managing director, Candace+Alison, a Toronto-based luxury events and wedding planning firm. “Wedding days are hectic, and going to the bride is more convenient and relieves her stress.” Travel costs can be added to the package price or determined upon booking depending on location.
Extended or flexible hours can bring in extra business. This is the case at Willow Stream Spa at The Fairmont Banff Springs, which attracts brides who are getting married at the grand castle and others. This spa has the advantage of being one of the few spas and salons in the area that are open on Sundays. Willow Stream Spa operates seven days a week and has flexible hours. “If someone has a wedding party and they have to start at six or seven, we can accommodate that. We’re very flexible with time,” says Pam Ouellet, spa director at Willow Stream Spa at The Fairmont Banff Springs.
Your bride has chosen your spa to escape the wedding mania, relax with her girlfriends, and get ready for her big day. She’s putting herself, and her wedding party, in your professional hands to ensure a stress-free, glamourous outcome. Accommodate her and make her feel like a queen with thoughtful, value-added perks, may it be a discount, a gift or opening your spa an hour earlier to start hair and makeup. You will be rewarded through word-of-mouth marketing, and you will likely have a new repeat customer.
Hot ideas to tempt the bride-to-be
Pre-Wedding Pampering: The Bare Basics
• Manicure • Pedicure • Facials, microdermabrasion, intense pulsed light • Body scrub • Spray tan • Brazilian wax
The Big Day: The Essentials
• Makeup • Hair wash, blow dry and style • Manicure
Time Together: Candles, Champagne And Cozy Quarters
• Couples massage • Couples manicure and pedicure • Mineral soak
Girls’ Day: They Want To Have Fun And Get Dolled Up, Too!
• Manicure • Pedicure • Swedish massage • Lunch
Living In Luxury: Would You Like Some Caviar With Your Facial? And Other Luxurious Treatments
• Caviar facial • Oxygen facial • Aroma stone massage • Moor mud wrap with massage • Eucalyptus scrub with argan oil application