des moines, iowa and beyond

workflow & systems strategist

How using a Design Book Elevates your Client Experience


As a designer, you have a clear, beautiful vision of your client’s wedding. As they tell you stories, you are dreaming up what you will create to bring it to life. You know that you are so excited and start to feverishly sketch and take notes, attempt to describe your vision to your clients and then what? They look at you so confused, right? Despite your best efforts, communicating a design vision and plan to others can be incredibly challenging. On top of the design challenges themselves, you also put a lot of thought and intention into your client experience, right? Why not simplify and elevate both pieces with one tool and part of your workflow?

When we walked through my design process a few weeks ago, I mentioned a few of the reasons I love my design books so much. That was just touching the surface. I don’t know about your couples, but mine sometimes have a hard time understanding what I am proposing to them or envisioning what I describe. When we are planning such an emotional, expensive and pivotal day in their lives, it can get frustrating for them to not know what I am talking about. I always want them to feel fully confident in what we are creating and get as excited as me about the details. Since I started using a design book approach, I have seen them light up and feel so much more excited about my designs.

From a client experience perspective, using a design book has been a game changer! Not only am I providing them with a mood board, color story and ideas, but it is so detailed that they can envision their entire day from start to finish. The pieces of the design book start with their inspiration, colors and textures, then walks through the ceremony, cocktail hour, attire, blooms, details, reception and additional items they might want. This is not just visual representations, but text descriptions for why we are using different elements and how things will unfold. It is essentially a script for their day, complete with visuals.

For those who include additional services with your design collections, this is only the starting point. When it comes time for us to talk budget and sourcing, it is incredibly simple to go through your design book and compile or select all of the individual details you need to account for and source. I used to go through my notes, praying that I did not forget any piece or detail when pricing out designs for my couples. With the descriptors in the design book, I no longer worry about that. I simply use my excel budget template, align it with the design book categories and work my way through it. At the same time that I am budgeting, I source via local vendors or online and make those notes, in detail, within the budget file. So great!

Providing my couples both of these pieces for their final approval and sign off gives everyone peace of mind and a big picture view of what needs to happen and the budget for it to become reality. Being able to provide my clients that reassurance and concrete value has proven to be a true elevator. They are so confident, even more excited and love showing it all off! That’s the icing on the cake – not only is this a practical tool to share with our couples and vendors, but it becomes a keepsake and point of pride for our couples. Seeing how excited they get about their personal design book brings me so much joy!

If you are looking for a design book option to add to your services, I highly recommend that you look into my friend Megan’s templates. She has them for PhotoShop, Illustrator and Canva!

Happy designing, loves!

xoxo, Jenn

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