Agenda Combinations: Ceremony Booking and Customer Journeys

Whether it’s tackling the routine admin behind conducting ceremonies manually or finding new ways of engaging with couples, Ceremony and Registration Managers have a number of challenges on the horizon.

That’s why it’s so important to be able to fine tune your processes and optimise them for your dream ceremony set up. With comprehensive and flexible tools at your disposal, you’ll be able to empower your teams to maximise time efficiency and deliver a more rewarding customer experience for all couples.

Check out our suggestions of what Ceremony Managers can add to their Stopford booking and diary systems to create amazing customer experiences.

*Please note the majority of the below integrate into Stopford’s Registrars Booking solution which offers both a diary side and a number of online booking processes. For more information, please visit its product page.


Online Ceremony Booking 

At the beginning of the pandemic, Bridebook estimated that 64% of ceremonies would need to cancelled or postponed in 2020, creating a significant amount of admin work for registration services. This made for a far busier 2021 and now 2022, with the demand for ceremonies returning and creating a backlog. As a result, many services not offering a digital way of booking their ceremonies have had to accept a significant number of booking manually.

Using Stopford’s Registrars Booking solution, services can develop online experiences for a number of ceremony types ranging from marriages and civil partnerships to renewal of vows and naming ceremonies.

In doing so, registrars can gather all information up front through targeted questions, accept fees to cut down on repetitive processes, and manage ceremonies from day of booking to the day of ceremony easily. For those getting married, this is incredibly convenient, offering 24/7 access to booking (so not restricted by closing times), while also giving them confidence that the booking is secured through automatic emails. 


Final Ceremony Payment (FCP)

So you’ve taken the deposit for a couple’s ceremony booking at a venue with your online ceremony booking platform or you’ve received the fee over the telephone/in-person. What’s next? Typically, you’d have to wait until the couple get in touch again to pay the remaining fee, this could be either through additional reminder emails or the hope that the couple remember that their ceremony hasn’t been fully paid for already. 

As you can see, this can require a lot of additional admin and allows uncertainty to creep in. Will this ceremony be paid for? When will we have to call to check in with them?

Luckily, there’s a way to give customers a self service options and take some of the guess work out of the equation. Final Ceremony Payment is our way of following up and empower couples to pay their remaining balance online, no extra phone calls needed.

With the possibility of being linked in the initial booking confirmation email or fee follow up reminders, FCP allows couples to enter their details, see the outstanding costs linked to their specific booking, and pay the remaining balance from their device. This links to the Stopford Registrars Booking solution, updating it’s status in the admin side to reflect fees paid, giving you an up-to-date record of ceremonies that are ready to take place.


Payment Integration 

One of the most important factors to ensure that a ceremony goes ahead is to make sure that couples are on track with ceremony fees payments and are made aware when payments are going to become due.  

Whether it’s initial deposits or outstanding balances, payment integration can be one of the vital tools to prompt the receipt of payments at earmarked points in their customer journey. 

By integrating your preferred payment gateway into your online booking platform, you can achieve an end-to-end process that caters for receiving payments at any time. Combined with automated reminders and confirmations, you can spend less time manually chasing couples on fees and you can direct them to pay through less time intensive channels (e.g. not telephone or face-to-face). 


Notice Document Uploads

Wasted appointments are a big topic within any service. Caused by incorrect or insufficient documentation, appointments can be cancelled or forced to reschedule as late as at the appointment itself. This puts enormous strain on services, forcing them to leave vacant timeslots that are left as unused time, and frustrating residents by forcing them to have later appointments than what they’d have liked.

Collaborating with services, Stopford developed a process designed to reduce appointment wastage by allowing documentation to be uploaded and reviewed in advance of the appointment. Used principally for notices at this point due to the range and complexity of documents required, the online link connects to the appointment booked, requesting uploads of the documentation the user has said they will bring during the notice booking process. 

Upon uploaded, the registrar is then able to approve or reject items, allowing teams to verify if appointments will be able to successfully go ahead prior to the appointment date. 

You can find out more Notice Document Uploads on our add-ons page.


Want to streamline ceremonies?

For more information on any of the ways you can optimise agenda listed above, drop us a message through our contact form.