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Archive for January, 2010

Let’s set the scene…

We have 2 hours to transform one largish room into a ceremony area, for 160 guests, and set-up all the reception tables {hidden behind a floor to ceiling piece of drapery} with candelabras, flowers, favors, seat assignments, etc.

The clock is ticking.

We all know about crunch time. Some venues just don’t get it, and will provide minimal access time for vendors.

We’re pretty used to the 2 hour dash + decorate’ session.

We can successfully pull it off, with 15 minutes to spare before guests start to pour through the doors, as long as we’re ALL on board, with the same goal in mind.

That being a happy bride, a relaxed groom, a bridal party in waiting, and satisfied parents.

So, why have so many Venue Managers forgotten {or refused} to take the Sales Hat off when there’s already an event booked that day?

Now, we COMPLETELY understand wanting to sell your space, especially with everyone counting their pennies, and with growing competition out there.

But, guess what? Showing the space to couples, their extended family, and random people wandering in off the street WHILE the venue is booked is NOT COOL.

In fact, why are the bride + groom even paying for the space during that time if Joe + his fiancée Barbara can stroll through, ask as many questions as they see fit, and query the event planning staff about décor rentals, flower prices + cupcake flavors?  

The client has paid for the exclusivity and privacy the venue has promised them. Remember?

Oh, and by the way, they’re getting married in LESS THAN 2 HOURS!

So Venue Manager, read ’em + weep…

  • Get Some Tact
  • Do Your Job
  • Understand Current Client Priorities

Seriously, where the hell does your loyalty lie?

We can’t even blame the couples walking through, like deer in headlights, just soaking it all in. They don’t get the gravity of the situation before them. {But, they will on their own big day, and they’ll be pissed.}

This isn’t a bloody Open House.

It’s a beautiful couple’s Wedding Day, and they deserve your undivided attention.

If you don’t get that, then GET OUT. We have it more than covered.

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The first red flag was this…..the Subject Line was completely blank.

Yes, the email message appeared with ‘ No Subject ‘ as the topic.

This was a VERY CLEAR indication of the level of brilliance to be found in the forthcoming message.

First thought was……. SPAM?  But cautiously opened it up anyway.

And there it appeared. Grammatical errors, run-on sentences, no personalization WHATSOEVER.

Here’s the email in its entirety, so you can get the real feel for it.

Hi , my name is Molly* and the reason I am e- mailing you is because I was wondering if I could job shaddow an event planner for my senior project in high school. All I need is 20 hours of job shaddowing and I was wondering if I could possibly do that with you.

 Thank you

*Name has been changed, to protect the unmotivated.

 

Seriously, this is someone that wants to JOB SHADOW an event planner, as a requirement for a high school class. Don’t you take English in your senior year as well?

As you can imagine, with this level of enthusiasm, personality, and overall excitement conveyed in the email, a response was sent back immediately.

NOT.

So what could she have done differently?

Pretty much anything. Like including information on:

  • What school do you attend?
  • What class is this for?
  • Why are you interested in job shadowing an event planner?
  • Why have you contacted this specific business?
  • What do you know about the business, and the services offered?
  • What makes you a great fit?
  • What skills are you interested in learning, or expanding?

Seriously, is that too much to ask?

Needless to say, PASS.

Maybe there needs to be a Business Etiquette graduation requirement for high school.

How often does this happen to you? Do tell.

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Be honest. Do you really take the time to build each other up?

This seems to be one of those ugly topics that nobody really wants to touch.

Cliques are everywhere. Face it.

So, check yourself.

Are you one of THOSE wedding vendors? You know…the kind that couldn’t be bothered to exchange pleasantries, let alone take the time to chat about the big event that’s about to happen?

The event where your client is one and the same?

These seem to be the same vendors that consider themselves truly refined, posh and definitely a cut above.

Sorry, but fancy pageant walking in the hallways at a large Wedding Show doesn’t scream high end.

Here’s the deal.

There’s nothing memorable about you, except the fact that you’re a first rate bitch.

Oh, and reality check……this isn’t fucking Gossip Girl.

You want to create a GREAT business reputation?  Treat people with respect, compassion and diplomacy.

Lose the judgmental facial expressions {they create premature wrinkles anyway}.

Remember that every single vendor that does business with your mutual client is someone that‘s worth your time.

When the lean times come {like right about now} – you’ll be happy that you made friends – instead of frenemies.

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It can be difficult to talk a client down from a decision that they’re excited about.

No matter how stupid it seems to you. They want what they want, when they want it.

And if it sounds like a Real Deal, well they’re even more likely to jump on it!

As a wedding vendor, you just have to learn to deal with it.

A recent client asked for my opinion on booking a band for her wedding reception.

She’d seen a band playing live at a local indoor venue, and instantly fell in love.

She approached them to inquire if they played weddings, and would be available for her wedding reception.

They said ‘Yes!’, and that for 3 hours of play, the total cost would $500. This was for a 5 piece band.

So, I asked about their experience, references and pricing.

The answers she provided were somewhat frightening.

  • They’d never played a wedding before.
  • They were unfamiliar with the duties of an MC, but had stated that would be part of the overall cost.
  • They didn’t seem concerned with the sound quality while playing an outdoor backyard reception.
  • They just threw a price out, to see if she’d bite. {which she did}

She thought it ALL sounded good. I wanted to be kind, but also for her to see the true reality.

I asked her point blank, ‘Do you want to be the Guinea Pig wedding for this band?

 She seemed a bit perplexed.

So, I just reiterated that they could provide no references, no guarantee of sound quality.  No nothing really.

She was already sold on the band though, so my only advice to her was quite literally……Buyer Beware.

  • Be sure you have a solid contract that includes a clause that if the booking is not fulfilled in full, as outlined, that there is room for a partial refund.
  • Confirm that they can guarantee a back-up or plan B if one of their band members becomes ill or lost.
  • Outline your expectations of their behavior, and interaction with guests.
  • Verify if you need a permit from the city for outdoor entertainment.
  • Do not pay for their services in full before your wedding day.

The last thing you need is a stumbling vocalist, a drummer who hits on your bridesmaids, and the police showing up to ‘shut down’ the festivities due to excessive noise complaints.

Fingers crossed for this reception.

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