Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘diplomacy’

This category of Smarty Pants Bride is starting to get really, really old.

Seriously, if you’ve already:

  1. Researched EVERY possible vendor, and received quotes…
  2. Created an air-tight timeline of your ceremony and reception…
  3. Mastered all the tricks of the trade…

Why are you even chatting with us? Clearly, you’ve got it all under control.

And we all know – EVERYTHING runs like clockwork at a wedding.

There’s never any timeline errors, snafus or bridal party melt-downs.

Just remember this…

We live in a REALITY BASED world, not the puffy cloud formation that you’ve created that cushions all of your Wedding Day plans.

Get Real.

If you want a professional, then TREAT us as such.

If you want to hire a step ‘n’ fetch – ask the catering or venue staff.

Our role is that little piece that Holds It All Together.

You know, the one that makes everything happen smoothly?

Bringing your vision to life doesn’t happen at the snap of your fingers.

Unless of course, you really do have a Fairy Godmother.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

As wedding vendors, we all deal with demanding clients at times – but when you throw in a completely unrealistic budget, mixed with a princess attitude, things can spiral downward fast.

Business isn’t something you want to turn away, but you also don’t want the ugly cry to rear its head while working the event.

So….. how do you filter out the clients that will drain you of all compassion?

Develop your Resentment Number.

This is the bare bones minimum $ amount that you’ll accept, and that will allow you to smile {cautiously}, and sleep at night. It could be based on a maximum or minimum number of hours you know it will take to plan, create or design for a specific type of event, or a flat rate.

If working with this type of client makes you want to ramp up your therapy sessions, change your phone number, or the real indicator, raise your prices……..you need to stick to your guns.

You don’t want to create a situation where you’re always in a foul mood, and your internal mind chatter is continually uttering, ‘Why did I accept this client? How much time, energy, anxiety and money am I losing working on this event?’

Don’t put yourself in any more situations where all you want to do is bang your head against the wall – repeatedly.

Trust your gut. But always have that Resentment Number in mind.

Best Advice?

  • Be confident and accountable to yourself.
  • Learn to read a situation for what it is.
  • Walk away if you feel your integrity or expertise is being challenged, and close the door on those not willing to at least meet your resentment number.

There really are plenty of fish {clients} in the sea {city}.

Read Full Post »

Well, since you brought it up.

Yes. Yes, you are.

Those tantrums, unrealistic expectations, vent sessions seemed to be aimed at us – directly .

But what’s so interesting, is it’s no longer just a role exclusive to the Bride.

Some of the recent incarnations may be a bit surprising….

  • The Father of the Bride
  • The Mother-in-Law {who doesn’t understand boundaries, at all}
  • The Sister {who’s already married, and clearly knows how a wedding should go}
  • The BFF
  • And the personal favorite, The Onsite Venue Helper. She appears somewhat hung over, clearly disgruntled, and wants to make sure that her employer knows she’s miffed.  How will she get this message across?  By doing the least amount of work possible over the next 8 hours. Great.

So, if you can’t beat them – join them right? All kidding aside, walking on eggshells isn’t good for workmanship, morale or productivity. Letting people vent can be healthy for them, but they need to understand that they’re experiencing situational stress.

Talking about it BEFORE the wedding day is helpful.

You don’t need to walk around with a knife in your back.

Read Full Post »

Let’s set the scene…………

Both sets of parents are bitterly divorced, and remarried. There are step-siblings, step-cousins and step-grandparents.

Let’s face it – you feel like you’ve stepped in something, and you want to lose it, fast!

The dynamic of a family can be its greatest strength, or biggest downfall.

For your personal sanity, try to put it in perspective. You’ll be around this dysfunctional clan for a maximum of 12 hours {fingers crossed}.

Best approach?

  • Kill them with kindness  
  • Keep really busy {who says the presents don’t need to be rearranged?}
  • Smile and nod, while biting your tongue {this is a learned skill}

Most important? Don’t work a wedding solo.

You’ll need to play ‘Tag, you’re it!’ with a team member. Getting some downtime to effectively deal with the onslaught of complaints, drunk guests and tireless questions about when the cake’s going to be cut is a must.

~Special Note to the Brides~

Please don’t throw us under the bus.

If you know your Dad is gruff as hell, and isn’t a ‘people person’, we’d appreciate a heads up.

Every family experiences emotional highs + lows during a wedding celebration.

We’re used to dealing with high stress situations, and can mitigate even the touchiest situation.

So, do yourself a favor. Don’t take their ‘complaints’ or ‘concerns’ as gospel.  

We always have your best interests at heart, and aren’t interested in stirring the pot.

Read Full Post »

Guest #3

Here she comes……… Debbie Downer. Except that she’s morphed into a wedding guest that’s closely related to the bride.

It appears that NOTHING is going to be good enough at this celebration.

Just know that complaining isn’t a characteristic of this guest, but her personality in its entirety.

Her level of overall dissatisfaction changes to fit the situation.

In fact, she probably doesn’t approve of the bride’s choice of dress, food, venue, or time of reception. And she certainly can’t believe that the family would actually spend this much money on one night. What a waste!

This is also the guest that will view you as their personal assistant/gopher.

Get ready for, ‘Could you bring me another napkin?’, and ‘Can you touch up my wine?’, or the ever classy, ‘Could you get the Bride’s attention? I’m planning to leave soon.

Only one word comes to mind.  Bitch. Speechless.

So, how to remain the Strong Diplomat?

  • Listen intently, and attempt to resolve their issues.  But NEVER agree outright.
  • Try to let it roll off your back {yes, easier said than done}.
  • Keep your opinions under wraps. Always remember, this is ALSO the guest that will ‘Report Back’ to the bride & groom.

Read Full Post »

Sometimes a simple smile can do wonders.

Here’s the 411…

You have a Bride to Be client who’s in LOVE with balloons.

A design faux pas?   Possibly, yes.

A reminder of childhood parties involving creepy clowns?   Most definitely.

But what a perfect time to practice diplomacy, and keep your opinion under wraps.

If it makes her happy – then it’s a winner.

Read Full Post »