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Posts Tagged ‘real wedding vendor advice’

You want to establish a genuine, authentic relationship with your client.

You want them to know that you support their decisions, that you’ll guide them in the right direction, and that their event is a top priority.

They’ll share many personal secrets, and fairytale wishes with you.

You guard this intimate information, never thinking of spilling the beans.

 Your duty is to be their confidante, to be the non-judgmental sounding board.  

So, when you’re going through your own personal crisis {pregnancy, moving, staffing issues, client drama}, how much do you share, if at all?

It’s a fine line that many wedding vendors get trapped crossing.

And once you go down that road of sharing, there’s NO TURNING BACK.

You can’t take back the comment you made in passing about a vendor that gave you a raw deal, or the bridesmaid that was a complete bitch, or the flake client that won’t pay their balance.

It’s crucial that you develop a professional and friendly relationship, but that you make a pact with yourself, and your staff as to where to draw the line.

Do you really want your client to know where you live? Where you like to hang out, and let your hair down?

Time and Place is the best advice to follow.

Be Authentic, and Bite Your Tongue.

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No doubt this is something you already do.

Thankful for your business acumen, thankful for your clients, thankful for your interns or staff.

But most important are those you can confide in.

The vendors that are your sounding board, that give unsolicited professional feedback, and save you in a time crunch while watching your back.

This is a crazy business.

Face it. You truly have to be a bit of a nut to pursue this.

And, you crave that kind of genuine support from those that are in the know.

They can relate to your wacky stressors, your need to let off steam, or your urge to devour a cupcake in less than 60 seconds.

There is no judgment, just the nodding of heads.

So, when you find these lovely creatures, or they find you…..Be Thankful.

There’s nothing more relaxing than to be amongst true friends.

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There’s nothing wrong with getting your feet wet.

Sort of trying on a role for size.

But guess what? Most of us aren’t here to just dabble, or be the flavor of the week.

We put our blood, sweat + tears {not to mention weekends} into every decision, strategic plan and sales meeting we hold. 

So, when you start to compare yourself to someone who RUNS an events industry business full-time, it’s gone TOO FAR.

That’s great that your husband or partner makes 6 figures, so you can spend oodles of cash on a fancy flash-heavy website.

But the real test is, do you have any level of business savvy, original ideas or salesmanship?  

Somehow we doubt your personality is a vibrant as your website and business cards.

This ain’t no semester group project for us honey.

We’re putting food on the table, empowering each other, and making a difference with clients & community.

We’ve also got something you’ll never have.  

Substance.

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OK, we just can’t take it anymore.

Whoever coined the term ‘Day of Coordination’ needs to shaken, not stirred.

It creates a false illusion of what is truly required to pull off a smoothly transitioned Wedding Day celebration.

Let’s think about this.

A wedding typically takes how long to plan? Let’s say 6 – 12 months.

But then the Bride wants to pay someone as little as possible {usually} to have them come in, Just for the Day, to pull it all together, and make it perfect?

Get Real.

Wedding Vendors are all about the relationships they build, with clients, staff, and amongst themselves.

We can’t absorb all the impressions, innuendos and details that you’re looking for – nor will we really get to know your personality, quirks or pet peeves – with one introductory phone call, a few emails, and a drive-by decor drop off date.

Rome wasn’t build in a day, and neither was your wedding.

Be Realistic. Hire a Professional. It’s one decision you’ll never regret.

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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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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}.

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Do you often daydream about having an Open Letter to the Bride posted in your storefront window?

A form letter of sorts, to share expectations, protocol, tips and advice.

Here’s one such letter, written for Bridal Salon Owners everywhere.

Dear Bride to Be, 

We’re so excited to meet you!

This is such an amazing time in your life, and we understand all the worries, concerns, and insecurities that come with shopping for the dress.

Be ready to gush, cry, oooh and aaah over all the fabric choices, veils + accessories.

We do have one initial request of you + your bridal party.

Ditch the bad attitudes at the door.

Come with a smile on your face.

OK, two initial requests really.

This is not a Cinderella and Stepsister scenario. We’re not your maid, or cocktail waitress.

This is our livelihood, so please respect our staff, and the array of dresses to choose from.

We realize that you’re stressed, under the gun time-wise, may have some pressure in terms of price, and have other things to get ready for your big day.

Remember too, not every bride finds ‘ THE DRESS ’ on their first day of shopping.

So relax, enjoy the choices, and above all….. be kind.

Feel free to bring your closest friends, mom + confidantes.

But be advised, friends that will say YES to all of your whims, or those that are hypercritical, are not a wise choice. You need support, gently mixed with a shot of reality.

We have many other clients that will visit our bridal shop this season, and we treat each and every guest with the same level of respect, attention to detail and compassion.

We can only control our own attitudes, our inventory, and our staff.

Here’s a short list of items that we can’t control:

  • Your weight. We understand that you want to look perfect on your day, but we can’t get a size 20 into a sample dress. It’s just not going to happen.
  • Your appearance.  Want to have fun, and feel pretty?  Then put your best foot forward. Dress up, do your hair + make-up. Bring shoes if you have them, or something with a similar heel height.
  • Bad undies. Wear some great fitting undergarments. The closer you can get to the real fit, the happier and more confident you’ll feel.
  • Dress type fixation. Try not to dwell on a specific dress or designer before you start trying any on. You’ll be amazed, and extremely surprised to see what actually looks good on your body type.
  • Friends with ulterior motives. Bring those that are TRULY excited, and want the appointment to be all about you. Not someone who’s searching for their own dress, for the ‘ What If ’ wedding.

 

Above all, don’t forget your manners and self-respect on the day of the appointment.

We look forward to helping you find the dress of your dreams.

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