I’m writing this one for the other wedding vendors out there, but if you are getting married, you should read this too. This is what your wedding vendors should firmly believe in and if they don’t, they aren’t meant to be in this industry. The wedding industry is a world of its own. Somewhere along the lines, many people forgot this is a customer service based career. Many feel that you the consumer are a purchaser of their art.
That art could be photography, food, florals, mixology, the list goes on. The thing about this industry is that the people who serve you, are in fact artists. We are creators and makers and we believe that your wedding will be better with our art or service that we provide. The catch is, your day is not about us. Can we all let that sink in. Our client’s wedding day is not about us.
This day is a day our clients have been thinking about for years. For some people it’s been 20 years in the making, for others, it’s been a year. The point is that this ONE day is a big deal. So again, it’s not about you. Even though our clients hire us for the art we put out into the world, they are really purchasing a dream wedding. You, my sweet friend, are only a piece of their puzzle.
So how do we sell a dream wedding? We kick ass not only at what we do but with our customer service. And how do we do that?
I bet, no matter what service you offer, at the end of the day your client is hiring you to flawlessly execute a portion of their day. The very first thing you need to do as a wedding vendor is to listen to your clients. What are they really asking for? Your client wants to feel heard. It’s not enough to say “yes for sure” to make them feel like you’re listening but then on the wedding day let them down. (Like our disappointing wedding vendor did). I would even argue that it’s worst to pretend you hear your client and understand what they need. That’s a sure way to let them down.
We work in any condition
I’ve worked days that were almost 50 degrees C (122F). I run my butt back and forth from the ceremony site to the reception area, up and down hills, in the sun, drenched in sweat. I’ve worked outdoor tented weddings in a literal torrential downpour and I’ve done it without it affecting my mood. Snowstorms have left me driving home in a blizzard at 2am in the morning. We are hired to make magic happen. When we meet with clients, there are no stipulations like “Sure, I can make that happen as long as it’s less than 30 degrees C or “I can only work if it doesn’t rain. ” You show up and you do the job you were hired to do and you do it well. Regardless of the weather.
We work with all kinds of people
I worked at a venue once where the owner was “acting coordinator”. She was a terrible human being. Not only did she made the bride cry, she yelled at the mother of the bride twice, and she pushed my assistant. Physically pushed her. Did I leave? No. Because again, it wasn’t about me. It was about the bride and groom. I did everything I could to help smooth over any issues and deal with the owner myself, so they wouldn’t have to.
I also just worked a wedding where I had a guest yell at me. He thought he was more important than everyone else at the wedding, and he tried to move the heater to be on him and his friends. That heater was right beside me, aimed at a table of elderly guests. It was there for a specific reason. More than once, he tried to move the heater. I continued to move it back. He got in my face and told me I was the help and basically I didn’t matter.
Now, my clients at that wedding were spectacular. To avoid a full-blown yelling match, I kindly pulled them aside to let them know what was happening. Later on in the evening, the groom’s brother came over to ask how his cousin was behaving and I simply told him it was all good since dinner ended and that my only concern was not causing a scene.
Because again, the day is not about us. I’m a strong person and a little rudeness will roll right off my back. That’s my duty to my clients. Unless I’m physically afraid of being hurt, I’m hired to do a job and the job I will complete.
This industry means long hours
A typical wedding day for me is around 15 hours. That’s on top of 3 days of floral work, attending the rehearsal and pretty much being available at all times for my clients the week of their wedding. We’re all tired. It doesn’t mean you get to do less of your job.
We do it with a smile on our face
“She was such a good sport after working such long hours, and even after her hair caught fire while moving some candles!!! I was shocked that she was so calm and would have totally expected (and accepted!) a freakout due to her scorched hair! But no, she always had a smile on her face, and made sure everything was done according to our vision and timeline.”
That excerpt above was from a client testimonial from a recent wedding. My hair actually did catch on fire. But I’m a professional and I continued to do my job as such. I continue to smile when I’m drenched in sweat or drenched from rain.
Our wedding vendor that was such a disappointment showed up in a shitty mood. I don’t know what was up his butt. It was freaking hot. I know. That’s not an excuse. He saw the space he was working in and knew what the conditions were going to be like that week. He ruined our wedding because of his poor attitude and lack of service he promised. Don’t be him.
Sorry if this hits some of your harshly but I’m actually not. If you cannot do all of the above and just show up for your clients, you shouldn’t have clients. Sometimes things that were outside of our contracts arise. Do we not do it, even though it would ruin our client’s wedding if we don’t? If it’s a small task, just do it and make it happen. If it’s a large request, charge them for it. But for the love of God, can we put the overall wedding day at the top of our mind while we’re working. It’s not about us.
I once worked with a venue coordinator who was upset that the escort cards that had meal choices on them were not even close to adding up to the numbers she had. I also told that bride that we needed her cards sorted in order of tables for us to put them out. Were they? Nope. My assistant spent hours of our time sorting these. But, we did it.
Back to the venue coordinator, I told her she’s just going to have to send servers around to ask what meal they ordered. Her response was no, they are just going to get whatever the card in front of them says. My response to that was that it will take even longer to sort things out when guests say “I didn’t order that” and now your rearranging cold food from table to table. Yes, it’s a pain in the ass to have to take extra time to do a job that should have just been done properly. Your job is to do it anyways (with a smile on your face!).
As a wedding vendor
If you will not put your clients wants, needs and wishes above your own, you shouldn’t be a wedding vendor. If you do not look at your business and see the service you actually provide (dream weddings) this may not be your thing. Above all else, if you feel that your art is more important than the wedding day itself, I encourage you to see your business differently.
Ps. Your Value
I want to make it clear that I am not telling you to undervalue your art or work with clients that undervalue you. I want you to charge the same amount of money and make your art more valuable with the customer service you provide. As a result, your clients will feel like you truly provided them with what they didn’t even know they asked for; a dream wedding.
Many of the products in my blog posts are either sponsored products or affiliate links. While I do receive a commission off of any sales, the price will always be the same for you.