The #WeddingPreneurs Lounge: Be more than a wedding planner for your clients
Today’s topic is not so much about business practices, it’s mostly about emotions and psychology. Let’s face it, planning weddings and working with wedding couples involves that emotional aspect that makes these events unique and completely different from a social or corporate event.
“We are in the business of love and romance”, someone said and I can’t remember who it was. And it’s true: We work with happy clients, we work on happy occasions, weddings are supposed to be once-in-a-lifetime celebrations for our brides and grooms.
I strongly believe that our relationship with our wedding clients is different from all other business relationships. They don’t consider this a business interaction, they see it as a very personal interaction. That’s why sometimes they don’t respond to us, or they don’t communicate very well with us because they’re busy with… their job. That’s their business, but their wedding planning is a personal matter. We, as wedding professionals, treat these relationships as business relationships because it’s our job and we have pay our bills however, for them it’s something extra therefore, our clients very often don’t feel they are in a business relationship with us. Or at least, this is how they see it, this is how they feel about it. And that’s why dealing with brides and grooms can be pretty challenging. But if we understand the psychology behind this it will actually become easy to manage the relationship and enjoy every single minute of it with them.
First of all, you should feel privileged, honored to be part of a couple’s wedding celebration. They chose you as their wedding designer or planner, or day-of coordinator. It is a very big deal for them to completely rely on your skills and experience to orchestrate their entire wedding day. Think about it: what a responsibility we have! They are giving us the freedom, total control to run the show behind the scenes while they say “I do” to each other and celebrate their union with friends and family.
Once you understand this you will realize how important it is for them to really click with their wedding professionals, they want to know them, they want to trust them before signing a contract. If they don’t respond to you in a timely manner and you have to chase them… Well, this could be because they can’t make up their mind, they have multiple choices and they like some of you. Don’t be too pushy when you chase them trying to close the deal; instead, offer assistance and help during this stressful time for them and they will be forever grateful.
Brides and grooms are probably experiencing this crazy ride for the first time, they are very excited to start planning their wedding but they don’t really know where to start. They are reading blogs, installing apps on their mobile phones, accessing different sites and directories on the internet and they gather information, save articles, browse Pinterest boards, create Facebook groups where they can exchange information and ideas with their wedding party members. The result? Total overwhelm. The information that is accessible today online is really a lot with all these different styles, thousands of vendors listed, tons of wedding planning timelines, and photo galleries with the most incredible color palettes and styles or themes imaginable. Their natural reaction is to get stressed out even before they start!
Some wise friends might recommend the help of a professional planner or designer to organize all of their thoughts and give them a direction to follow during the planning. This is also a very difficult decision to make: who should they trust? A very organized and experienced professional or maybe someone they feel attracted to, someone who shares their same interests and completely understands their vision?
You may have noticed that today’s couples are more inclined to select professionals who are not necessarily experienced and knowledgeable but rather someone who is closer to them as far as age and taste. They want a friend, not a teacher. They want to discuss their wedding details with someone who can immediately get them, and who can quickly define their vision by identifying what they like and what they don’t like. Weddings today are all about personalization and incorporating the couple’s personalities and cultures into each moment of their celebration. This is actually something that I love to do because each wedding will be different. It will be a reflection of the couple’s personal style and heritage, from ceremony traditions to food, dances, and speeches in different languages, for instance. And guests will remember that forever.
Not only couples need guidance about their wedding planning and style or theme, they also need assistance with their personal life during that time. There might be family issues, family dynamics that make the planning more difficult or more challenging. Need some examples? A very strong mother (who is paying) and who wants the wedding to look like she always dreamed of (and maybe she didn’t have when she got married); Divorced parents who are arguing about budget or guests to invite; Relatives who are trying to get invited just because they’re part of the family but the budget is limited and those relatives are not that close to the couple. It could also be pressure from jealous siblings or friends. Yes, I had to deal with this, too. In the first case, a sister of the bride was trying to sabotage the wedding plans because she was unhappy about her wedding and she didn’t want her sister “bride-to-be” to have a beautiful wedding… Crazy, I know… In the second case, the matron of honor got pregnant during the bride’s planning and she tried to convince the bride to postpone the date of the wedding because she wanted to get full attention during the pregnancy…
So, this is where the emotional aspect really plays a very important role during the planning and it’s our job to keep everything in control. This is why we are not only planners or designers: we’re also advisors, confidants, best friends, psychologists, and more.
For this reason, you need to change your mindset and look at your business relationship with your couples more as a personal relationship and try to help them on a personal level. I always say that my wedding couples become part of my family and that’s exactly what happens: I take on a lot of responsibility and I try to understand their frustrations, lower the stress level and solve their problems. More like a friend.
Ask yourself this question: What do I want to accomplish for this wedding client? A beautiful ambiance with my favorite lighting company and my favorite band or, a memorable experience for the couple, their family, and their friends? Something that will make them have the best times of their lives and something that they will cherish forever? Yes, creating the perfect setting or atmosphere and being careful with their budget is definitely part of our job, but you should also be able to provide an experience, something that your clients would never get without you. This should be something that will make them hug you at the end of the night with a huge smile and say “Wow, I had no idea planning a wedding was all this! I could have never done it without you! Thank you!”
Don’t stop at vendor agreements or wedding checklists, or payments to be made by certain deadlines. Loosen up a little and put yourself in your wedding couple’s shoes for a moment. You will see a completely different picture and it will help you understand, connect with and win your couples’ hearts. That will make them sign your agreement and start a beautiful relationship until their “I do”… Or maybe even after that! Did you ever start a friendship with any of your wedding couples? I did and it feels wonderful!
The #WeddingPreneurs Lounge is a weekly LIVE show on Periscope, every Wednesday at 11:30am PST. Join me next week @SabrinaCadini 🙂
~~~ LEAVE A COMMENT ~~~ How do you provide stellar service as a friend to your wedding clients?
~~~ TAKE ACTION ~~~ Review your last three weddings and ask yourself: “Was I just a wedding planner or did I offer a more personal assistance to my couples? What can I improve to win their hearts?”
Holistic Precision Life Coach, Brain Wellness Coach, and Life-Work Balance Strategist for busy professionals. I blend well-being principles with epigenetics, neuroscience, positive psychology, and mindfulness techniques to implement effective behavior changes.