29 May Wedding Vendors – Do You Really Understand Your Clients?

Today I thought I would write about something that I find very puzzling. I’ve had several meetings over the last couple of weeks with potential new clients that have gone on to tell me about recent meetings with other various vendors in the wedding industry. These brides have told me about a general lack of interest from these vendors to really try to understand what they need and want.

Bride #1:  Her wedding is just under one year away. She has met with a few florists but has not made up her mind on who she will be hiring as of yet.  I can tell you though, the one florist who will not get her business is one that told her since her date was so far away, that they would get back together later in the fall (6 months from now) to work out all her details and then a proposal would be provided at that time. However, she was told she would need to submit a retainer to hold the date.

Bride #2: She is getting married in November but was told by the catering manager at her venue that she should wait until October (yep, one month prior) to work out the details of her menu.

Um, hello?

Hey wedding vendors, this one’s for you… in all my years of helping brides to plan their wedding day, 99% of them actually want and need to get their details locked down as soon as possible. In case you aren’t aware, brides do not like last-minute surprises. They also need to know how much your services will cost for budgeting purposes and they will chose those vendors who get that and work within their budgeting constraints.

I have to say, it seems to me, that many vendors don’t even try to put themselves in the bride’s shoes. When you lose sight of those considerations, you will ultimately lose business. People want to do business with people they like and if you don’t take the time to build those relationships in the very beginning then you might as well go work for the utility companies, where there are no choices.

From a planner’s perspective, when I’m told of negative experiences from brides, chances are you are probably not going to be on my referral list as well. What I promise my clients is a beautiful day, but a fun experience getting there. If I cannot count on the vendors I refer to carry on that point of view, it’s not worth it to me to refer them.

Finally, if you are planning your wedding and the reception you get from a vendor is not warm and fuzzy from the very beginning, then keep looking. Listen to that inner voice that’s worried about not getting the answers you need right away. Planning your wedding will be challenging enough without adding in the waiting game until a vendor has decided you’re now up on deck. There are lots of great vendors out there that know and understand what you are feeling and will do their best to reassure you from the very beginning.

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