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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Brides First! The Honest Truth Might Surprise You!

 When I hear generalizations about what brides want for their weddings, it almost makes me cringe.  A wedding is not something that is dished up from a menu.  First off, who I am to know what a bride wants until I have spoken with her and perhaps her family at some length?  That is the most important part in my mind when offering to plan a wedding.  Listening!

I have to laugh when someone says, "Doesn't a bride always choose her (fill in the vendor) first?  A photographer can think she chooses a photographer, a bakery thinks she chooses her cake first, a venue manager will think that it is a venue.  People will also ask me if I have a preferred vendor for this or for that particular service.  I tell them, "No".  The client is so important and I don't want to match a bride up with a vendor that I think she will be uncomfortable with.  People have actually said to me, "Brides don't really care about decorations that much, or this or that, do they?"  To one bride it won't be important, but to another bride it might mean everything.  I figure it's my job to be led as well as to lead.

Planning a wedding is an emotional experience on many levels.   When a bride is consulting with her vendors, I want a bride to feel like she is walking through the door of her own home, wearing an old pair of comfortable shoes and talking to a good friend who knows what she's going to say next but listens as if they can read her mind.  I must explain further, I would never say that a vendor is purposely going to make anyone uncomfortable.  I think I happen to know some of the most amazing vendors who do a wonderful job and I have the greatest respect for them.  But, I'd compare it to thinking back to school and who was your favorite teacher.  There was something about that teacher that touched your heart, made you feel important or inspired you.  That's what I feel it should be like with various vendors and that doesn't happen accidentally.  

A bride will know when she is comfortable with a vendor or not, but why put her through unnecessary stress when you've gotten to know her likes and dislikes first?  If I sense that she is intimidated by opinionated people and would crawl into her shell and end up settling for something she didn't like, I'd feel terrible.  If she is bursting with ideas, I know she's going to want to talk to someone who will validate her ideas and get excited along with her and share her vision.  If she is so nervous about absolutely everything, then I want to put her in the hands of someone who is comforting and has no problem being patient and understanding and be willing to do a little hand-holding.  Again, I must say that most vendors are passionate about what they do and go out of their way to make a bride feel comfortable, but not all personalities match.

Would I myself ever turn a bride down?  When we first started our business, I will admit that I didn't feel like I could turn anyone away, and it's still difficult at times because I genuinely am a people person.  Just like my Dad!   A bride doesn't want to be treated with disrespect and neither do I.  I used to  reschedule an appointment  when a bride missed her first and second scheduled consultations.  Now I don't.  If a second scheduled initial consultation is missed, I figure that it just isn't meant to be.   I will of course call to make sure she is okay and that nothing happened to her.   I know that my time is valuable and I do not want to risk having this be a pattern for the next year or so.    

Those of us in the wedding profession wouldn't be in it if we didn't absolutely love it.  Sometimes that is the best of it and the worst of it!

Wishing you the Greatest of Days!

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