I receive hundreds of questions from Brides and wedding planners throughout the year. I THOUGHT had heard just about everything .
Today I received a question that made me gasp. No, I mean LITERALLY gasp!
This question came from a fellow wedding planner, but I think it is good for Brides to know the answer as well. So I thought I would share it with you in all it’s glory and give my best “no-holds barred, are you serious, take the high-road”answer. Please feel free to share this with anyone. Hopefully, we can stop this kind of thinking, promote civility and get back to the real reason we are in business – TO SERVE!
Here is the Question:
“Crista, I have been a planner for 4 years now and I love all the information you put out there for us. I know that a lot of planners have problems with booking Brides or with marketing but I have a much different problem.
Every wedding I do I seem to be at war with the vendors. Even though I create the timeline and agenda, they create their own, they don’t return my phone calls and go behind my back and call the client even though they shouldn’t. How do I make it clear to them that I am in charge and they should report to me? I don’t get the respect I deserve and I am getting really frustrated. This happens at every wedding I run. How do I fix this?”
Here is the Answer:
First, I am glad you asked me this question and not someone else because I will to try to answer it gently and not respond with anger.
Second, your question is offensive to any and all professional wedding and event vendors out there; and let me explain why. Most (and I only put most because we all know there are a few vendors out there that are not up to par) of your fellow vendors are extremely good at what they do. In fact, many of them probably have more training, more blood, sweat and tears invested their business than you could ever comprehend. The fact that you expect them to cow tow to you just because you have the title, “Wedding Planner” is not only ridiculous but just plain wrong.
Your issue is not that your vendors don’t respect YOU – it is that you don’t respect your vendors. Look, wedding planners sometimes see themselves at the top of the pyramid, giving orders to the vendors beneath. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Blissfully Simple ™ Planners (and most other professional planners) are taught the “Bottom Up” Philosophy. A good planner is at the bottom holding everyone else up. It is truly a team effort. Your Vendor team (which includes you) needs to be laser focused on helping the client have the best experience possible. There should be no struggle for the top position because there IS NO TOP POSITION.
I highly suggest you change your way of communicating with your fellow professionals. Remember, just because you have given yourself the title, “Wedding Planner” does not automatically mean people will start bowing to you and saying, “Yes Ma’am” to everything you say. In order to gain respect, you must give it. Start fresh and get to know each of them. Do research and see how much they have put into training. Read their stories. They are people just like you are and deserve respect as well.
When I plan weddings I try to get to know the vendors as well as possible. I want them to know that I am there for them in addition to the couple. If a photographer needs help corralling the Bridal party – then I do it. If the caterer needs help busing tables, then I do it. If the DJ needs help setting up, then I do it. Remember that our main goal is to SERVE and this doesn’t stop at the Bride’s feet. Stretch your personal comfort zone and change your attitude. It will do wonders for your business and it always feels better to be nice anyway. Yes, this has been some tough love, but crucial advice if you expect to grow. Good luck & behave!!”
Brides - you need a wedding planner that works well with others. Your vendor team will work tirelessly to make your day everything you imagined.
So what do you think, did I answer it correctly? Did I miss anything? I’d love to hear your responses!