As a wedding planner, I got to work with tons of different vendors. Some were good, some were not. While I determined my own opinion on one set of standards, brides have another criteria. Today, I want to share with you what wedding planners AND brides are looking for in hopes that will be help you grow your business and give the best experience for your clients.
Brides want you to understand their vision. In my experience, these are the florists they hire. If you have a hard time listening and understanding what a bride is looking for, you may meet with lots of brides but fail to book them.
Planners want you to be upfront about what they can expect on the wedding day. If their favorite flower has a slim to none chance of being available, TELL THEM.
Tip: Make the presentation nice for the bouquets and bouts for photos.
Brides want to make a connection. They want to feel comfortable with you, because people don’t always feel comfortable in front of a camera. This trumps price in their mind most times.
Planners want you to be assertive and help keep everything on pace. If you’re shy, hiring an assistant that can wrangle a crowd for photos would be very helpful. There is a fine line though between trying to keep a good pace and being a drill sergeant. It’s still their wedding day! Keep it fun!!
Tip: Capture photos behind the scenes. As a planner, it was always nice to see these, even if I looked insanely rough from a day of sweating. I’ve used them in blog posts and simply have a reminder of a particular wedding and couple, too. Also, your bride can get a peek into all the incredible work that went into making their day special.
Brides want something that tastes good. This surpasses an insane design. HOWEVER, they still want it to look good. : )
Planners want it to arrive in a timely manner. Sometimes other setup needs to take place after the cake arrives and arriving late can complicate the schedule.
Tip: Leave a sheet with the layer flavors. I would always cut the cake and many times knew the flavor but not always, if it was a day of. When I would serve the cake, I hated not being able to say the flavor!
Brides want to cry when they see your videos of perfect strangers. It means you’ve captured them. They want you to capture amazing moments as they happen but don’t want to feel like they are on a reality show.
Planners want you to work well with the photographer. Nothing is worse than a videographer in your photographer’s shot of the first dance and vice versa.
Tip: Make sure you know and follow the rules if it’s in a church.
Brides want options. They want you to tell them you can do what they have dreamed up in their pinterest board.
Planners want you to actually be able to do what you say you will do. Promising things doesn’t work if you can’t deliver, especially if you don’t make it known till the day of. Even if there are complications, being quick to fix them on the wedding day will go a long way.
Tip: Send the quote as quickly as possible. Rentals are one of the toughest aspects of planning because there are so many details and they can change and be revised a million times. Consolidating the timeframe before everyone forgets details helps.
Brides want you to play music. They don’t want you to spend half their reception talking or telling funny stories that people don’t get, especially if you mumble and no one can understand it anyway. This doesn’t mean you don’t need to keep the crowd hyped but typically, long lulls of talking are more for ego than crowd hyping.
Planners want you to have a copy of all the songs the bride worked hard to put together…and pronounce their names correctly.
Tip: Get with the planner before all the announcements begin to get the pronunciations if you are unsure.
Brides want the food to tastes good. They love to have the option to customize things tailored to them. They love the idea of you creating something special for them.
Planners love not have to worry about your setup and cleanup. Keep your stations clean and dishes filled. Take out the trash at the end of the night and they will be happy.
Tip: Making sure the vendors are well-fed can go a long way. When you are nice to the vendors as well as the bride, it signals a quality company that doesn’t just put a good face on for the one footing the bill. We had a wedding day that started at 8 AM and by 8 PM I had been setting up all day and had only eaten two chicken fingers. I was not so nicely told I’d need to wait a few hours to eat. The window of time for your planner, photographer and videographer is short. We ended up getting food about two minutes before we had to start working again. I inhaled what I could to keep going until 2 AM.
Brides want good bones. They don’t want to paint lipgloss on a pig. They also don’t want to be nickeled and dimed. If they are spending thousands of dollars and you want to charge them $20 for an added service, this can seem petty. Having a la carte services is fine, just make sure they aren’t things that all venues typically offer as part of their package.
Planners want good bones, as well as pretty vignettes. What is behind the cake table? How will guests enter? Is there a perfect spot for the first look?
Tip: Work TOGETHER with the planner. Each person should feel a weight lifted by the other person’s involvement.
Brides want you to return their calls. They want to not feel like a number. It’s so important to remember this is their wedding day, not just another job.
Planners want you to give them the benefit of the doubt before passing judgment. We had a wedding where the venue assumed we were liars and thieves. I’m not exaggerating. They accused the groom of lying to them. They didn’t allow us a place to put our purses because they didn’t want us in and out of their extra empty office. They told the videographer to leave their expensive equipment in the kitchen. I assume they had a very bad experience with a vendor, unfortunately, that wasn’t me.
If you are a vendor who has been burnt before by a bad wedding planner, how should you handle future planners? Chat with them before having a wedding with them. If you recall what things went bad with past planners, ask them how they would handle different situations. Do this in a non-defensive way to simply find out how they work and if you’d be a good fit. A good working relationship with planners can be incredibly beneficial both in bringing you clients as well as their involvement making your job easier.
Brides and planners, do y’all have any other tips to share that could help wedding vendors serve their clients well?