By Shannon Underwood, Wedding MBA
I love my job. Weddings are on my mind when I first wake up in the morning; and I am always jotting down a new idea right before I go to sleep at night. But too much obsessing can cause unnecessary stress and waste your time.
Wedding MBA Alumni listed the following items as the things they know they, “shouldn’t obsess about but they do.???
Problem: When a wedding couple sends 150 emails just on the shade of gold she wants to use. Once the final proposal has been created what amount of changes do you consider typical. How much communication is taking advantage?
Solution: What about one centralized location that all modifications can sit in the cloud; avoiding multiple emails back and forth that can get be miss- interpreted.
Find out what the ‘normal’ amount of diversions from the original proposal are for your specialty. If your communication is much meatier than your competitors ask yourself what you could do differently. Should you be offering a full tasting before you write up their menu? Should you do a venue tour to answer detail questions? Should you send pictures of what your floral bouquet will look like or even create a mock bouquet? Should you offer to learn two custom songs and ask her to pick from a list for the rest?
Problem: When a wedding couple tries to cancel you get sick to your stomach as the adrenaline gets pumping. You think of all the things you have done for the couple and you consider all the weddings you have turned down. Then you feel the need to judge which reasons are worthy of cancelling. A series of questions run through your mind.
- Did they really call off the wedding?
- Did they pick someone that offered a better price than you?
- Is 6 months really enough notice?
- What if you turned down five weddings for that Saturday and the next big bridal show that gets you the majority of your bookings isn’t until next year?
STOP! The reason for cancelling doesn’t matter. The terms of your contract have not changed. You are running a business not a self-help clinic. It is not your job to determine what reasons are worthy of you refunding her money.
Solution: You can offer her a credit for her next birthday party, her parent’s anniversary gathering, or for when she does get married. Be flexible about how she can use the credit but be bold and enforce the entire written amount that is due.
I urge you to put your family, your bills and your business first. If you cave on cancellations you won’t be in business long enough to service the clients that book you 18-24 months out.
Problem: She gives you an unfavorable review but you don’t even remember meeting with her. You know she didn’t book with you but now you have a bad review that cannot be erased.
Solution: Be proactive offer an incentive to those that will fill out positive reviews for you. What is a positive review on Yelp, The Knot or Wedding Wire worth? Other wedding professionals have found that a $25 Starbucks card is enough to take the newlywed away from their busy schedule and write the positive review that they would have anyways but never found the time for. Negative reviews are fueled by anger and the feeling of something being unjust positive reviews often just don’t happen because the wedding is over and the couple is happy. They feel like they paid you for your work and that should be enough. Give them a bonus and motivate them to fill out your survey, or post that review.
In the wedding industry, we approach our jobs with the passion gives us the energy to do the same thing every weekend for a different couple. Knowing the difference between a big problem (canceling the wedding) and a small problem (she decided she doesn’t like the table runners) can help you to eliminate your need to obsess about the small stuff.