Dear Preston: How Do I Tell A Designer That I Can’t Work With His Assistant?



Dear Preston:

I absolutely love my designer, but his assistant is awful. Not only is she rude and unorganized, but she is must completely unreliable. I really value my lead designer, but his assistant is making everything twice as hard as it needs to be. I don’t want to make waves, but I’m at my wits end. I am paying a lot of money for their services and feel I am working for myself!

How should I approach this?

Bewildered Bride 

Dear BB:

I am so glad you asked the question “how should I approach this” because you absolutely should. Let me be the first to say that it is within your rights to “make waves” if you are a paying client and not receiving the service you deserve.

As a business owner, service is everything to me. It’s not only how we attract clients, but how we keep them. Personally, it’s a matter of value to me. I truly believe that we are only as good as the service we provide.

BB, there are two ways you can handle this. The first is to go directly to the designer and share your concerns and let him handle it. The second is to suggest a meeting with both the designer and his assistant and share your concerns in a way that takes into account this assistant may be new or in need of this kind of feedback and not attempting to be malicious or lazy. This, of course, would be an act of generosity on your part.

Regardless of how you choose up approach it, I would suggest that you have specific examples and share your expectations moving forward. I wholeheartedly believe in being open and honest and I have an open door policy when it comes to hearing concerns, both from my clients and staff members. Staying silent only leads to resentment and miscommunication, and worse, problems fester and become larger.

At the end of the day, you are paying for high level, attentive and organized service that makes planning your wedding fun and not stressful. I am sure the designer will hear what you are saying and turn things around quickly.

Readers: have you ever dealt with something like this? How would you handle it?