Planners this is a very sensitive subject. I’m sure many of you keep hush hush about it because you don’t want to offend the couple and their families, not to mention how embarrassing a situation like this might be. In my opinion, I think this should be out in the open. This post was prompted by a cry for help from an up and coming planner who trusted me with a very offensive mishap that occurred during one of her weddings. She was sexually harassed by one of the groomsmen! I was appalled by her story and it truly made me think long and hard before I gave her some advice.
As planners we see it all. We are there to experience the heartbreak of a bride that doesn’t get along with the groom’s mom, the maid of honor who steals the spotlight, and even the pent up emotions that suddenly come to surface on that day. We really do experience everything, the good and the bad.
However, we must remember that wherever the wedding takes place, or wherever you are dealing with your client and their family, is considered your work workplace. You have the right to protect yourself, even if it’s in their home or any locations outside of your office. There isn’t much that you can do to avoid it but you sure can implement a plan of action:
Think ahead about possible steps to take in the event that this happens to you:
You may want to outline or disclose your standard operating procedures when contracted. If you are the business owner, you may want to outline your plan of action in your agreement. Let your bride and groom know what your position is regarding this subject.
A few suggested steps:
Advise the offender of their misconduct when it happens the first time. Doing this may stop it from happening again over the course of the night. Always stand your ground and voice your disapproval.
Let your bride and groom know when the incident occurs. Perhaps they can intervene on your behalf.
Tell someone else, perhaps a manager at the venue. It’s always good to let others know of the situation just in case it escalates.
Please know that you do not have to stand for inappropriate behavior. There are laws that protect you. We all want to provide our clients with an unforgettable experience and at times go way beyond the call of duty, but there is no need to pay such a high price. Always keep your head up high and morals intact.
Readers: Do you agree with my advice? How would you handle harassment in this industry?
With a happy heart,
Kathy Romero is the Director of Wedding Planning For Preston Bailey Designs. She shares her thoughts and advice on Preston’s Blog every Thursday.
(Photo Courtesy Kismis Ink)