creating happy brides and happy weddings

(Image via Brent Gambrell)

What’s the easiest way to keep brides and other clients happy? Give them great service, talent, and care. Sounds pretty simple, right? Unfortunately, it’s not. The biggest issue is how you relate to each other. Let’s face it. Most brides and clients choose their wedding and event vendors because they like them. If they feel a connection to you, they will trust that you’ll do a great job. I am fortunate to have a strong record of happy brides and clients. However, I’ve also had a few not-so-happy ones. Yes, I know, no one wants to talk about the unhappy clients. However, if you want to prevent future unhappy clients you have to acknowledge and think about those past unhappy individuals.

There are three big scenarios that are likely to make a bride or client unhappy:

1. Money. It’s very rare that I meet with a client who truly understands what things cost. Sometimes, I’ll have a fantastic connection with a new client, but then watch it crash and burn when the conversation turns to the wedding or event budget.

Lesson Learned: Have the necessary money talk sooner than later. Educate your client on the value of your services. You never want a client to feel like he or she is being ripped off.

2. Expectations. Remember that clients always want the very best for their guests regardless of their budgets and circumstances.

Lesson Learned: It’s essential to consistently remind your brides and other clients what’s possible and what’s impossible; just be sure to do so very gently. For example, if you’ve been hired to do an outdoor wedding, there’s always a chance the weather will not cooperate, and the event will have to be tented or moved inside. Don’t set your brides and clients up to expect sunshine; you can’t guarantee that. Prepare them for the possibility of cloudy skies and rain. Reassure them that you have the necessary backup plan in place should a storm roll in.

3. Promises. Yes, folks, it’s true: I tend to get extremely exited about the wedding and events I do. Most of the time this is a good thing. However, sometimes it gets me in trouble, because I start making promises that I may or may not be able to keep. When this backfires it often means the loss of time and money.

Lesson Learned: Never make a promise before pricing it out very carefully and knowing exactly how much time and energy will be required.

Even if we’re loathe to admit it, once in a while, we are going to have unhappy brides and clients. That’s just the way it goes. So you need to learn how to do damage control.

Now a few questions for you, do you have the courage to share an experience you’ve had with an unhappy client? What did you learn? And, on the flip side, have you ever been unhappy as a client yourself? Tell me about it in the comments!