vintage bride with garter belt

(Image via Infrogmation)


I try to do everything I possibly can to accommodate prospective clients. However, sometimes, this can backfire. Some of the couples who interview me about designing their weddings, on occasion, have “played” me against other wedding designers. I refer to these difficult situations as “Professional Wedding Doubts.”

Here’s an example of a conversation I’ve had many times with prospective clients.

A bride will say something like: “Preston, I love your work, but I’m not quite ready to sign. Can you show me an example of what I’ll be getting if I hire you?”

And I respond: “With all due respect, my designs and ideas are exactly what I’m selling you. It doesn’t make sense for me to create designs for you before I have the job.”

And then the bride will say: “I don’t think what I’m asking is unreasonable. I interviewed another designer who was happy to help me make up my mind by designing a sample table setting.”

So then I try to find a compromise and say: “I’ll design a sample for you, but you’ll need to pay me for my time and materials.”

And the bride will come back with: “I don’t see why I should do that when the other designer was willing to do it for free.”

Now, at this point, I have three choices:

1. If this is a really big wedding, I could decide it’s a risk I’m willing to take. In which case, I’ll go ahead and invest my time and money in order to give the bride a full presentation.

2. I might take a smaller risk and create a story board of ideas and concepts for the bride. This way my only investment is my time and not a lot of expensive materials.

3. Or, I could simply tell the bride no.

Dear Readers, if you were in this position, what would you do? I often wish we ALL took the exact same position with our clients, so that they couldn’t play us against each other. What are your thoughts?

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