Heather’s 6 Steps to Less Stressed Wedding Clients (Part 1)
This month, our QC Event School tutor, Heather Vickery, provides her expert tips on how to keep clients happy and stress-free. Heather is the Owner and Event Director of Greatest Expectations Special Events and Weddings, one of Chicago’s most celebrated event planning and design firms.
Wedding planning can be an extremely stressful time for some (ok, many) people. For whatever reason, family tensions seem to soar and clients often feel as if they are struggling to meet everyone else’s expectations. For this reason, many brides and grooms feel their wedding planning is out of control. When someone feels out of control, their natural instinct is to grip tighter, to be louder, to push harder. You see where this is going, right? When we follow those instincts, we push people even further away and things get even more stressful.
This is one of the reasons wedding planners are so valuable. As a professional, you are in a unique position to help ease this stress and tension for clients. It also, sometimes, means you serve as a mediator for family interactions and as the “expert” on things that your clients and their parents may not agree on. I urge you to take this power seriously and wield it wisely.
Below are six steps that, when implemented, ease client stress and tension, instill confidence in you (the planner) and make the entire wedding planning process one that is fun and enjoyable for all involved.
Know what you are talking about
I recognize this should go without saying, but know what you are talking about! If you are going to sell yourself as the expert — you better actually be an expert. Make sure you are constantly learning and growing. Make sure you are up to par on industry standards and knowledge. Once you have finished your QC event planning courses, don’t make the mistake of thinking you have learned it all and are ready to hit the road. Being a good event and wedding planner means always setting time aside to stay on top of the industry.
One way to remain knowledgeable is joining an event-specific group like ABC, WIPA or ILEA. Going to industry educational events and networking conferences is also key. Put yourself out there, talk to people and know that they have information to share with you that will make you better at your job. This leads to more clients, more income and a solid reputation in your local wedding industry.
Remember who your clients are
This may sound silly but your clients are the ones getting married. Even if their parents are footing the bill, they are not the client. Your goal should always be to help your brides and grooms get the wedding day of their dreams. This does not mean you should ignore parents and others who are financially contributing. You should always be respectful to others involved in the wedding planning, but your main concern should be the happiness and well-being of your clients.
So, why does this matter? It matters because when your clients know you have their back when they know that you are taking their wants and desires to heart and putting their needs first, they are able to relax. When you have relaxed clients, family tensions ease and the process is smoother for all involved – even you!
The challenge in this is ensuring that all players feel heard and valued. Your job, as the wedding planner, is so much more than logistics and event planning. That is why the remaining four steps are so crucial.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of Heather’s tips, coming next week!