Don’t be Afraid of Bridezilla: Tips for a Career in Event Planning
Over the course of your career in event planning, you’ll encounter many fantastic clients who still send engaged couples your way. But sometimes you won’t be so lucky. You’ll work with the dreaded “bridezilla” at one point or other. They aren’t all going to be villainous beasts—there’s a spectrum! But when a client is unreasonable, unfair, and rude, you’re in for some trouble. You’ll need to know exactly how to deal with them, and we’re here to help!
Before we begin, I want to mention that this “-zilla” title doesn’t just belong to brides. I’m looking at you, groomzillas/groomonsters! And sometimes, if the parents are involved, you might have some momzillas and dadzillas! Weddings are such a stressful time. Virtually anyone directly involved in the planning or financing of the wedding can snap! Think you might have a bridezilla on your hands? Don’t fret! Read on for our tips on dealing with a bridezilla!
Most tantrums stem from the stress of not having control. Be upfront and highly communicative about all your steps and plans. When you’re thorough in discussing what she wants, possible options, and anything related to the budget. But always keep the big picture in mind. Remind the bride that some issues and decisions are bigger than others. Just because you’re bringing little details to her attention doesn’t mean that all decisions carry equal weight. A lack of clear perspective is what awakens the beast! Use your professional skills to make recommendations and suggestions along with local explanations behind choices. We guarantee she’ll appreciate the effort.
Be a Listener
Was the bride completely collected, organized, and easy to work with before a dramatic outburst? It happens to the best of us! If this isn’t a pattern of behavior, it’s worth your while to spend some time listening to her. Being a shoulder to rest on is part of the job. While it’s possible that some of the problems she swears are deal breakers might be non-issues, she may bring up some good points. Especially if a last minute emergency happens and she’s overwhelmed. Once you’ve planned enough weddings, you’ll learn to recognize the difference between a high-strung yet reasonable bride from the bridezillas truly deserving of the title.
Draw the line if she all she wants to do during a session is to vent. You’re there to offer professional services, and you have other clients to worry about! That being said, you should be kind to her. In the months leading up to the wedding, the bride will be facing stress from all directions. Especially when deadlines loom, she may feel uncertainty towards her decisions. When you’re calm, sympathetic, and empathetic, your job will be much easier. Especially since you’re not as personally invested as her, you’ll have a clear head when talking things over with her. She’ll also trust your opinion and any gestures of comfort since you’re a skilled professional.
Remind her that these are just details
You have to be the straight-woman here. Let her know that at the end of the day, she’s celebrating getting married to her best friend. Whether or not the table runner matches with the napkins doesn’t matter in the bigger picture. And it’s definitely not worth capsizing friendships and hurting the feelings of people who love her most! If she’s obsessing about every little detail, it’ll be worth your while to use your knowledge to narrow down options for her even more. Be more firm with your recommendations, but don’t blindside her. If you present yourself as being open to communicate at every turn, she’ll trust you more and loosen her grip on the reins.
Stand up for yourself
Once in a blue moon, you’ll encounter an abusive bride. We’re not going to say to just take the abuse! It may happen more than a comfortable amount, but you’re not a punching bag. Don’t try to tip-toe around her. Let her know that you’re a professional and you’re there to help them, but you’re a person, too. Don’t enable her inappropriate behavior. You may have to excuse yourself until she calms down. If she’s just overwhelmed by everything on her plate, detail everything that’s been accomplished since your last meet-up. Once she has a good idea of what’s been crossed off the list, a weight will be lifted off her shoulders.
And if she threatens to fire you? Make sure that you have iron-clad contracts to begin with! If she terminates your agreement, it’s within your right to get paid for everything you’ve already done for her!
Warn your vendors
You’ve probably spent a lot of time building your friendships with your favorite vendors. And if you just passively pass on unreasonable requests to your vendors, and won’t accept negotiations in fear of losing your client, it won’t end well. It’s not worth having a client destroy your professional working relationships. Let the vendors know ahead of a potentially turbulent meeting. Then when she goes to meet with vendors, go with her. You’ll be the middleman and diffuse any potentially destructive arguments. Make sure that you always have a contingency plan if something doesn’t work out!
What to do with a hysterical bride:
You may have to phone in reinforcements. You can 100% provide objective and ultimately the best advice as a third party, but your logical tactics might not work in all cases. You may have to confer with the groom, the bride’s mother, or a member of the wedding party. It’s up to your discretion. They’ll know her best. They know what riles her up and what calms her down. When in doubt, consult the experts!
Got any other tips on dealing with bridezilla? Let us know!