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    Monday
    Jul302012

    Bride + Planner = BFF?

    Because Bitchless Bride received several well thought out and in depth comments about our “She’s Always a ‘Lady’ to Me” post, I thought I would respond with a few simple rules based on these amazing comments from the assigned wedding planners, vendors and brides.

    Please note, when BB refers to the “assigned wedding planners” I am speaking of the hard working, often underpaid employees assigned by the venue to help you plan your wedding. This is NOT the person you, as the bride, hire as an outside consultant to assist you with all of the other details (aka: wedding planner).

    In a nutshell, after the bride meets with a sales manager who is responsible for “selling” the space, and signs an agreement solidifying the wedding date at the venue the file gets turned over to these assigned planners. This person is an employee where your wedding is taking place. They get paid by the venue, and will hopefully receive a big tip from you.

    A few tips for both sides:

    1. Lady “V” mentioned that, “All I am simply saying is there is a line... that is crossed constantly.” And I have to agree with the Lady… I’ve been there, and while those of us working at a fancy venue have a deep passion for planning and wouldn’t have been considered for this high-end job if not, sometimes the other shit gets in the way.

    I understand that it is a very fine line between having a connection with your assigned planner and over-sharing. So here’s a quick easy rule… Tell us everything that you want to make your wedding day special, but please don’t tell us how embarrassing it was when you left your panties sunny-side up and your fiancé saw that big period stain (ewwwww!!! True story… verbiage and all). Because THAT bridey, is crossing the line.

    2. Heather from Greatest Expectations commented that, “You don't get to pick the clients, and they don't get to pick you. Customer service is important, the clients need to feel special, and the sales manager should be allowed to do their job without having to be a therapist.”

    This is true in any business. We don’t always like the people we encounter and work with, but we dig deep, fake it until we make it, and offer the best service possible. Or we should anyway… It’s not easy, and brideys sometimes it’s YOU who doesn’t feel the love for your assigned planner (see The Problem Planner post), and if this is the case, it is okay for you to speak up and ask to work with somebody else. Just know the difference between the not feeling the warm fuzzies and a competent planner.

    3. Chandra from Oh Lovely Day said, “…when you choose to work in the wedding industry, you have to know you're going to be dealing with some crazy brides. While that behavior is in NO way excusable, when a bride pays a lot of money to a venue or vendor they do want a connection and want to feel special. And if a venue or vendor can't make them feel that way (whether they are or not) then maybe they aren't doing a good job.” Sadly, Chandra is correct. There are some bad planners who may have slipped through the cracks and got hired at a luxury property because they knew the right people. And that sucks. Not everybody can be like BB… JUST KIDDING! But seriously, brides and their families DO pay a lot of money at these venues, and no matter what, amazing service is part of the package. So, brideys if you’re not receiving, do something about it!

    4. Lady “D” said, “I am cheering for you, for Lady "V" and this post. Of course, I am cheering in private as I hide behind the protection of my black suit and luxury hotel. I work at a fancy venue, and I cannot believe the stuff that comes out of these brides' mouths.”

    Brideys please understand that this is not an attack. But more of an education (like everything on my blog)… This poor girl wearing her fancy suit is way too polite to tell you when you’ve crossed the line (not too mention that would be considered terrible customer service). But, you will know when you have crossed the threshold between appropriate and inappropriate when you get a soft laugh and a subject change.

    Whether you are the assigned planner or the bride, know your audience. Bridey, your planner could be a rock star at her job, but lack the connection you want or she could just be plain rude. It’s okay to ask to work with somebody else. And planners dig deep. You know that if you change the subject enough times, the bride will get the idea that she is out of line, but remember it is up to you to provide the incredible service she is paying for…

    Everybody cool?

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    Reader Comments (4)

    Ah geez... I am uncertain how to keep this response to a minimum... I give up...

    To address the first topic, a point made by item number 3 above; I totally disagree that "when you choose to work in the wedding industry, you have to know you're going to be dealing with some crazy brides."- I NEVER ever in all my life thought I would have to deal with all the secrets, drama, and heartbreak I've experienced in this industry (or in my former Fortune 500 corporate-trainer life for that matter), the fact of the matter is that the stuff we deal with is insane and nobody believes it until they experience it. To say that you know about it when you get into it is a castle in the sky farce... No employee manual of any award-winning, customer-service-based company will have the answers on how to deal with the crap we deal with on a daily basis. We are making it up as we go (loosely) based on that lost golden rule... How would I want to be treated? and How did I deal with a remotely similar experience last time?

    Second topic, if any of you have not realized that it IS all about who you know first and how hard you work second... then I should not tell you that Santa Claus is actually just the fat old perv next door (aka, not real). You will have some terrible people working in positions that do not suit them because of who they know, date, gave birth to them, whatever... if you don't like them, then ask for another person to be your venue rep because...
    A) You will hopefully be making a stride toward quality control at the venue (nobody notices that sally the rep is useless until someone else mentions it).
    B) You simply do not have to put up with crappy customer service.
    C) Hopefully, if you are any rendition of a "zilla" (mom, groom, bride, bridesmaid), and the second rep is exactly like the first rep, then you'll be forced to look in a mirror and notice who the problem actually is... and maybe, just maybe, I hope you can look far enough into your pores to see why it is that you and your wedding planning insanity is the problem and needs to simmer down.

    My last comment based on the first part of this quote: "Bridey, your planner could be a rock star at her job, but lack the connection you want or she could just be plain rude" - Assuming that your rep is in fact good at her job but does not connect with you, GET OVER IT. She's doing her job well and helping you with this milestone of a day...do you give a shit about her on a personal level? her life? her problems? Friendships are based on a relationship of mutual respect, love, and nurturing (this is why you're marrying your best friend right??)... if you aren't giving it up for your venue rep and feel disconnected, then start giving her respect, love, and nurture her like you would anyone else that does give you the warm fuzzies. Stay objective here ladies & gents... it isn't a personal, you are the way he or she makes a living to take care of the people who do in fact give him or her mutual respect, love, and nurture.

    July 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBrenda Swann

    One last note, don't hold your event in a place that has notorious bad service just because it is cheap and because you think you are "special" and they won't treat you that way. There are MANY venues, like here in San Diego, where you are in fact nothing but a number... and no matter what you do, it will never change. So do yourself and your vendors a favor... pick another venue!

    July 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBrenda Swann

    Hey B!

    Totally in love with your responses... I don't know where to begin (which is an absolute first for me!)!

    1. You are completely right regarding the secrets... secrets about who's paying for what, who fucked whom, the drunk BIL, the pregnant but not showing sister who's 19 and not in a relationship (oh and please don't tell my parents by accident!)... I mean... WHAT THE FUCK? This is not confession... I am a fucking planner, not your shrink, not your "Father" and not even your friend.

    2. GREAT point about calling out the slacker at the venue who should have been fired forever ago, but because of their connections, have continued to hold and suck at their job.

    3. And I can tell you right now that most brides don't give a shit about their assigned planners. They PRETEND to, but they don't. That's why most planners don't stay friends with their brides after the fact because once the wedding has come and gone, you realize that the ONLY thing you had in common was THEIR wedding...

    Anyway, I could go on and on, but the most important lesson from this post is basic respect for the planner and "the industry"...

    XO,
    BB

    July 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBitchless Bride

    Basic Respect...

    Now there's a novel idea... how about we practice it in GENERAL through life and all the people who come in and out of ours... and not just pigeon hole it into being a client v. wedding industry battle....

    To go along with all of this though, I think it is important to note that the bride doesn't have to care about their planner or venue rep... nobody is asking her to by any means... quite frankly, I'd like it more if you didn't pretend to care about me, because then, I feel like a failure of a person when you aren't in fact my friend after the wedding...

    SO, let it be knowns to brideys & grooms alike, that YOU DONT HAVE TO BE BFFs with your wedding planner (during or post wedding) it is OK not to be, nobody is hurt or crying in a corner... ALL <-- (how do I bold, I hate using caps! LOL)... ALL things in life are transitional, let them bask in their glory for the time that they are and do not swaddle in sadness when they are over. Nothing is forever.

    July 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBrenda Swann

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