In the wedding industry, some days are more difficult than others. We get through the rough bits, but sometimes it helps to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. This week, our Regional Sales Manager in the UK, Tanya fills us in on why it’s so important to think like the couple…
Ok Wedding Coordinators, we’ve all been there. Feeling your heart sink as you walk over to your showround and discover she’s brought the entire entourage. Yup, all four parents, formidable Aunty Sharon, three bridesmaids (don’t worry, you’ll meet the other four later), a friend who “wants to get into wedding planning” and a crying baby.
You ask if the Groom is here and Aunty Sharon promptly snaps, “no, he’s at work, we’ll have to come back with him one night next week!”
Two hours later (headache kicking in) you’ve answered every question several times, half of which were irrelevant. You’ve been talked over and contradicted by Aunty Sharon. Dad has pressed you several times for a discount. There were four arguments within the ranks. Mum got ahead of herself and announced she’s making the wedding cake. The Bride barely said a word. There could be three more appointments like this before the wedding is booked.
Now, let me get something straight. I LOVE being a Wedding Coordinator and I think it’s an honour to meet my couples and their families, but let me tell you what’s wrong with this scenario.
When choosing your wedding venue there is a balancing act between head and heart. Here, we have a lot of people with strong opinions making it about themselves. I firmly advocate the couple visits the venue together first, and then invite ‘the committee’ once they firmly know their own mind. And, with my extensive knowledge of weddings at my venue, I am best placed to advise and guide the couple – not Aunty Sharon!
However… I read today that just 7% of people trust a car salesman and only 14% of people trust an estate agent. Look, I know our industry is quite different, but consumers are (quite understandably) very wary when purchasing a big-ticket item. Buying a car, a new home, booking your wedding – it’s all the same process. It’s scary. It’s confusing. It’s high risk. Heck, half the time I can’t even choose what to have in Starbucks! And, with more and more venues to choose from and couples bombarded with images day and night, it’s a very confusing marketplace.
Sometimes it’s hard for us to imagine what a Bride or Groom feels like because with our industry knowledge we may never be a typical Bride or Groom – we know too much!
Ok, so let’s try something else…
Imagine you’re setting out to buy a brand new car! A big ticket, once-in-a-lifetime purchase. You’re about the blow every penny that you have (and some that you don’t).
Everyone has an opinion on what you should buy. You’re inundated with advice (some solicited but most of it not) and bombarded by images. People feel part of your decision, even if they aren’t. You might feel intimidated walking into a fancy show-room, you have no idea what the experts are talking about. You’re afraid to ask for prices in case you can’t afford it. You didn’t feel empowered as a consumer. So, what do you do?
You take Mum for support (even if she drives you mad). You take Aunty Sharon because she isn’t afraid to ask awkward questions. You take Dad because you’ll be embarrassed when he asks for a discount, but glad that he did if they agree to it. You research what questions to ask online, even if you don’t know what they mean. You think about your decision and return the following week.
Before you know it you’ve driven the salesman mad and he’s met the entire family, your Dad has asked him for a discount, Aunty Sharon asked for free alloys. He mutters to his colleague, “why do they insist on bringing the whole family every time?!” – well, just imagine you’re trying to book a wedding mate! What would you do?