An open letter to frazzled couples
Nóbl works hard to make sure our couples feel like their wedding is the only one we’re handling at any given moment. Through open communication I let them know they are heard and cared for. But I don’t serve my clients alone, it takes a large vendor team that shares the same mutual love of service.
So in light of the current predicament, I’m being extremely transparent with my couples. “Surprise! You’re not the only ones I’m dealing with.” I remind them that every couple has personal circumstances, some worse than others, but none the less, just as important. Being open at this stressful time helped me realize how blessed I am with the couples I have. They’ve been understanding, compassionate and caring. Not only to me as a person, or Nóbl as a business but to each other as #noblcouples.
Your Vendor Team’s Point of View:
There are couples feeling extremely frustrated and cheated right now. Rightfully so. What’s happening is not fair, and certainly not their fault. So much money has been spent; so much time seemingly wasted, and their dream day “ruined” by these unforeseen conditions. This has caused tensions between couples and their vendor team.
With that being said, I want to draw back the curtains and be real right now. The virus has created a huge financial crisis for all of us, pulling the event industry to an utter halt.
Staff are laid off. Hours cut for those still employed. Cash flow rapidly declining with every cancelled or postponed wedding. There is nothing the wedding industry can do. The impact on the industry is intense. No matter how much we want to give services away for free, we simply cannot.
The Reality For Most Of Your Vendor Team’s Businesses
Your venue, florist, photographer, piano player, etc. – are not just service providers you’re paying, they are also people in the same boat as you. Try to remember, most companies, even if they have a team, are small mom and pop businesses. Right now they are thinking of ways to keep their business afloat so they can put food on the table for their families, literally in some cases. That being said, we understand this situation is no one’s fault and we have to make concessions. So, where possible, we will help finically. How? By waiving postponement or rescheduling fees, offer extra services and additional attention at no extra cost. We believe, especially at this time, you deserve to be taken care of. In return, we ask for your understanding, patience and flexibility.
Tips On Being Kind To Your Vendor Team:
Understand and consider the following when you deal with your vendors:
- Postpone, don’t cancel. Your wedding can be salvaged. If you’re looking for steps to postpone click here.
- There may be a limited number of times you can postpone. After that, extra fees may be charged. Consider the amount of time each postponement takes, before feeling resentful of this extra charge.
- If your vendor/venue is not available on the new date requested, be flexible. There are thousands of couples looking to reschedule. Finding a new date needs flexibility and understanding.
- Patiently wait for your venue or vendor to get back to you. Venue event managers may be laid off or working only a couple of days a week, or a couple of hours a day.
Remember When Dealing With Your Vendor Team:
- Many companies are now understaffed and only have limited time to respond to emails. I promise they’re not ignoring you. You are a priority. The fact is, so are all the unprecedented number of couples calling or emailing.
- This one is sometimes hard to do, especially if your finances are tight, but please, respect No-Refund Policies. Your venue or vendor is not trying to be unfair or greedy. A ton of prep-work, including staffing, is constantly going on behind the scenes to make your wedding day perfect. Monies paid have either already been spent on that process, or literally go to keeping on the lights.
- Your vendors are in the industry because they genuinely want to help couples have the best wedding ever. Screwing you over is not their goal and is plainly not in their best interest.
- Contracts were written, processes put in place and staff hired in a virus-free world. Vendor teams are trying to figure out and navigate a world with COVID-19 with the same knowledge you may have: none.
Your Vendor Team Appreciate your Reviews
Your words matter. Use them wisely. Only use harsh words when the situation truly warrants it. Before you leave a bad review – remember most vendors work extremely hard to build a strong reputation. There is a reason for clauses in contracts including the non-refundable clause(s). Not getting a refund should not be a reason to leave a scathing review on Wedding Wire or The Knot.
Be Kind To Your Vendor Team
Some venues and vendors may truly not be the kindest right now; remember, they are the exception, not the rule. My request is that you not be a “right fighter” who looks for injustice everywhere. Trust your instincts, think things through and never act in anger. If you’re courteous to someone, you will actually find a more willing soul, who will go above and beyond for you.
As a planner, it’s my job to advocate for my couples, making sure they get the best from everyone they hire. However, especially now, I must also be an advocate for my fellow vendors, for without them there are no exceptional weddings and events.
So please, be kind to your vendor team.
I had the absolute pleasure of being able to speak with some of my colleagues in the wedding industry who are in the unique position of also having been engaged and planning their own 2020 weddings. They have personally gone through the process of postponing their weddings, and all of the work that goes into that. You can watch out girls chat on our new Nóbl Youtube channel:
“Be Kind to Your Vendor Team”, Kirsten Rezek, “Nóbl Essentials”, Copyright ©2020, Nóbl Events, Nóbl Journal