You’re so excited. The question was popped, the answer was yes, and now you’re on the whirlwind ride that we call engagement.
You’re overwhelmed. Opinions from all angles are swirling around as you start to climb the mountain of decision-making known as wedding planning.
You’re resolute. You know exactly what you want your big day to be like, and all you need is for everything to be perfectly as you designed.
However you’re approaching your matrimonial celebration, allow me to let you in on a little trade secret. Your vendors — those you hire for the goods and services associated with your event (florist, photographer, cake baker, etc.) — are human beings. I know, I know — it sounds obvious, right? But you’d be flabbergasted at the countless, true stories that would provide substantial evidence to support how often that fact is forgotten.
That’s not to say that all brides, grooms, or their families behave in ways that seem dismissive of the lives of their trusted vendors (far from it), but it happens often enough that I have to wonder how many people outside of the event business are aware of the way their words or actions come across.
For example, I recently heard about a wedding vendor who had an extremely ill child, which set this vendor back on the designated timeline, although not to any real detriment of the services provided; the couple demanded a full refund, and when the vendor gave the very good reason for the slight scheduling setback, the couple’s reaction was not one of compassion but, “that’s not our problem.”
Not all such tales are quite as horrifyingly unfeeling. Most could be characterized as simply inconsiderate.
Another story I’ve heard goes like this: one of the vendors of an upcoming wedding had a parent pass away, to which the mother of the bride responded, “well you’re still going to be doing this wedding, right?!” The implications being, of course, that vendors aren’t allowed to deal with their own lives like the rest of the world, and that they’re somehow in danger of forgetting their work obligations.
Regardless of what life throws their way, all that anyone hired to shoot your video or plan your day or arrange your flowers wants to do is put forth their best work. Their name is on it. It will represent them in the future. They will do everything in their power to give you everything designated in their agreement with you, and then some. I also don’t know of any vendors worth their salt who would enter into a contract if they weren’t able to fulfill it to the best of their abilities, no matter what’s going on.
The most classic case of ignorant behavior towards hard-working vendors is — you guessed it — pregnancy. A female vendor “with child” can expect (no pun intended) to be on the receiving end of countless comments relating her gestation once the bump is no longer hide-able. And, yes, I know vendors who will go to great lengths to hide their pregnancy for as long as possible for this very reason. Some comments are intended to be jokey, while others are just downright impertinent and rude. In any case, it’s clear that the old common sense rule of “think before you speak” is woefully absent from the minds of many.
Not too long ago there was a vendor that I know who told me that instead of being congratulated on her soon-to-be motherhood, a family member of a wedding in May said, with actual concern, “It won’t affect the wedding will it?” Her due date was in January.
The all-too-real stories happen all-too-often.
So please consider, through your excitement, stress, and determination leading up to (and on) your big day, giving some consideration to the people you hire to help you have the event of your dreams. A little thoughtfulness can go a long way.
As the saying goes: remember that your pants go on one leg at a time just like everybody else’s.
Or, less colloquially, abide by the Golden Rule and all will be well.
Natalie Newman Locke, the Event Supervisor and a Wadsworth Mansion bride herself, is a seasoned wedding & production professional. When not creatively writing, photographing weddings, or acting as social media guru, she enjoys sampling wedding cake.