6 Struggles Every Certified Wedding Planner Faces
From day-of mishaps to the trials and tribulations that structure your entire event planning career, being a certified wedding planner isn’t easy. But it can be one of the most rewarding careers with one of the most diverse career paths. If you’re working for a company, you’ll have a support team who’ll help you through all the obstacles that come your way. Those who are self-employed have it a little harder, though. As you reap all the rewards of being an independent business owner, such as setting your own rates and choosing your clients, you’ll also have to be the sole bearer of all the difficulties along the way.
But when you’re on-site and working with clients one-on-one, even if you’re part of a big company, it may seem like you’re all alone—but you really aren’t! All professional wedding planners know that the struggle is real. Still not convinced? We’ve come up with a list of the 6 struggles that only certified wedding planners will understand!
1. When you have to accommodate last-minute guests
Unlike in the movies, last-minute guests don’t just come and crash weddings… that often. You’ll come to expect your clients to approach you just weeks (or days if you’re really unlucky) before the wedding to ask if you can sneak in a spot for their yoga instructor. This can be tricky because they are essentially asking if you can open up another seat at a potentially full table, and make sure they have a meal to chow down on.
Fortunately, being the super-savvy planner that you are, you’ve already made arrangements in case this happens. Foresight is one of the most important skills a wedding planner can have. But it’s still annoying!
2. When clients ask you for a discount during or after the event
We know it’s hard when you’ve seen the budgetary struggles a couple might have, but you must nip it in the bud! If you’re working for an agency, it can be easy to deflect the question by telling them that it’s against company policy to modify prices so far down the road. It may be harder if you’re your own boss, but you have to be firm! Know your worth, and don’t let anyone undercut you. Your clients know your rates coming into it, and if they wanted a discount, they should have asked before signing the contract!
3. When your clients think they know better
You’ll encounter some clients who are incredibly enthusiastic and want to contribute as much as they can to the planning process. While they are an integral part of the planning process, sometimes they just don’t have all the facts right to execute their dream. It can be frustrating if they tell you how to do your job with incorrect/unsafe methods, but keep your cool! You may find yourself having to pull aside your clients and remind them that you hired them for a reason.
If they’ve got something wrong, correct them and then share some insider tips and tricks straight from the horse’s mouth. You’re a professional, so it’s time to show it.
4. When your vendors are late
Even worse is when your vendors flat out don’t show up! If your vendors are hours late for the big day, it can be worrisome for both you and the client. You may be able to pull in some last-minute favors if you’ve built up a strong vendors list throughout your career, but that may not always work out. If the food doesn’t show up, order as much pizza for your guests; if the flowers don’t, go out to buy pre-made bouquets to sub in; if the DJ doesn’t show up, plug in an iPhone and blast your favorite Spotify playlist!
Do whatever it takes, but after the big day is over and done with, you may want to revisit those contracts and see if you can get a refund for your clients.
5. When the Bride/Groomzilla awakens
Even if they stay relatively calm during the initial planning stage of their wedding, people do and will get a bit anxious when the wedding day is just around the corner. Enter the Bridezilla and/or Groomzilla. Dealing with high-strung over-the-top people is tough in general, but if they’re your client? Forget it! All kidding aside, seasoned event planners can expect to encounter a –zilla at some point in their career.
The best way to deal with them is to distract them! They likely have tunnel vision, so trying to logically explain to them that no, the lanterns on the ceiling of the event hall won’t all spontaneously explode is impossible. Distract them with something easy to do, but make sure it seems convincingly important!
6. When you can’t please everyone
You handle how the budget is spent, and that means you’re also going to be the bearer of bad news. It’s hard to be the bad guy sometimes, but you can’t please everyone. Balancing the budget with the high-expectations of young couples is incredibly difficult since celebrity weddings and reality TV shows have blown everything out of control! It’s true that it’s a special day for the bride and groom, but compromises have to be made from time to time. Make sure that you make your clients happy that they chose you to coordinate their wedding plans—if they’re sweet, why not go that extra mile? There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing a beaming bride at the altar.