Wedding planners are seen as the people who have everything under control. We’re expected to perform like clockwork, keep track of every detail, and take on everyone’s emotional baggage without getting bogged down. We’re expected to be perfect.
But alas, even wedding planners are human and make mistakes!
We got a question recently from a planner who said:
“I’ve been working with a client who wanted a lot, so I expanded my package for her and signed on to do some tasks I don’t usually do. As a result, I’ve been overwhelmed and have messed up a couple times! They’re small mistakes (typos or emailing her later than she expected), but she always points them out, and I’m pretty sure she’s unhappy with me. How do I move forward with this client relationship?”
The number one Most Important piece of advice that must be said over and over is:
Don’t beat yourself up for your mistakes.
This is counterproductive and leads to burnout. Take note of mistakes, try to avoid them in the future, and apologize for them. But know that we ALL make mistakes, no matter how seasoned. Don’t internalize criticism and feel bad about yourself as a professional or as a person. Now that the pep talk is done, here are steps to handle those oops moments:
- Do take responsibility: Try to bring up your mistakes before your client can, so they can see that you are indeed paying attention, and do know where your performance has been lacking.
- Do explain why these things happened: Maybe it’s that you’ve gotten an incredible amount of demand this month, or that there’s a huge wedding coming up. This is not to be used as an excuse, but as an explanation for why a slip like this would happen, and why they can trust you not to make the same mistake again.
- Do offer a solution: Perhaps you’re bringing on another person to help with their wedding, or creating a better system for communication. Whatever the solution is, make sure it addresses what happened and makes your client feel heard and taken care of.
- Do act humble: Expressing a desire to want to improve, learn, and make the experience better for your client should dissolve any tension.
- Don’t let it affect your manners: Sometimes when a relationship sours, it can be tempting to act colder. Don’t let criticism from your client affect the way you treat them. The phrase “kill em with kindness” can apply here. People ultimately want to be happy with who they’ve hired for their wedding, so try to make that as easy as possible for them.
The best way to avoid this kind of tension in the first place is to avoid taking on too much, and set expectations. Set yourself up for success, but don’t despair if you slip here and there.
Want advice from the planners at Timeline Genius? Send them our way!