It’s not just wedding vendors who vent about neurotic clients…brides complain about us, too.

An angry bride in a pink veil with her arms crossed

One fed up female lists her complaints against the wedding industry here: Open Letter to the Wedding Industry

I think she has a point.  We need to hear from these unhappy brides.

Her comments points out a classic mistake we’ve all made…

Don’t assume.

Each bride wants to be treated as a unique individual.  She wants to have their ideas valued.  She wants to be listened to.

Don’t treat every couple like another member of a “pack.”  Listen to them and help them feel special.

Don’t assume anything about the wedding, the bride, the groom or what they want.  Ask them.

What do you think about this bride’s complaints?

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Jeff Padovani

Jeff Padovani is a professional musician, wedding business marketing strategist and resident wise ass at Book More Brides. He’s the “big ideas” mastermind behind the many business ventures (and misadventures!) he enjoys with his wife, Stephanie.

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14 thoughts on “Bride Bitches about the Wedding Industry”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Communication is what’s really missing, and that starts with being a good listener who doesn’t assume or judge.

    Most of what this bride complains about is working with someone who hasn’t stopped to see or acknowledge her specific situation. Just phoning it in.

    I talk about ways to improve listening skills that lead to happier brides and more peace of mind for wedding pros on my blog.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I agree with Shayna – I was relieved after reading the article. From the title, I expected more complaining.
    But, you know, the media can’t possibly speak directly to each and every bride on an individual basis. So, when we make suggestions like taking the bridesmaids out to lunch, the bride really has to consider her specific situation and adjust the information accordingly.
    My son was married recently and every one of his wedding vendors, except the tuxedo shop, communicated beautifully with him and his bride and they got the wedding they wanted.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I never ever assume anything about my clients, especially brides. I have had brides who want a string quartet, and ten minute later call me saying that trio is better, and by the way, what IS a trio? I had brides boasting about how much they know about classical music and I still don’t assume that they know what music they want us to play. I spend countless hours and hundreds of emails with each bride who jumps from one wish to the next, up until the day of the wedding! In the end it is worth it – we get thank you notes and tips for playing and making them smile…

    1. Not assuming is HARD! It takes more work, requires tons more questions and takes a lot more time.

      But it also allows us to deliver better service and results in happier clients.

      I don’t think we can completely eliminate assumptions; it’s part of the hard-wired psychology of being a human being that’s designed to save us time and help us make quick judgments.

      However, we can do our best to be aware of them and not act on unfounded assumptions before we make a mistake that alienates a potential client.

  4. Anonymous says:

    You must follow their lead,and then very,

    gently show them what you have learned

    through the years. Make suggestions

    once they feel they can trust you,and

    you feel confident that you understand

    their needs.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Seems to me that she is complaining more about the media side of the wedding industry than the vendors (in fact, in her comments she says just that). And I certainly won’t disagree with her.

    I think that it’s fair for brides to say “we’re not all the same”. At the same time, there are things that are generally accepted or traditional, and it’s silly to ban people from ever talking about them just because they don’t fit you. Every bride should have a voice, and she is totally right to be frustrated by the fact that the media in general doesn’t reflect her very well.

    The rest of us will just have to pick up that slack.

    I was expecting so much worse!

    1. Hi, Shayna!

      In a certain sense, we ARE the wedding industry media, at least in the eyes of the bride.

      I think she’s responding to the fact that she doesn’t fit what’s being called “normal” on the wedding websites and media she’s visiting. And when a wedding vendor asks those normal questions (like, “Do you have a theme?” or “Do you want the Canon in D?”) she automatically lumps them in with the rest of the Wedding Industry who’s making assumptions about what she wants.

      The lesson I take from this rant is to learn to curb my automatic assumptions and pre-judgments. I may not even voice them to the bride, but I make assumptions, too. This is a good reminder for me to treat her as a special and unique individual.

  6. Anonymous says:

    It’s always good to hear what customers are going through as they spend $25K & a year of their lives planning a 1 day event. I still remember the hard work my wife & I put in, & the demands on couples 15 years later are even greater. Couples should be able to say “who cares!?” to certain details & focus on what matters most to them.

  7. Anonymous says:

    She’s right! I loved this article…

  8. Anonymous says:

    Many wedding vendors sometimes make the mistake of assuming too much, but there are often valid reasons why it happens. While a bride is concerned about only one wedding, a wedding vendor may work on somewhere between a dozen and over a hundred weddings a year. From that volume, patterns begin to emerge.

    While some brides are wonderfully open about what they want, many aren’t sure yet and some are too shy to put their ideas out there without prompting.

    A professional wedding vendor truly wants to do the best possible job for their clients. To do so, we need information. When getting that information is like pulling teeth, those assumptions we make from those patterns we see start coming out.

    What’s the answer? When both sides of the transaction – vendor AND client – can have a [u]conversation[/u] instead of an interview, those nasty assumptions won’t rear their ugly heads.

    There are no mindreaders involved in wedding planning, so brides – if you don’t want us to make assumptions about us, please tell us what we need to know about you!

    1. [quote name=”Steve”]What’s the answer? When both sides of the transaction – vendor AND client – can have a [u]conversation[/u] instead of an interview, those nasty assumptions won’t rear their ugly heads.[/quote]

      You nailed it, Steve!

      Of course, both bride and vendor are responsible for participating in this communication.

      However, I think we’ve got to take more responsibility for getting the information we need so that we don’t have to make assumptions. When getting answers is like pulling teeth, I think we need to change the way we ask the question. :-)

  9. Anonymous says:

    I am a newlywed, Just got married June 12th of this year and i have to say.. there were a few times I completely felt the same way she did, I had people telling me my colors and flowers were out of season, who cares???!! and the alcohol issue, we just flat out could not afford to have alcohol at our wedding, that’s why we had a cash bar…and I loved the first thing she said about assuming that all brides have been planning their wedding since they were 5, that may be true in some cases, but not in most. I was engaged 3 years before i even started planning my wedding. in the end, we did a lot of thing that weren’t considered “traditional” but that’s what we wanted, and that’s what made it OUR day.. love this article!

    1. [quote name=”Amanda”]I am a newlywed, Just got married June 12th of this year and i have to say.. there were a few times I completely felt the same way she did…[/quote]

      Amanda, thank you so much for sharing! We really need to hear from you and other brides about what we’re doing WRONG.

      This bride’s article was a great reminder for me.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I think she’s valid in her points but truthfully… without ego… I am a great Vendor. I have been tipped on almost every wedding and my #1 comment is how personable I am. I read my clients… each is unique and I never assume to know what they want. I try to give them exactly what they want. Maybe there’s too many of the “wrong” kinda vendors out there…

    Never had an unhappy bride and I hope it atays that way!

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