*Please note: I am NOT saying brides are dogs; I am using metaphor.  No disrespect is intended, so lighten up, Francis.*

This is Oscar.

Oscar is a stinky yet somehow lovable pitbull who doesn’t listen.

Oscar has an awful way of letting us know that he has to “do his doo.”  It starts out with a whine that progresses to a strange warble that rises in pitch, and finally he JUMPS on us.

Do you know what it’s like to be jumped by a stinky pitbull?  Not my idea of a good time.

First, I yelled at him.  “Bad stinkbull!  That is not how we behave!”  Then I tried to reason with him.  “Oscar,” I said.  “You really ought to know better.  Jumping is bad dog behavior.  Got it?”

Oscar stared at me, and I thought we had an understanding.

And then, the next time he had an urgent call for the outdoors…he jumped on me.

Educating the Bride/Dog

I’m sharing this story because it’s a good example of how we usually deal with our brides and grooms.  No, I’m not saying that we let them into the backyard to do their business.  Eww.

It demonstrates a mistake we make when trying to educate them.

When I was talking to Oscar, did it teach him anything?  Did he get an “education?”  Of course not; he had no idea what I was talking about.  Probably the only word he understood was his name, if that.  (He’s not terribly bright.)

When most wedding vendors try to “educate” the bride/groom by explaining the value of hiring a professional or why it costs so much for their services, it’s exactly like me trying to reason with Oscar.  While in this case the bride might understand the words you say, she isn’t listening, and it doesn’t do anything to change her behavior.

Brides speak their own language, and when you try to convince them about your value when you first meet it comes off at best like a boring lecture and at worst, like a sales pitch.

You can’t educate a bride to do what you want her to do anymore than you can educate a dog.

The Dog Whisperer’s Solution

So what’s the answer?

Cesar Milan, the famous Dog Whisperer, says it best.  “I don’t train dogs.  I train people.”

When people come to him with a “problem” dog, they want him to fix it.  The dog pees on the couch, lunges at the neighbors, barks all day long.

Yet in every case, the key to fixing the dog’s behavior is training the human.

If you aren’t getting the results you want from the brides and grooms who contact you, stop trying to “educate” them into being different.  You can’t control them, what they think or what they want.

Instead, you need to change your own behavior to get the result you desire.  Train yourself, not the bride.

Quit blaming the bride for her “bad behavior” and change your actions in order to get the response you want.

That’s the secret to becoming a Bride Whisperer.

What do you think about educating the bride and groom?

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Stephanie Padovani

Stephanie is a Hudson Valley wedding insider, blogger, writer, and wedding business coach. Want to book more weddings at higher prices? Quit dealing with price shoppers? Transform your wedding business so that it supports the life you really want? Look her up! They don't call her the Wedding Business Cheerleader for nothing. :)

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5 thoughts on “How Working With Brides is Like Owning a Dog”

  1. Jon Roach says:

    He’s got Jeff’s eyes :o>

    1. At least I don’t have his breath!

  2. Terry Ziemba says:

    As a relatively new wedding vendor, I have run into this quite a bit. The thing is, I KNOW I have to change my “pitch” but am not sure HOW to do so. Yes, I have ordered your Book More Brides seminar and am currently engulfed in your teachings, Obi Wan

  3. Brian Davis says:

    Great post, did worry me at the start.

    It comes down to, what’s wrong with the wedding industry?
    I am/we are.

    1. Yeesh. It’s so DARK when you put it that way.

      As an optimist, I like to think of it like this: we created this problem, and we can solve it!

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