super angry bride

Question: How Do You Dump a Bad Client?

Hey Steph,

How do you gracefully decline a couple you feel isn’t right for you?

It just seems odd to tell them you just booked the date on them right after you just met with them.




Hey, Jimmy.

I hate when that happens! Both you and the couple set aside time to meet, and then you find out about the nightmare location, get a first hand experience of their wicked temper or meet the Monster-in-laws. How do you back out after all that without looking like a jerk?

The first thing to note is that you’re suffering from Commitment and Consistency; the more you have invested in working with a couple, the more committed you feel to following through.

The good news: as long as you don’t have a contract, it’s not too late to ditch them! With sensitivity and grace, of course.

It does feel a little weird, but sometimes you should do it anyway. You’ll be glad you didn’t have to work with someone that isn’t a good match.

Try to find a way to say it that isn’t an outright lie. I’d wait a day or so and then tell them, “I’m sorry, but we’re no longer available for your date.”

(You don’t have to explain that you’re “no longer available” because you wouldn’t be caught dead working their wedding.)

As long as you didn’t promise to hold the date for them, and you don’t have a contract, you’ll be okay with that.

If you DID promise to hold the date, I would let that time frame pass without calling them. Hopefully, it will go away, but if it doesn’t, you’ll be in the clear to say, “I’m sorry, but we’re no longer available.”

In any case, you’ll be able to gracefully decline the job without offending them.

Hope this helps!


What advice do you have about ditching clients you don’t want to work with?


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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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3 thoughts on “How to Dump a Bride or Groomzilla”

  1. Trish DeBari says:

    Hi Stephanie:
    I find your blogs/articles very helpful. I find with couples that may seem difficult to deal with at first that they are generally not difficult throughout the entire journey of planning their Wedding. It is worth it to try and deal with them as individuals and if they do end up being unreasonable the day of their Wedding, the longest we will have to be with them is 6 hours so we try and make the best of it.

  2. Why tell a Bride or Groom you are booked if that is not the truth of the matter? I tell couples all the time that what we do and how we do it is unusual and that WE are not a good fit for everyone. If I feel (for any reason) that a couple does not really want or need the services we offer, I tell them so and try to be helpful in guiding them to someone whose personality or services (or budget) are a better match for them than my own.

    Sometimes I feel like the potential client is the one who is not a good fit for my style. Maybe they push a button my ex used to push, or my daughter pushes now. Maybe I know that they are going to need a much more “organized” system than my own artistic self will ever be able to provide, or maybe they are not ever going to feel comfortable disclosing as much personal information as I seem to delve into. Or maybe their own family entanglements are just more than I want or need to get involved in during my busy season. Maybe they just want something simpler, more traditional, less personal, or less quirky than the style we have come to be known for.

    What is wrong with telling the truth and saying that I take pride in my work and that I do not feel I can do my best for you on your wedding day, and that you absolutely deserve and need someone’s best on a day so important as this. I use these words: “You know, I don’t think we’re the best fit for you and here’s why… I might suggest you continue your search for someone who… Because I want you to be absolutely happy on your wedding day.”

    And if you say it with kindness and really mean it, you will be amazed by what happens next. I have had many of these brides stay in touch and even though they do go find another Wedding Minister who is just right for them; sometimes they have a friend who is a perfect fit for our services and those friends end up booking their wedding officiate services with me. That wasn’t my intention. But if love goes around, love comes around.

    If we are supposed to define ourselves, define our ideal clients, and define our wedding services; then there should nothing wrong with saying, “As a Professional Wedding Vendor, and as a human being with my own strengths and weaknesses, I work really well in some situations and not very well in others. This is a situation I don’t want to be in now or ever;” or “I don’t have the strength or skills to honor this situation yet, but would like to be able to some day. I will let this one go, and work toward that.”

    People say that I must see a lot of Bridezillas in my work. No I don’t. Because I choose not to.

    ~Rev. Sherry Mullins

    1. Stephanie Padovani says:

      I like your approach! Thanks for sharing what works for you.

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