The stress of planning a wedding and all it entails seems to bring out the very worst in some women. Wedding planners have a term for such high-maintenance clients—“bridezillas”. While most brides-to-be are wonderful to work with, some cross the line by constantly belittling vendors or making unreasonable demands.
If you are an event planners I am triple sure you have encountered many types of brides-: the ones who are calm, the ones who worry every minute and comes with thousands of questions, the ones who will send you 1000 Pinterest photos, the ones who will come with her whole clan to your office, well that normal..
But sometimes you won’t be so lucky. You’ll work with the dreaded “bridezilla” at one point or another. These Kinds of Bridezillas are usually so unreasonable, unfair, rude and they can get very annoying. If you come across such! My Friends, you are in for big trouble. We are here to help you know how to handle them.
Anyone involved in wedding planning can become a Zilla. We are talking of “Groomzillas” or “groomonsters”, “momzillas”, “dadzillas”, “maidszillas” etc
You will identify a Bridezilla the moment she enters your office. You can identify her from the kind of questions they ask you, the kind of comments they make, or the kind of demands she has.
Therefore you should activate your planning skills. Explain to her in writing what needs to be explained. If you have wedding packages, that’s even better. Let her understand that anything beyond the package will cost her. Put her ideas down in a notebook.
“I have seen Brides who came back to say that they never suggested that, only to show them what we wrote on the notebook.”
The idea of handling the bridezilla is to have a clear perspective of the whole picture.
Once done with her session, go through all the notes with her. She can sign against the notes, recommendations, and suggestions.
Anything she changes though a phone conversation, follow up with a text message or better enough an email to clarity the phone conversation.
Finally, Outline expectations in your contract from the word go.
Be a Listener
Most not all of these ladies work in a position of power. They are usually demanding and sometimes unreasonable. They need you to listen to their unreasonable demands during her wedding planning journey. If you don’t listen to them you might receive a dramatic outburst.
The best way to deal with this is to become a good listener. She may have some good points. If you want to change her idea always appreciate the idea they brought forth and somehow connect to their point of view. They may come her down and agree with you without unnecessary drama.
Note! Some Brides are not necessarily born “zillas”… Some of them panic the last minutes of planning. Maybe things are not going according to plan. And without notice Pap! They change to Bridezillas. Just listen to her, be a shoulder to lean on for her, give her some assurance and some alternatives that are achievable. This type of Bridezillas at the end of the day will appreciate your effort, but the first Bridezillas no matter the effort they will blame and complain even after the wedding. Some of them end up in court.
You have done enough weddings in your career; you’ll learn to recognize the difference between a panicky yet reasonable bride from the Bridezillas truly deserving that title.
You are a professional
One skill of an event manager or planner is to practice to be calm and empathetic when it comes to dealing with high maintenance brides or clients. Remember to have boundaries, if all she wants to do is to vent.
In a professional manner, inform her that she came to you because she trusts your wedding planning services or she was recommended by someone’s who trust your wedding services and therefore she should be aware what you are offering is nothing but professional services and at the same time you have other clients waiting for an appointment.
If you show any sign of unprofessionalism or panic to her she will have a chance to showcase her real Bridezillas character.
Dealing with her in a professional manner will calm her down and your work will be much easier, she will trust your opinion and things might work well to the end without a headache and unnecessary dramas.
Keep Calm, the day will come and Go!
Be straight forward to your Bride and remind her that things may not go 100% the way she anticipated. Remind her that at the end of the day is she looks gloomy and annoyed; her photos will project the same look. Tell her in a nice way that having a seat cover that did not stretch well to the ground will not stop her going home as Mrs.…
“I have seen a bride who wakes up from her table to go straighten up a tablecloth on the guest table”. Who does that!
If she understands some of these misfortunes that mostly happen during the actual day or along with the planning she may loosen her grip. Good luck though!
All said and done, even if you explain and she understands, please don’t take advantage of that fact. Try your level best to bring out her wedding the way she envisioned.
Its time to stand up for Bridezilla
How do you know when you’re crossing the line when you put your foot down?. Some brides just look you down for nothing, they may think since they are the ones giving you the money, you should be hurled at, given insults, shouted to, or throw a temper tantrum to you.
You are not a punching bag. When that time comes, be bold and let her know that you know what you are doing, you are a professional and you have had experience in the industry. Don’t accept to be overstepped on but never resort to name-calling or raising your voice to match their behavior.
Inhale, exhale and then proceed to the matters on the table – Planning her wedding. if she threatens to fire you, remind her to refer to the clauses of the contract and its within your right to get paid what is rightfully yours based on that contract.
Warn your suppliers
In a nice way, always inform the vendors about the Bride they are going to encounter. With such information prior to meeting the Bride, the vendors will have a clear picture of who they are about to encounter. If you don’t inform your vendors you may experience unnecessary arguments and some vendors may even drop out.
I have heard a vendor comment “ I would rather not earn a penny this month than work with this kind of bride”
So it’s necessary to put everyone on the know-how.
Involve the allies
I am sure there could be one or 2 of her allies that know her character and they know how to calms her down. It could be the fiancé, maybe her best maid, maybe her mother, Maybe the mother in law to be..
Oh well if during the planning time you came across them and realized that she listens to their opinion, just involve them in your meetings but in a very smart way. Otherwise opening up to such people about what you think about the Bride may open another can of worms.
Be in a position to walk away
The most demanding bridezilla can suck up your physical and emotional strength out of you within the 1st week of encounter with her… Remember if one client dominates your schedule, your other clients will feel the neglect. Don’t be afraid to call it “quit” and explain the reason you are quitting her business. If she could not deal with you, I am sure other planners will feel the same. In most cases, they usually come back with reasonable demands and you can start all over again in mutual understanding, mutually beneficial working relationship.
Got any other tips on dealing with Bridezillas? Let us know!
Article by Julie Chege