Vendors, Are You Making 'Non' Wedding Planners Look Like Badasses?
I just got off the phone with a client of mine who was telling me about a recent experience she had with a wedding planner ... the gist of the story is that the planner half-assed her job and now my client has to pick up the slack of the missing pieces to make sure the client is happy ... AND to make sure she doesn't look like she dropped the ball. And right now all of you may be thinking to yourself:
Uhm, Yeah Heather ... That's Our Job!!!
Is it?? If you are reading this right now and you AREN'T an event or wedding planner and you believe it's your job to pick up the missing pieces and fix the mistakes of the coordinator or planner ... then I'd say you're right and you're wrong.
Here's the thing ... let's say you're a stationery designer for instance ... in this scenario let's say that the planner is responsible for getting you the wording for the menu, invitation, etc ... let's also pretend that the planner TEXTS you a screenshot of the wording to your phone and it's not even complete and filled with misspelled words ... now, as a professional who doesn't want to look like sh*t you have no choice but to figure out the correct spelling and then guess how to fill in the blanks for the missing pieces so it looks and sounds amazing ... because at the end of the day it's your business name associated with the paper products ... BUT, the client also knows that the planner was the one responsible for sending you the wording ... so really, your work is a reflection of the planner and since your work will be incredible now that you've fixed the mistakes ... well, you all look pretty stellar, don't you.
It's A Team, I'm Fine With Doing Extra
Ok, so you do extra ... I love that attitude and it is commendable ... but at some point that planner needs to be held responsible. Maybe you let 1 or 2 go ... maybe you even let a few go after you discuss it with the planner and ask her if she can be more detail oriented ... but if it keeps happening and you're over it this is what I'd do:
- screenshot the half-ass-edness and save it as a file on your computer
- draft an email with the attachment and cc the planner in on the email
- say this in the email: hi, client ... I have cc'd 'name of sh*tty planner' in on this email and am contacting you because I just wanted to make sure we are all on the same page before I create your pieces, which I am SUPER excited to design :) I was sent this 'wording' and it appears to be missing a few things. I'm more than happy to fill in the blanks and make it sound complete, but first I wanted to get your blessing in order to do so. I will also send out a draft for your review before I send it off to print.
You could also say this if you want to sound more assertive and like you know how to handle sh*t: Here is the wording I would use instead ... let me know if that works for you! << basically instead of asking permission, just f*cking do it and send it with the original wording the planner sent to you.
THAT FEELS LIKE THROWING ANOTHER BUSINESS OWNER UNDER THE BUS
Mmmm-k ... perhaps if you never had a conversation with them and asked them to be more detail oriented - yes, I can see that ... but if you work with this planner a lot and it keeps happening and you are enabling them to continue being sh*tty (and probably to more than just you!) and they aren't getting it ... and then you draft a nice email like that, include them, and don't talk sh*t about them to the client ... well, I don't see anything wrong with that.
Heather, I'm A Planner And This Is Bullsh*t ... It's Not My Job To Do Their Job
Ok, that's another great point to make! What is your job and what is everyone else's job in the whole wide world of planning an event or wedding ... in my opinion an incredible planner leads the team of vendors, acts as a go-between with the client and the venue, communicates clearly and on time so that everyone is on the same page ... the job of a planner isn't to sit around making the job of all the other vendors miserable while they get all the glory at the end of the day ... if you have a vendor CLEARLY VOICING to you their work flow and how they require materials being sent in and you STILL DON'T DO IT(!!!!!) - then IMO you aren't doing your job at all.
THAT BRINGS ME TO THIS: BE CLEAR ABOUT MATERIAL SUBMISSION GUIDELINES AND STICK TO IT
It usually takes me 4-5 times of doing something in a way to create chaos for myself (yeah, I'm not ashamed to admit it!!) before I figure my sh*t out and come up with the way I like things to be submitted to me so that I can be organized ... learning curves are a thing, duh(!!), and we are all figuring out the best way to do things while we navigate our way through the creative industry as business owners ... my point of this post isn't to come down on those people ... what I am clearly saying is that we need to be strong communicators when another professional comes to us and tells us when something is bothering them. If you are a wedding planner, especially, your main job is to COMMUNICATE well and make sure the clients are happy and the vendors can do their job to the best of their ability.
Now, the other side to this, as a wedding planner, is to educate new vendors on what isn't YOUR JOB! If you are being asked to do something beyond your scope of work, it's important to voice that and discuss who is doing what and how each of you will handle your parts of the event.
THERE ARE PLANNERS WHO ARE IN THIS BECAUSE THEY LIKE PRETTY THINGS
Being a planner for weddings and events is no joke. It's not about flouncing about in a cute outfit, sipping champagne, socializing, and going to fancy lunches for tastings ... it's about organization. So, if you are reading this and having a moment of 'sh*t, I do that' then take a minute and realize that your relationships with other vendors is key to your survival ... don't treat any vendors poorly to cut corners ... your job is hugely important and if other vendors are picking up your slack, it will come back to bite you one day ... it's never too late to turn that behavior around and be more careful about how you do your thing.