I Am Not a Used Car Lot.

Dear Diary:

(That's totally how I feel right now, writing this post... only I have no braces, nor boy problems, nor a gorgeous book in which to write, like this.)

I've been a bit sick lately (perhaps from working myself cray cray?  Yes, that could be it), and was so happy to have a Monday full of sunshine!  I half considered climbing up to the fort at the top of the swingset in our yard with my laptop today (we have no kids... it came with the house, I swear!), but before I knew it, it was late afternoon and I hadn't left my desk.  Mental note: Take advantage of working from home.  {And having a swingset.}

One of the things I've been working on today is the wedding day timetable for one of our upcoming spring weddings.  I kid you not, this timetable is five pages long.  It's taken me six hours already, and I've been doing this for, what... five years now?  I work out all the times, draft after draft, confirming arrival and departure times and cell phone numbers with wedding professionals and triple checking things against their contracts, making sure certain professionals eat when the bride and groom eat so the photographer and cinematographer don't miss anything.  Making sure the first hotel shuttle leaves shortly after cake cutting to ensure Grandma Marge can call it an early night when she needs to.  My timetables are thorough, to say the least, and they're serious business.  I've never had a wedding run late {knock on wood} because a well-executed timetable allows for every mishap, every much-needed snack, every extra minute it takes for the bride to get situated in the limo because of her big, gorgeous gown... things most brides and grooms might neglect to address.

So I have to be honest when I say that I was bothered by an inquiry I received over the weekend.  It was from a bride who e-mailed me about my services a number of months ago, asking for pricing information.  I responded to her inquiry as best I could, given the limited information she provided, but as I didn't know much about her wedding day, my response was, admittedly, pretty vague.  I knew as soon as I hit 'send' that I probably wouldn't be hearing from her again.  Why?  Because my website, my e-mails, my online presence can't sell my services like I can sell my services.  Would you call up a car lot and ask the salesman how much a car costs?  Well, you could, but I doubt he'd have the answer you're looking for.  What features do you need in the car?  Are you looking for any old car that can get you from point A to point B, or do you want something a little more specific to your style?  And for goodness sakes, wouldn't you want to test drive it before buying it?  I think you can tell where I'm going with this.

So lo and behold, the bride who e-mailed me eight months ago got back to me.... yesterday.  She explained that my services weren't in her budget, but she's getting married in two weeks and was wondering what I charge for *just* a wedding day timetable.  And could I please get back to her ASAP?

It's a running joke amongst wedding planners, but it goes something like this:

Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.

My response to her?  None.  After all, I'm only handling her e-mail the way she handled mine eight months ago.  The moral of the story: Take your wedding seriously.  Please.  If all goes well, you'll only have one!  You almost always get what you pay for, and the only true waste of money in life-- from weddings to home repair contractors-- is money you tried to save by cutting corners.  Money spent on a solid, knowledgeable wedding planner who would have handled this timetable (and countless other things) for you?  Priceless.


Rhiannon said...

This is amazingly well put and unfortunately something we planners face all too often. You work so hard, girl so keep on trucking and selling yourself to the clients who DO value and understanding what exactly you have to offer; because it's all amazing things all brides and grooms can benefit from! xoxo

bonafidebride said...

Thanks Rhi! I know you go through this stuff, too. In fact, we all do!