During my internship, we polled past brides specifically about the things they disliked that may have happened on their wedding day. Most brides have said after their wedding they feel these things could be fixed with some proper planning. Here’s the top three most consistent things mentioned…
Of all the brides we spoke to, 90% mentioned that they thought their photographer was the weakest link at their wedding. One of the biggest problems the couples had with their photographer was the timing. Whether the photographer was shooting by themselves, or did not have a thorough enough planning session to properly advise the time needed to take the pictures, they ended up not having enough time to get the shots the couple had wanted.
This is a huge issue that could have been fixed with some communication and organization on the front end for sure. Some even said they had waited longer than promised to receive their wedding pics.
Mark's note: Ask your professional being used about these things Ashley mentions.. The timeline is the single most important thing the day of and all service providers should be on the same page and I feel her point is that with less than prepared providers, a good coordinator will look from the outside in and make sure the timeline flows better. Most of the pros I work with regularly are in fact well prepared and ask questions in advance. Remember, this is real feedback from real brides. In the Adirondack-Albany Wedding Association you will find a list of trusted pros who consistently consider all aspects of wedding day and provide exceptional service before, during and after your wedding. :-) Read on...
Having a qualified, experienced wedding planner or day of coordinator is one of the suggestions I have that could help the couple, and the couples vendors manage their time effectively. Couples shouldn’t be stressing out to make sure they have pictures with all their guests before the sun goes down, and the photographer has to leave, and a qualified, experienced wedding planner would make sure that is not the case.
The second issue couples are having is they don’t get to eat any of their delicious food on their wedding day. Couples are too busy talking to all their guests and dancing to have enough time to eat the food they paid A LOT of money for. The caterer should make sure that they get food put away for the couple, that way they can enjoy after the reception is over. (some places do this!)
And last but not least the issues couples are having with limo companies. They are not making sure that all the garbage is taken out from their last event, and that the drinks are stocked to the couples liking or as per their contract. No one wants to get into a dirty limo, with not enough drinks! Vendors are very busy with many events, but they need to take the time to remember this is two peoples special day, and that they can’t overlook the little things.
Mark's notes: I make the time each year to attend training, and include sessions which involve all wedding professionals perspectives. This helps me better serve as a team member and understand what it takes to make pictures happen, to serve a 4 course sit down dinner to 150 people, or to get a limo from point a to point b safely and on time. I am also a Certified Wedding Planner and that training has helped me also realize what it takes for a totally successful wedding day. From what I have seen reviewing all the notes our intern took and the responses to the poll, coupled with personal experience with vendors throughout the region, I come to the conclusion that many vendors are taking more work than they can handle...effectively. Yes, the job gets done, yes the results are decent, but nothing exceptional stands out after the fact and sometimes, as noted, quality service is sacrificed. Our own company experience this in the recent past and made changes to better serve our clients. We lowered the number of events we service to provide a higher and more consistent level of service to our existing clients.
Let's discuss the three top complaints above a bit now. More front end planning on behalf of all professionals would alleviate many complaints. Discussing the time it takes to make a ton of quality photos happen before the sale at the initial meeting and advising the couple how much time is really needed, or suggesting first looks, previews, etc may help. Allowing for more time between ceremony and reception may help. Sometimes, if a limo is coming from one job to another, they may be marginally making it to begin with and then one simple set back now still gets them to the second location on time, but does not allow the driver time to clean and refresh the limo. I've seen every level of caterer...to some it's just a job cooking for 100 people, and to others it's the biggest day of the year. As Ashley mentioned above, some caterers do make a little to go box for the couple...and it's there for them when they want it most...1 am when they are changed and in their room relaxing. YUM!
Overall, I feel many need to reflect on their current workload and make sure they can handle things efficiently and properly without sacrifice. If that means less jobs, then that may be the answer. Or, hiring a reputable, qualified, experienced planner or coordinator is the solution to these wedding woes.
Happy Planning Everyone! You can find great professionals and more ideas for your wedding at www.a-awa.com as well as our free discount program and upcoming wedding shows.