Much of your wedding planning time is spent meeting with and interacting with your vendors How you work with and relate to them can have a significant impact on the bottom line of your wedding budget and your overall wedding experience. Your words can have a powerful impact on the way your vendors see you as a bride and a client. Here are some everyday phrases brides should avoid when meeting with wedding vendors – at least for the initial meeting. Once you establish a relationship with your vendors, your conversations may take a more casual tone.
Vendors think “She will do it my way.”
Beginning a sentence with “I just…” diminishes the value of your thoughts and ideas. It sounds like you are apologizing without actually saying “I’m sorry.” Refrain from using this phrase when you speak and especially don’t include it in your emails. If something is important enough for you to mention, then there is no “just” about it.
“Uhh, Uhm, Like”
Vendors say “Does she know what she wants?”
Avoid using these “filler words”. They show a lack of confidence in your ideas and requests. If you lace your conversations with “Uhh” or “Uhm” or even “Like” it has become a habit and probably believe it is impossible to quit. It does take time and practice, but it is worth it to shake this old habit. Here’s how:
First, keep your sentences short. And when you are finished talking, stop. Don’t feel compelled to explain further or to fill silent pauses in a conversation. Wait for a response, and give your a vendor time to think. ( I know that period of silence will seem like it goes on forever, but it really is just a few seconds.) You are dealing with professionals and they are prepared to ask you questions to get the information they need. They will also take time to reply so they can offer their best response. Don’t assume you need to explain further unless they ask for more information.
Second, rehearse what you plan to say before your meeting. I am not suggesting you rehearse like for a play but do rehearse to the point that you will know what you want to say. Make bullet points, and feel free to carry notes. They show your vendors you are prepared. and ready to talk business.
Avoid distractions. When you are talking to a vendor, give your full attention. I know there are hundreds of details you need to handle. Have you heard the old joke about how do you eat an elephant? Give up? The answer is simple – one bite at a time. The same goes for your wedding planning – one thing at a time. Focus on your current task.
I know this will sound silly but take your hands out of your pockets when you speak. Researchers tell us that most people who constantly say “Uhm, or like”, have their hands in their pockets when they talk. I am not a psychologist, so I don’t know why this works, but trust me, it does.
“Is that okay?”
Vendors think – “She wants me to decide for her.”
While you want your vendors to provide insight and ideas, asking them to validate your request makes you sound insecure, and allows them to take an easier path.
To sound more confident, remove the question from your statements. Instead, you say, “Let me know if you have any questions.” Or “ I welcome your ideas and input”. Essentially, the less inquisitive you sound, the more likely you are to have your request dreams come true.
Vendors think “ This is going to be easy. She’ll do whatever I suggest. ”
Unless you’ve have made a mistake and do owe an apology, (it’s OK, I’ve been there more often than I like to think about) there’s absolutely no reason why you need to apologize – especially for posing your ideas and plans or asking questions.
While you should show respect for your vendors’ knowledge and advice, that does not mean you shouldn’t respect your own self-worth, and ideas. Instead of saying, “Sorry, it was just an idea”, you can say, “Thank you for taking the time to help me understand this better (or answering my questions).” Then follow with your own ideas. If the vendor will no listen to your ideas at the beginning, consider how well you will work with them through the planning process. (Stress, frustration, disappointment – all come to my mind. Sigh.)
“I hate to bother you, but…”
Vendors think “No bother, it is your money.”
The fact is that you are not bothering the vendors. You are seeking information about their services, and you will be paying them for what they provide. They are not doing your a favor. It is your money, get what you want, not just what they offer. If it is a bother to the vendor, perhaps it is time to look elsewhere for the service.
When you imply that it is and bother or inconvenience, you giving control to the vendor and they will feel comfortable providing less instead of more or declining a request. (After all you already told them you do not want to inconvenience them.)
Instead, when confronted with an issue that you are not comfortable with, say “I believe we need to discuss this further.” or “Whenever you have a few moments, I would like to discuss something with you.” These two phrases show your competence while still letting you have control in the conversation.
“If it’s alright with you …”
Vendors think “I’m in control of this.”
If you have decided on an issue or item, and there must be a change that affects a vendor, don’t put the situation completely in their control. This phrase gives them the opportunity to say, “It’s not alright,” when you know it must work- you have no other options.
First, be sure you know and are prepared to lay out the facts and work together to a compromise that meets everyone’s needs.
Remain calm, be prepared to discuss and reach a win-win.
Instead say “This has happened… and this is what I need you to do….” or “This has happened, and this is you will be affected…” Let’s work together to resolve this.
Hopefully, you can get it done.”
Vendors think ” I am a professional, and you don’t trust my work.”
Hopefully is not a word of positive anticipation but one of desperation and doubt. No matter how large or small your plans, “hopefully” shows your lack of confidence in your vendor’s ability to complete a task. If you have concerns, provide the vendor the opportunity to address them, then ask for periodic progress reports and be prepared for alter plans if necessary. Ask your vendor for references for similar projects he/she has completed and follow up on them. When you contact references, ask not only if the project was completed satisfactorily, but any concerns the bride had during the process. If all else fails, and you really doubt the vendor’s ability, look elsewhere. Saving a few dollars is not worth the stress and worry and a potential disappointment on your wedding day.
Vendors think “This is never going to work.”
Yes, brides should be open to try new and compromise. So, don’t be afraid to try something different than you originally planned, if in fact you really are trying. When you say, “I’ll try” ( especially with your head hung low and a long sigh) you are suggesting you aren’t willing to accept the proposal when it is completed, so it will surely fail or at best you anticipate being disappointed.
When faced with a challenging situation, “I can do this … or I have additional ideas on how to make this work “.
So there you have it,8 simple ways to make your vendors take you seriously as a bride and as someone who will purchase their services. Best of luck on your planning.
I would love to hear your thoughts and comments.
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