After 19 years in the wedding industry I truly have learned what it takes to be a good wedding provider, not just a good floral designer, but a really good solid wedding professional. For the purpose of this letter I have chosen to identify us as wedding professionals rather than wedding vendors. Vendors sell products, wedding professionals provide a product and a hidden service. A good wedding professional realizes that being allowed to participate in a wedding day is a privilege. Yes of course it’s our job, and yes profit and loss is of concern, but most importantly we are to be of service. No profit, no recognition, matters as much as the service we provide not only to our clients, but to the entire chosen team of wedding professionals. The individual jobs we do, and how well we perform them will affect the entire work flow of an event. Wedding professionals are the care takers and providers of a bride and grooms most important day and we need to take this role very seriously. A good wedding professional thoroughly completes the task they were hired to do. A professional vendor should also look about and assess where else they can be of service, is anyone in trouble, is there any little thing that can be done, is there an opportunity to go above and beyond? A good wedding professional treats all of the other service providers at an event with respect. It does not matter if you are the florist, the baker or the candlestick maker, a solid professional knows that we all need each other to make a wedding perfect.  There is no hierarchy, there is no room for ego or drama, or for workers that create stress. Each one of us is dependent on the next to create an incredible wedding day. A good wedding professional is constantly trouble shooting and always preparing for a worst case scenario. I have found over the years if I have a back up plan or a rain plan, I don’t need it. A good wedding professional will consistently make choices that are best for the bride and groom, even if it effects the profit margin.

You often hear me singing the praises of my favorite wedding pros on twitter, facebook and my blog. I do that because I truly appreciate when I see my colleagues giving 100 percent, it’s how I roll. In general I love my work and my career, as long as I am surrounded by like minded and amazing designers, artists, and workers. I never ever want to work on an event again that has even one person on the wedding team that is apathetic, uninterested, or just plain lazy. I have witnessed a lot of truly incredible moments in the last 19 years and thankfully very few epic fails. There is no room in this industry for those who want to do the job halfheartedly or for those who are not fully committed.  I want to see photographers who are passionate about getting the shot, but kind enough to check their egos at the door, I want to see caterers, or banquet staff, that arrive on time so that the rest of the event can begin to develop, I want to see wedding planners who are willing to roll up their sleeves and get their heels dirty, I want to see perfectly pretty petals, and I always want to see a happy bride.

There is no regulation in the wedding industry, no code of service or standards, and no code of ethics. It has been a very long wedding season and most wedding professional are very tired right now, the constant giving of heart and soul can certainly be draining, I get that. There have been incredible challenges this year, product shortages, torrential rains, hurricanes, and a continuously sagging economy. We as professionals cant give in or get stressed out, we have to dig deep and give a little more. So I will suggest this, if you are a service provider and you can’t put a smile on your face and do all that you were hired to do, and ten times more, perhaps you should consider leaving the wedding industry. Know that your peers are watching you and how you provide your service. Know that if you are an awesome wedding professional your praises will be sung by wedding professional to wedding clients. Know that everyone will want you on the wedding team!! If however you are rude, disrespectful, worried about profit over service, and not a team player, your colleagues will most certainly share that also. For now this is the only code in our industry.

Are you lovingly, and caringly, performing the tasks you were hired to do? If so, you are a fully committed wedding professional!! A bride and groom deserve this one day.  As the wedding professionals it’s our job to make it better than the couple ever dreamed it could be.

  • Here here!!! Good for you....I agree soooo much! These sweet little brides let us into the promise of their new lives...this SHOULD be as stress free and memorable as possible. We see the brides AFTER the wedding and they want so badly to preserve not onl Says: (10.03.2011 | 02:47)

    Betty Franzen

  • megan soh Says: (10.03.2011 | 03:25)

    We all rely on each other in this industry and it’s truly a team effort to pull a wedding together. Until each vendor understands the weight they hold and carries it well, issues like this will (sadly) always come up. Way to say it, Holly!

  • Coral Shortt Says: (10.03.2011 | 03:34)

    Hear, Hear! Although I have only been in the industry 4 years, it didn’t take me long to realise that quality of service is what differentiates one wedding professional from the next! And I can only wholeheartedly agree. One bad experience from one vendor can put a dampner on a whole wedding…

  • Alexandra Says: (10.03.2011 | 04:33)

    YOu took the words right out of my mouth. I had to deal with a very rude church coordinator on Saturday. To my surprise she was rude to EVERY single vendor working at the church that day. She complained about being too early, too many photographers, too tall arrangements…. everything. All I wanted to do was be done and get out of there because she was taking away the joy in what we do. Yes, the wedding season has been a long one, but I’m grateful for every client that chooses me as their florist. It is an honor to provide flowers for someone’s wedding. Every single vendor has to put their best foot forward to make a wedding happen into a flawless harmony.

  • carly Says: (10.03.2011 | 04:53)

    “So I will suggest this, if you are a service provider and you can’t put a smile on your face and do all that you were hired to do, and ten times more, perhaps you should consider leaving the wedding industry.”

    Sums it up perfectly! As a bride to be, we want it to be perfect. Most brides have spent more hours than they care to admit, more money than they probably ever thought they would for one day, so I would hope our wedding professionals do what they say they will do and do their best for our big day!

  • Tracy Says: (10.03.2011 | 10:51)

    Well said, Holly! And what a great reminder for all of us wedding professionals this late in the season. Thank you!

  • Melissa Says: (10.04.2011 | 02:53)

    Thank you for taking the time to write this post. It should be required reading for each and every individual involved in the wedding or event profession.

    As a provider of a product and service that is provided midway through an event, I have had the opportunity to witness many fabulous professionals in action without them even realizing they are being observed. On the other hand, the ones who behave badly stand out and often set the tone without even realizing their negative influence.

    I so appreciate your mentioning helping others when an opportunity arises. It is so simple and, often times, a lifesaver. It also allows us professionals an opportunity to see what others do, see the equipment their craft requires, and establish a good rapport. It’s just so easy to be nice and courtesy goes a long way in this industry!

    People who aren’t professionals don’t last in this industry. Or if they do last, their reputation is the first thing that someone mentions, not their exceptional service.

    I truly believe that we as professionals have the opportunity to promote other professionals to prospective clients. In my office, when clients come for tastings, I take them into my showroom area and ask them if they are still looking for any particular goods and/or services for their special occasion. I have numerous cards (yes, yours Holly!) brochures, pamphlets from professionals I respect and admire. I make it clear I receive no compensation for this and put my reputation on the line in referring them. I would never recommend someone I didn’t believe was the best in the industry!

    I’m sorry you had the experience you did. Do you think the offender will ever read your post? I certainly hope so. Perhaps they will then take some time to reflect on their behavior and see if this truly is the industry for them.

    • Holly Chapple Says: (10.04.2011 | 11:58)

      Thank you so much for your comments. I appreciate what you added to this discussion. We could go on and on about this. I can think of many times over the last few years where a wedding specialist arrives with their crafted goods, be it flowers, or wedding cake, or chocolates, and all they need is for someone to hold open a door. Simple day to day kindness will go along way in these instances. For the record my post was not directed at any one event or instance, but directed at a cumulative series of situations that I have seen over the season. However there was one venue over the last few weeks that was so incredibly horrid to work at that I will decline all events there in the future. Did we handle the situation perfectly, you bet, but I will never ever knowingly take my team into an unstable environment. The owner of this venue should seriously close the doors, they are in no way a gracious host, in fact this vendors demeanor with the visiting wedding professionals is something similar to the behavior you would see during the slave trading days!! Thankfully we don’t ever have to go back!

  • Katie Pollard Says: (10.05.2011 | 04:21)

    Thank you so much for the words of wisdom! I’m a new floral designer and I’ve tried to go above and beyond for every wedding I’ve worked on so far . . . but then again, I’m still trying to establish a reputation because I’m brand new. It’s wonderful to know that even after 20 years, this work shouldn’t become a mindless routine, and that you’re still putting your heart and soul into every event. Thank you!

  • News and Events for Washington DC area weddings | United With Love™ :: Fresh Inspiration for Weddings in Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia Says: (10.07.2011 | 03:00)

    […] Hope you have a great one and we’ll see you back here Monday!A few links:Are your vendors fully committed?Local wedding items for sale.Cute and totally delicious!Introducing the new little bit heart shop.I […]

Leave a Reply

Send to Friend