Dear Preston: I Think My Client Is Upset
May 22, 2012
Have you ever planned a wedding for a bride who had absolutely nothing to say about your final design?
This past weekend, I did a beautiful wedding for a bride I had a great time working with. Throughout the entire planning process, she was always warm, excited and loving. Well, at least until the day of her wedding! She never said a word to me about the decor in either the church or at her reception.
I know I probably sound really insecure, but I stayed until the very end of her wedding waiting for her to say something — anything! I hate to sound paranoid, but I also got the distinct feeling she was avoiding me all night. I haven’t slept a wink since. What should I do?
I feel for you. Before you spend another sleepless night, call your bride and very gently ask her what she thought of your decor. Just make sure you’re prepared for whatever her answer may be.
Awhile back, I designed a modern wedding based on my bride’s request and vision. I was very careful to show her well in advance every detail of what she was getting; I didn’t want there to be ANY surprises.
And, yet, when my bride walked into her ceremony, she had her “poker face” on and said not a thing about my designs. A week later, she called to tell me that even though she had requested a modern style, she felt the room had looked cold and slick.
I had another “poker face bride” once who I thought was also unhappy with my designs. However, I later found out that she was having some personal problems with her new family; there was nothing wrong with my design — just her new mother in law! So, you never know.
As designers and artists, we crave a well-deserved acknowledgment of a job well done. Remember, though, that it is also important to allow our clients to voice any dissatisfaction they may feel. After all, that’s the only way we’ll learn and improve.
The bottom line is that you need to call your bride. By reaching out to her, you’ll demonstrate that you care about her, her wedding and improving your work. You’ll also be giving her an opportunity to vent and to have an open and honest conversation with you about what went right and what went wrong. Regardless of how she may feel about the decor you designed, she will appreciate your customer service and follow-through. Good luck.
Dear Readers, do you agree with me? Should “Insecure” call her bride? Or do you think it would be better to wait for the bride to call?