That Bride’s a B*tch


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I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard those words from one of my wedding coordinators. “She’s so high maintenance”, “She’s nasty”, “She calls me a million times a day, I can’t take it anymore”, or the obvious one – “She keeps telling me everything must be perfect. “That bride’s a b*tch!”

I’ve heard it so many times it doesn’t even register in my brain anymore. The bride can be a b*tch if she wants – it’s her wedding day! I have a job to do and I promise that once the event starts, she’ll be the nicest person in the room. How can I promise that? Here’s how…

After a hospitality career planning and supervising more weddings than I can ever count, I understand the challenges that go into the big day. It’s no wonder the soon-to-be-couple, and their new extended families, have such high expectations.

Dreams of the Perfect Day

The funny thing is that once I meet the couple, I realize the bride isn’t a b*tch, nor is the groom a jerk. They’re usually wonderful people who are under a great deal of stress planning their wedding. They have hopes and dreams of the perfect day. They want it, they need it, and they’ll get it – as far as I’m concerned.

I’ve found that customers with high expectations, or high stress, are usually the easiest (for me) to deal with. They know what they want and will usually communicate it clearly (sometimes a little too clearly, hence the b*tch nickname). If I can accurately provide what they want and when they want it, we’ll have a great day. The most important thing to do is set the customer “at ease” from the moment you meet them. This is where our “people skills” come into play.

Body Language & Laser Focus

We must use positive body language. Be confident, engaging, and personable. Customers need to know they are working with a professional who can “deliver the goods” as needed.

Once we determine and understand the needs and expectations of any customer, it’s much easier to be an equal partner in the negotiations and planning.

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Remove all distractions during your conversations. Be laser-focused and attentive to your customer. Let them know that yes, the wedding day is super important for them, but it is just as important for us (the company).

We have a wonderful reputation to live up to and can only continue to be successful by ensuring each wedding, or corporate meeting, trade show, social event, etc., goes off even better than planned!

As the “expert”, it’s our job to guide the bride and groom through the planning stages. Even though we don’t have to worry about which table their crazy Uncle Vinny should sit, we can recommend a seating plan that may help minimize some concerns and clearly lay out all the stages of their special day. But if we “yes them to death” or agree to do things that are beyond our abilities, we put ourselves in a position to fail. And, I’m not going to fail!

These same tactics can be used in any industry and with almost any customer.

An Equal Partner

I’m a strong believer that the customer isn’t “doing us a favor” by shopping with us. Sure, they are giving us their hard-earned money, but we’re providing them with an equal value. Our expertise, industry-leading service, and ability to create memories help to ensure their money is well spent. When, as a service provider, you have this mindset, no customer can take advantage of you, nor will you let them down.

As equal partners, we both must be successful. One cannot move forward without the other. High expectations must be met by an equal ability to communicate likes, dislikes, preferences, potential problems, and plans for the unexpected (which usually happens). This must be discussed during the planning stages of any business negotiation.

Demanding Customers

Some customers will demand we do things that are “out of our comfort zone” – things we’ve never done before or things we’ve failed at with another customer. It’s understandable that we’d be hesitant to be in this position, again. But without trying something new or stretching our capabilities, we’ll never be able to improve or increase our knowledge and experience for future customers.

Don’t be afraid to take on a challenging customer. Sure, they will test you, and take much of your time. They may stretch your resources and patience and make you wonder why you said yes to them in the first place. But remember, each customer interaction is a learning opportunity. Maybe you take a “hit” this time, but you’ll be better prepared for the next time. You will learn what to do and what not to do. Education costs money and takes effort that will soon be rewarded.

As a last resort, you can always refuse to do business with difficult customers. But it’s hard to say no to a customer willing to give you money. Even if that bride’s a b*tch!

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The post That Bride’s a B*tch appeared first on Steve DiGioia.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Steve DiGioia
Steve uses his 20+ years of experience in the hospitality industry to help companies and their employees improve service, increase morale and provide the experience their customers' desire. Author of "Earn More Tips On Your Very Next Shift...Even If You're a Bad Waiter" and named an "ICMI Top 50 Customer Service Thought Leader" and a "Top Customer Service Influencer" by CCW Digital, Steve continues his original customer service, leadership and management-based writings on his popular blog.


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