Weddings are notoriously stressful — so much so, in fact, that the term “bridezilla” has been coined, and entered into our pop culture lexicon, to denote a particularly difficult bride who has unrealistic expectations, big dreams with a small budget, a particularly overbearing mother who wants to live vicariously through her daughter, and wages a constant war with her poor, suffering husband. And there are just as many clients who want you to plan their event that are just as difficult — if not more so — than your wedding clients. In short, these difficult clients are going to pop up, from time to time. And, as a professional event and wedding planner, it’s your job to handle them appropriately. Here, then, is our advice on how to deal with difficult clients.
Countless reality shows have illustrated just how “down and dirty” the worst bridezillas can get. But, as a professional, it is your duty to remain above the fray. Don’t ever stoop to the level of raising your voice to match the volume of your clients’, don’t resort to swearing or name-calling, and absolutely do not ever resort to physical violence. Instead, remain calm — and, if you must, tell the client you must step away for a few minutes or hours, and that you will get back to her when things are a little calmer.
Get Everything In Writing
While, certainly, there are plenty of brides (and other event clients) that have unrealistic expectations about what you, as a wedding planner, can provide, their confusion may stem from your lack of proper communication, or from an unclear understanding of what, precisely, your services — and their various tiers — entail. That’s why it’s important to put everything in writing — what you can offer, what the client can expect to get at different tiers, and so on — and frequently refer back to the signed, written contract if the client gets confused.
Think Twice Before Taking On A Particularly Toxic Client
We understand that it can be very difficult to come across clients — especially when you’re first starting out. We also understand that it’s impossible to expect a “perfect client.” With that said, not all money is good money, and you should really think twice before taking on a particularly toxic client, whether it be for a wedding, for a corporate event, or for any other type of event planning client. If the client has rude behavior in your initial meeting, that’s a sure sign you may want to think twice before taking her on. Another red flag is when a client is overly concerned about a price — as that’s an indicator that she may not see the full value of your services. And it goes without saying that if a client has ridiculously unreasonable expectations, ignores professional and personal boundaries, and/or dismisses your concerns, you shouldn’t even think about taking on that client.