Throughout my life I’ve worked for numerous large corporations and while customer retention was my specialty, customer satisfaction didn’t have the same importance to corporate America as much as profit.
My theory on greedy corporations has been repeated by me for as long as I can recall “hogs get slaughtered while pigs get fed.” Call me country but baby, there is so much truth in this simple statement, it’s actually the foundation I’ve built my own businesses on.
Sometimes, I run across a “greedy” client who expects everything yet wants to pay nothing- this is a genuine problem for not only myself but also, my team.
You see in a downtrodden economy- everyone is watching their nickels and dimes darling!
When clients call me crying or grab me for a hug to whisper “I would never have dreamed of a beautiful wedding like this. Without you it would have never been a reality- thank you Wendy and your fantastic Texas Twins Team for making my dream a reality!”
When you do what you love, it shows. Now this is not to say you won’t ever have a “troublesome” client. We all do and silently pray for the event date to come and go so we can “soldier on.”
A few weeks ago, a client (who had yet to pay their deposit) met with us at a venue that I’ve been to 5 times (yes, that is excessive and would normally incur a “trip charge.”). The client asked my sister (who doesn’t have a true job description other than accompanying me, being my ears on the ground and, the fun loving humorous sidekick that everybody loves) if she would be moving the tables and chairs and serving the food?! Now, if I don’t have my sister doing preposterous things it should he noted that no one else is entitled to expect her to be a “servant” at their event! Unpaid, no less.
When my twin sister is mistaken for “day labor” it is I who redress such insulting questions by (as usual) resuming control in my firm directions regarding what’s going to happen and, the script of how it’s going to happen at an event. Rarely do such interactions occur and I’m thankful that most people have already visited our sites and therefore, are well aware that Cindy Daniel is listed as my partner and Vice President. Everyone on our sites has a clearly outlined responsibility that contributes to the smooth flow of my management style with “the buck” stopping at me.
Now, since the client had assumed that a wedding officiant is a wedding coordinator, floral designer, set up and tear down “team” it should be noted that when team members accompany me to events, they are paid participants in assisting me, not the wedding party during my role as a wedding officiant (and, nothing more.)
Assuming that simply because I arrive with a “team” that my team is for the client to use as they see fit, is perhaps one of the most insulting and infuriating things I’ve ever had to “scrape” my way through in my entire working career. However, it’s happened and, I pray it doesn’t happen again although I secretly dread the misconception that hiring a wedding officiant will net you 6-8 “workers.”
I bring a team to ensure a smoothly flowing ceremony and, often 2-3 photographers to ensure we have several photos for not only the site but often to “gift” a few photos to the couple.
Although, if you’ve requested photographers, they are now paid by the client to be present at the event and simply not showing up because they love to attend events with me.
My twin has stuck by my side for over three years and is the go to when I unavailable who can find me and let me know what needs to be addressed and help me accomplish the task.
The Little Pawners, Maryssa and Makenna Mahaney travel to events most of the time and, most of the time are paid in tips or “flips” to act as flower girls, ushers or ring bearers. They are not “minions” to bark orders at and in fact, behavior like that will be a “deal breaker” at any event of which I’m attending and fall under the Bridezilla and/or GUESTZILLA clauses clearly listed on our sites with NO REFUND.
Maryssa and Makenna Mahaney aka The Little Pawners love a party and pitching in with everyone else to ensure our events are beautiful, smooth and emotionally gratifying for our clients.
While we meet many wonderful families who are so grateful for our kindness and ability to make their dreams come true, it should be noted that there is often “a rotten apple in every bunch.”
Assuming that you are getting everything for no investment is after all, an unconscionable contract that offers no consideration and at the end of the day, this is a business and as such has a team that expects compensation when working to accomplish a task either for me or, for a client.
When you go grocery shopping- you return home with food. When you hire a wedding officiant (or I’m providing my professional services as a favor) I was not hired to solve every problem or, be a “Jeannie in a Bottle” that provides (at my own expense) your every need in order to “make your event flawless and thus remove your financial expenses by providing items normally rented for a fee or thinking of everything for you while doing the work for you without benefit to myself or my team for doing so.”
Please be considerate of my team as they are my family and friends who sacrifice their free time to help me “make dreams come true” and most certainly are not at an event to be either insulted or, taken advantage of.
If outrageous conduct should force me into a position of “picking up my purse and leaving” it will be a first for me and well documented for future reference should further issues arise. I do not use the term “deal breaker” often however, those who know me understand that this particular term is self explanatory and quite serious when spoken by me to a client ie: it’s not a threat- it’s a promise that I intend to keep. Pushing anyone or their staff to such an extent gives you a clearer understanding of just how far some consumers are willing to “push.” Occasionally, business owners “push back” and can play chicken just as well as the client.
The simple truth of any business is to treat others as you would expect to he treated yourself, something myself and my staff honor and take to heart for we are on a mission to do something wonderful and the majority of anyone who has dealt with myself and my team realize this by our commitment to keep promises and costs down while exceeding expectations.
I’m hoping that anyone reading this (aside from our dear and loyal friends, twins and followers of course) has a more in depth perception of why and how we work as a team to help other vendors and of course, each other when not directly employed by the client.
We are happy to assist other vendors and do the best we can to accommodate requests from both the Bridal Party and Family, within reason.