Learning to say No in your wedding business

It’s such a little word, but one that causes so much stress for wedding business owners.


To be really successful in the wedding industry you have to be a people pleaser. After all, we’re supposed to be helping couples achieve their dream day.

But that desire to please, to go the extra mile and deliver something fantastic for our clients can also end up costing us dearly.

We need to learn where to draw the line and when to say “No”.

Why we’re scared to say No

It’s not just our inbuilt desire to please that stops us saying No. Often we’re scared.

Scared of getting into an argument or causing a confrontation.

Scared of losing a customer.

Scared of turning away business when we’re trying to get established.

But these fears are usually false. If your gut feeling tells you, say No, it’s usually right.

Why you need to say No

There are many reasons why you might want to say No in your business.

Sometimes it’s straightforward, because you know what they are asking is wrong – like copying someone else’s work.

But often it’s less black and white.

The person who you just know isn’t going to be a good fit for your style. Or the extra booking when you already have too much work. It would be too easy to say yes, but chances are you’ll regret it when you are too exhausted to give your best or utterly frustrated trying to please someone who doesn’t share your vision.

Then there are the people who ask for discounts and the ones who keep asking for a little extra that isn’t included in their package. It may seem easier to say yes, but if you don’t value your time then your clients won’t either.

Why you need to learn to say No in your wedding business - and how to do it well

How to say No

It can be really hard to start with, but the more you do it, the easier it gets – believe me!

And it’s very liberating.

Be Honest

Don’t be tempted to use a little white lie to make it easier – you’ll get found out and the consequences can be really damaging.

So if you really don’t feel you can work with a prospect don’t tell them you’re fully booked if you aren’t. The next person who books you might just be their best friend.

Be Tactful

While honesty is best you don’t need to be brutal. Be calm and polite. If you anticipate objections, then I find that telephoning or talking face to face is best. Email can be mis-interpreted because you can’t convey tone of voice or expression.

Be Assertive

Once you’ve said no, stick to your guns and try not to get into an argument. Just repeat yourself calmly.

Have a “ready to use” response.

I used this a lot in my stationery business. We were frequently asked if we would give a discount, which we very seldom did – our margins were very tight and our customers price savvy so our headline prices had to be competitive.

We had the standard line “we don’t offer discounts as we aim to give all our customers the best possible price”.

Simple and effective – nobody ever cancelled an order because of it. And having the reply worked out and practised made it easy to state without appearing apologetic (or wavering).