Dealing with unreasonable requests from brides

Just about every wedding professional I know has a “daft request” story.

There’s the unrealistic timescales. Couples who expect to be able to order a multi-tiered cake with just a few days notice. Or who ask a top rated videographer to film their wedding next weekend. And my favourite – the groom to be who walked into a florists and asked them to make up a wedding bouquet, there and then – on valentines day!

And, of course, we’ve all had enquiries from couples whose budget doesn’t match their aspirations.

When you’re busy and stressed, it can be all too tempting to use a caustic response and let them know exactly what you think. But before you do, just take a moment to reflect. It’s all too easy to make someone feel embarrassed, hurt or even humiliated, even if you don’t mean to.

Remember that what may be blindingly obvious to seasoned wedding industry professionals may not be to every bride and groom. After all, this is probably the first time they’ve done this and not everyone spends months browsing blogs and magazines. They may not know that the best photographers get booked up years in advance. Or that florists don’t keep a big warehouse full of flowers round the back of the shop.

There may be a reason they are asking at short notice – a family member is terminally ill and they’ve brought the date forward, for example – and it may be something they don’t particularly want to share.

So this is a plea to all wedding professionals to make sure you use some sensitivity and let these couples know gently why you won’t be able to help them. Not just for the sake of the wedding industry’s reputation as a whole, but also yours. You don’t want your tactless response to be all over Facebook within hours.