As planners, our job can be…multifaceted to say the least. At the very least, we’re event planners. And, at the most, we’re event planners, engineers, architects, designers, herders of cats, diffusers of tension and—the role we’ve all played more than a few times—counselors.
Over the years I’ve found that, while the “bridezilla” does exist, the issue I come across far more often with brides is having a bride who is too nervous or shy (or inundated with others’ opinions) to clearly speak her mind, give her opinion, or make a firm decision. Because we’re spending January focusing on confidence, then, we wanted to take some time to offer advice for instilling confidence in those indecisive brides of yours.
Get Her Opinion From the Get-Go
Always begin the planning process by taking some time to truly understand your bride’s style, aesthetic preferences, personality, etc. so that, when the time comes, you can help her voice her opinion when she’s feeling the pressure from others. It helps to send a super detailed questionnaire in the very beginning of the planning process. You can get a better feel for your client, so when it comes time to make a decision, you can almost guess at supporting the option you know your bride wants. She’ll feel better about voicing her opinion or standing up to others who may not share the same one if she knows her planner has her back.
Remove the “White Noise”
Being engaged is stressful. There are the family members and friends who spew their opinions left and right, without regard for what that may be doing to sway the bride’s decision making process…and then there are the family and friends who quietly offer up their opinions from a well intentioned place, thinking it will help—either way, both sets of opinions (those given graciously and those given not so graciously) are still white noise when all’s said and done.
Your bride is inundated with opinions—in forms ranging from the spoken opinions of others to images posted online. It is your job to help her sift through those images and opinions so she can get to the heart of what she really wants. I often find the best way to manage this is to get the bride one on one, in person, as often as possible. It’s much easier to pull answers out of people when you’re face to face. Suggest a meeting with just the two of you the second you get a whiff of your bride being swayed by others.
Keep an Eye Out for Shyness Masked as Indecision
I’ve often found that shyness can be masked as indecision—and those are two very different things. My shy brides always have an opinion on what they want—they’re just too shy to voice it at times, so they tend to mask their hesitation to speak up as indecision. (Oh, I’m not sure—what do you think? Or Maybe I should ask my mom etc.) Make sure that you’re not confusing shyness or hesitation for indecision. With indecision—i.e. when a bride truly can’t make up her mind—it is helpful at times to bring in another’s opinion or to offer up our own. But, why shyness, our goal is to get the bride to speak her mind and actually verbalize the opinion she has buried deep down.
Overall, instilling confidence in our shy brides often just comes down to getting them one-on-one and taking some extra time to understand their personalities and aesthetic preferences. Remember, our number-one job is to have our clients’ backs, and, as long as our brides feel this from us, they’ll begin to feel comfortable voicing their opinions so that, in the end, you can create the exact events they’ve been dreaming of.