How to Support Your Couples When Things Go Wrong

Aisle Planner How to Support Your Couples When Things Go Wrong
Photo courtesy Bradley James Photography and Rhiannon Bosse

As a wedding planner, it’s your job to support your couples throughout the entire wedding planning process. And, between managing a million details to pulling off the occasional miracle, you do just that! But, every once in a while something big hits the fan and your couples turn to you for support and (let’s be real) some serious my-planner-has-magical-powers-and-makes-bad-things-go-away. So today, we put together a few tips on how to handle those moments when things go wrong and it feels like you are more their therapist than planner.

There’s An Unexpected Death In The Family

Losing a family member close to your wedding is always hard on couples. And, the key here is to them grieve. When they are ready to talk about it, ask them if they’d like to incorporate their loved one into the ceremony and help them come up with a beautiful way to do that.

They’ve Got Complications With The Budget

We’ve all had couples go over budget but, what happens when the person footing the bill tells them they are cut off? As their planner, you should always work to avoid this situation by making sure that big expenses get cleared with the person writing the check before committing to them and, that starts with clear lines of communication.  Teach your couples (and sometimes the person footing the bill) how you’ll be using the Budget Tool and create a system for them to report any sizable expenses. If they do need to cut back on spending, sit down with the couple and review every line in the budget and help them to re-prioritize where and when money is getting spent.

They’re Having Relationship Problems

Sometimes the stress of planning a wedding makes people argue – shocker! Even when couples hire a wedding planner, the planning process can still be stressful. Since it’s often one of the first times they have had to make so many decisions together as well as how much money can be going out the door, it’s no surprise that couples can get on each other’s nerves. If it becomes more than just an occasional spat, encourage them to take a step back from planning for a bit and remember why they are getting married in the first place. As their planner, you can take a few things off of their plate to give them room to breath or you can consider recruiting a close friend to take care of what they can.

They Have An Issue With A Vendor

Even though the vendors we refer to clients are rock stars at what they do, sometimes there are personality or communication conflicts we didn’t see coming. And, this is a tough spot to be in since you’ve got both the vendor and your client’s best interests in mind. If your clients do have an issue with a vendor, try to fully understand the root of the issue before making a decision on how to move forward. If the vendor’s work really is perfect for the wedding, you can explain the situation and ask if another person on the team that can be the lead to avoid cancelling contracts (which no one ever wants to do). The other option is to re-route all communication to run through yourself in order to make sure everyone is always on the same page – and everyone stays happy.

A Parent (or two) Is Overstepping

This one comes with the territory. But, even though it is likely something you’ll be asked to support your couples through this more than once, it can be the hardest. Yes, there are some parents who overstep because that is just what they do but, oftentimes it happens because they feel like they are being left out. So, in an effort to make them feel included them encourage your couples to:

  • Establish healthy boundaries from the get-go
  • Schedule regular check-ins (to give updates as opposed to asking for opinions)
  • Give them a project to own (one that is necessary but not a make or break it detail)

How to do support your clients when things go wrong or get stressful? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!


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