Unfortunately, in the world of weddings, not every team is a good team. Sometimes, the weakest link may be the couple. Other times, it might be a vendor the couple found on their own, or a wedding professional who does not play well with others. To avoid complications and ensure that everyone will work well together, you first need to know the basics of successful team building for your event.
Planners & Pros Alike
Attempting to build the best possible team from a wedding professional’s point of view requires looking at the challenge from two, sometimes very different, angles. Getting to know as much as possible about your couple and their families is the first step for any wedding pro. Not only is this critical for planning a successful wedding but also for building and being part of a successful wedding team. Secondly, get to know the contemporaries in your database to determine who might be the best fit for that particular couple. Think back to some of your previous events. Who did you work well with? How did vendors respond to a difficult situation? How have they made it evident that the clients they work with are their top priority?
No matter your profession, a client questionnaire is an incredible way to get to know your couple. Giving each partner a survey may yield different responses but relevant ones nonetheless. From a team building perspective, questionnaires are also a great way to make your clients feel like they’re part of the planning process. Here are a few topics you may want to consider:
Preferred Form of Communication: Are they a text, email, or phone person?
Day or Night: Are they a morning person or a night owl? If they’re a night owl, you can expect emails waiting for you when you log on. If they’re a morning person, you might be able to chat with them on your way into the office.
Estimated Budget: How much are they looking to spend? Who is paying for what? Have they discussed ownership of what each family member is paying for?
Likes and Dislikes: What are their favorite foods? Favorite cocktails? Any allergies? What do they like to do on their day off? On vacation? Questions like these will give you an idea of how to move things forward with styling, menu, and bar service ideas.
Know Your Pros
On the other side of the coin, you need to get to know the wedding professionals you are referring to. Someone who is slow to respond might frustrate a Type A personality. A left-brained floral designer might be the perfect match for an artsy client who speaks the same language. Take time to get to know all the vendors you’ve worked with. Knowing the products offered, price points, and personality of all of the wedding professionals you are referring can add strength and reliability to your team building.
One of the biggest challenges to both couples and wedding professionals alike is, well, other well-intentioned wedding professionals. Too often, pros recently hired by a client jump in to help and make referrals of people they like or who they have worked well with in the past. Unfortunately, this often happens without prior knowledge of the couple’s budget, priorities, or personality and communication style.
From Fortune 100 to $5,000-budget weddings, communication lies at the heart of most epic failures. When built on the recommendations of trusted referrals, wedding teams flourish. In today’s market, you’re guaranteed to work with a couple that has not hired a planner. In these instances, dig a little deeper to find out who might make an excellent referral for the team. You may also consider checking back with the venue or caterer that might be referring them and ask why they think they’d make a great fit. At the end of the day, the best team building results require asking the right questions and pairing people whose communication styles and personalities work well together.