Hey Everybody! It’s time for an end-of-year chuckle!
I get a lot of entertaining and whacky emails all year long from recently-engaged brides and grooms who haven’t yet had time to think through the whole wedding planning process. They’re excited and want to get started and they just write whatever comes into their heads when filling out a contact form.
Most brides and grooms want to schedule consultations to talk about their Caribbean destination wedding options, so that’s what we do. We go over their wish list, and I create budget guestimates, and then they go talk about together and with their families, and send me additional questions – and hopefully hire me. But I get a LOT of bizarre wedding inquiries too. Seriously strange ones. Initial contacts that make me think “oh HELL to the no” as I politely reply that their wedding date is unavailable (note to self: it’s always good to make sure they listed a date before using that excuse).
Now I know you’re thinking that this wedding planner has gotten too big for her britches if she thinks she can choose clients that way – and maybe you’re right. But seven years doing this job full time has given me a certain sixth sense about which clients will be nightmares and which will be dreams (call it “bridal radar”). Not every client is perfect, but if my Spidey senses go off just reading their initial emails, I’m probably not going to be very excited to plan their wedding. Any good excuse will do. Sad thing is that if I’m reacting that way, I’m not the only one. Other reputable, experienced planners will get the same impression and eventually, if they hire a planner, they’ll either pay a “nutjob” premium or they’ll end up with somebody so novice that they couldn’t afford to say no. I pity the fool…
Before you go off thinking I’m being totally unreasonable and unfair, let me share with you some REAL examples of emails I’ve received from couples who claim they WANT to hire me. Here are the Top 10 most ridiculous wedding inquiries by received our company in 2013 (along with my commentary on them):
1 – “My date is not flexible and I MUST get married in Vieques. I am extremely particular and I always get what I want.” See this person’s face next to the definition of “Bridezilla” on Wikipedia.
2 – “I have somewhere between 40 and 140 guests coming, and I’d like to keep the entire budget including travel under $10,000.” Yeah… chuckle… right. You can’t even feed 140 guests a nice reception dinner on actual linens for that budget.
3 – “I must INSIST you find time to talk to me today or tomorrow or I won’t use your services” (in reply to my email that I was out of town for my 40th birthday over Memorial Day weekend this year). Oh well. Clearly, my loss.
4 – “I have always wanted to be on television and getting married that way is as good as any.” We’re not filming right now and there’s no guarantee than any of my clients will ever be featured on television so don’t hire me to be on a show. Hire me because you think I’m a good wedding planner and you want to get married on Vieques.
5 – “My (fill in the blank with a close relative) is going to die soon and I want to plan my wedding so he/she can be there.” That’s an awwwkward one for sure. How do you explain that there will still be a fee for changing the date if the death occurs at an inconvenient time? Or that Vieques really isn’t the best place to bring somebody who should be within spitting distance of a major medical center?
6 – “We are trying to get pregnant this year and want to plan our wedding for after the baby is born – but we won’t actually choose a date til then – we just want to get all the planning over with.” Not gonna happen. We are not going to block some random future unknown date and plan your wedding, complete with catering bids. Who knows if you’ll even want to or be able to afford this wedding after you’ve added to your happy household. Call me after the baby arrives.
7 – “We are arriving in Puerto Rico in five days (over a holiday, btw) and would like to make a wedding for 15 guests with catering and fireworks.” Righhhhht.
8 – “I want an all-inclusive package at an all-inclusive resort for my guests.” Wrong island. I’m not sure we even have any cheesy resorts (not that there’s anything wrong with them) on Puerto Rico at all. But we have lovely hotels.
9 – “I need to know how much my wedding will cost. I don’t know how many guests I’m inviting, and I don’t know what my budget it yet. And I’m not sure when we want to get married.” Congratulations on your engagement. Email me when you get all of the above figured out.
10 – “He hasn’t given me a ring yet but I want to get a jump on things to block my date.” Awww… no. Tell him to put a ring on it before you put down deposit on your wedding date. No deposit refunds later for broken hearts. Sorry.
I do have a point here — basically, try to have a good idea of what you want when you contact a wedding planner or you won’t get much out of the consultation. Lots of clients don’t have a date locked in because they want to know about the different costs at different times of the year. That’s fine. But know how many guests and what you have in mind for your wedding before you reach out to the professionals because we are wedding planners, not mind readers or magicians.
Happy New Year and Happy Wedding Planning from Weddings in Vieques and Weddings in Culebra!