We’re deep in the throes of winter here in Colorado, and because it’s been an unseasonably cold and snowy winter here and everywhere else in the US, people are a bit more tense and … okay, I’ll say it … bitchy and crabby as the long winter draws on (damn groundhog saw his shadow this year to boot, which means 6 more weeks of winter).
I grew up in Ohio, so by the end of February we were always at each other’s throats. Lack of sunlight and ability to spend time in the warm outdoors ends up saddling with even the sunniest disposition with a big pair of grumpy pants, and this year the pants seem to be about 2 sizes larger than usual for most of us. And why do I bring this up … because now is when many couples begin planning their weddings, and as I have discovered, your mood can determine to some extent the relationship you have with your vendors and others involved with your wedding (this goes for both grooms and brides-to-be).
Unfortunately, some people believe that the best way to negotiate with a vendor or get them to perform their responsibilities properly is to scream at them whenever necessary and throw the occasional fit. I bring this up because I’ve heard a few stories lately about a few histrionic brides and grooms-to-be going completely overboard over the most minute of details. Although sometimes such venting might make the ventor feel better temporarily, this behavior usually ends up hurting these people in the end, partially because a vendor is less inclined to be helpful or accommodating to a person who is berating them and partially because some vendors will partake in what is secretly called “punitive billing” (charging a client more for being a pain in the ass … you laugh, but it’s a fact of life in practically any service-based industry).
Most people don’t fall into that category, but we all can still get really irritated by a vendor or other party who isn’t following through on what you asked them (and paid for them) to do, and I’m just as guilty of this as the next person. And really, no relationship with a wedding consultant or vendor goes perfectly. There’s always bumps in the road and things that don’t go quite right. But when it comes to trying to get someone to step up to the plate and follow through or fix a mistake, it’s always better to take the high road with politeness and kindness and treat them like a sentient adult rather than a misbehaving child (even when they might not deserve such kind treatment).
There were a couple of instances when I wanted to let someone have it with both barrels when we were planning our wedding, but instead of unloading I took a step back, waited a day or so to respond, and when I did respond I did it politely but firmly. 99% of vendors and consultants will bend over backwards to fix an issue anyways, and when you point out a problem and ask them nicely to fix it, usually they are so embarrassed that you had to ask they get to it right away.
Of course there’s always that 1% of vendors who are oblivious to your desires and are just in it for the money, and in that case you should just withhold any additional payments until they decide to follow through (and, if that’s not enough incentive for them, you can always go to the BBB and then to small claims court to get reimbursed). Hopefully it never comes to any of that, but you’ll always get further with a little bit of honey than with a gallon of piss-and-vinegar.