At first glance, expectations may seem like an odd topic for the owner and lead Event Designer of an Event Planning Company to write about. However, it is an extremely relevant topic. Expectations not only affect me as the planner but certainly the client. Recently, there were two incidents that occurred that I felt would assist anyone whether they are the bride or planner.
The first incident involves the bride. The bride had an A type personality and was very particular about how she wanted everything to go. I respected every wish she had and re-assured her that she could trust me with the integrity of her wedding day. Thus, we developed a close bond over the planning months. Early on in the planning, the bride and I discussed the potential of one of her bridesmaid’s not being able to make the wedding. I will not disclose the reason, but share the outcome. Two weeks leading up to the bride’s big day, I had my normal chat about going on autopilot. I communicate that we have planned for a great day and we have back up plans in place as well. Now comes the time, when they focus on living in the moment and cherishing each and every moment with family and friends. As a way to interject humor I tell the couple, immediate family and wedding party during the wedding rehearsal, I know you can cover eating, drinking and going to bathroom. I will cover everything else and let you know when everything will occur. The next week, we had rain to contend with. There was a good chance that it would rain on the wedding day, so we had to ensure our back-up plan was solid. Several days later, the day before the wedding, it was confirmed that the bridesmaid would not attend the wedding. Thus, the bride and her maid of honor were concerned. I had a conversation with both of them. I stressed that unfortunately, these things do happen and it was not my first time dealing with a bridesmaid no-show and rain. I reinforced that now was the time to focus on the bigger picture the couples special day and all of the family and friends that wanted to celebrate their new adventure. The day of the wedding, I was absolutely blown away about what I observed from the bride. Despite her bridesmaid not showing and the rain, she truly embraced the day. I will never forget the joy on her face. She truly embraced every moment of the day.
The second incident involves me the planner. I asked someone within my personal circle to do something for me that was business related. I explained exactly in writing and verbally what I needed, the importance of this task, asked if they had any additional comments and, or questions and trusted they would do what was asked. They agreed and acknowledged its importance and never came back with any follow-up questions and, or concerns. How they completed the task was shocking. I would have never asked them to do it, if I did not think I could trust them. Again, I will not discuss the details, but there were some lessons learned. First, not everyone has the same concept of what is appropriate and what is not. Second, which I know this, but people are people and you cannot be shocked with their actions. I was disappointed, as I would have never done that to anyone. The mistake I made was expecting they would complete the task with respect as this was a business need I had. Once I allowed myself time to deal with the aftermath, in particular my emotions, I choose to focus on the bigger picture and move forward with new lessons learned.
Expectations in any situation can be tricky. However, the important thing to know is once an action is taken, how will you respond? Hopefully, your response will not be based on either what was done or your emotions, but what is the right and fair thing to do to move forward.