I’ve had a mixed bag kind of a day.
While I have had some lovely comments from people about the film that I posted on you tube yesterday. I have also had one disturbing phone call from a rather angry wedding supplier who feels that I am trying to undermine the value of her and other wedding suppliers by encouraging people to make their own items for their weddings (namely cakes on this occasion).
The conversation started amiable enough with her telling me that she has been a cake maker for over 28 years and that she has made cakes for people from all walks of life, has built her reputation on being honest and providing value for money for her customers etc. (which I am sure she has), but rapidly progressed into a verbal attack on me personally!
I was accused of encouraging couples not to use the services of professional wedding suppliers and by doing so was taking business from legitimate companies. She added that I was also running the risk of ruining the wedding days of lots of couples, by making them believe they could achieve the same results as she could when they had little or no training!
Despite explaining to her that this is not the case and that while I have every respect for her experience and expertise (though not her manners, I have to add) I also respect that everyone has the right to choose (or not as the case may be) to pay someone for their services or try and do as much of it yourself as you feel comfortable with.
There are not many people who have pots of cash to throw around these days and many couples are getting very hands on when planning their weddings, either through choice or necessity. As a planner, I show them where they can make savings and how to do things themselves.
There are some couples who embrace the idea of a bit of DIY and get stuck in. There are also the couples who have no inclination to do anything themselves either because they don’t want to or they don’t have the time to do it. Those couples will still engage the services of professional wedding suppliers and they will chose to save money in other ways. This is their choice not mine.
Whilst I do show them techniques etc., it is they who do all of the actual hands on stuff. I do not earn any money from getting them to make their own invitation, favours, cakes or the likes. Yes I get my fee that we agree at the initial consultation, but I don’t make any extra cash by encouraging them to bake their own cakes, which is what the caller seemed to believe and was so angry at.
It is a fact that there are, and always will be, people who cannot afford, or prefer not to engage the services of a professional wedding supplier for whatever reasons. I need to point out that those people may not even choose to use my services either.
To her and other suppliers who think that what I am doing is some form of heresy. I make no apologies for showing people how to save some money. Customers have a right to choose where and how they spend their hard earned cash and neither you nor I have the right to tell them that they can’t attempt to create some of the details of their wedding days themselves.
There are areas where I would never encourage people to have a go themselves, if what they wanted to create was complicated or they didn’t have the necessary skills; but generally many people can attempt to make some of the details themselves whatever their skill level, with a bit of guidance and support.
One couple I worked with recently saved £450 by making their own invitations and £300 because the Bride’s Mother made the Wedding cake. They were happy with the end results and they didn’t feel that they had been short changed or that they were settling for second best. They may have just gone ahead and paid a supplier if I hadn’t shown them what to do or made suggestions but… they may not have. The point is it was their choice. If (some) suppliers didn’t charge extortionate fee’s for their services some couples wouldn’t even think of doing a bit of wedding DIY.
During the course of the call, I must admit that there were moments when I felt like yelling back at her. But I’m glad I didn’t. At the end of the day I came out with my dignity intact. People like that never listen anyway!
I’d love to hear your comments on the matter.
Till next time