April Wedding Planning Challenge
It’s April which means it’s time for our April Wedding Planning Challenge! For those of you joining us for the first time, welcome! And for our followers, welcome back! Each month we challenge you to face your wedding planning problems and take action using the MME Method to make your wedding planning more joyful. You can check out our past January, February, and March challenges if you want to catch up. So, let’s dive into our April Wedding Planning Challenge.
April Wedding Planning Challenge
Have you ever bought something that just turned out wrong?
When I was in Paris last year I had to make a trip to Berthillon, this great ice cream shop on the Île Saint-Louis. Their ice creams are very yummy and I love their two scoop cones (so cute).
However, this time, instead of getting a flavor I usually get like hazelnut, I decided I wanted to try something new. So, I went with white chocolate.
It was horrible! It was chalky and grainy and left this strange aftertaste in your mouth. I ate a bit of it, but then I just had to stop and throw it away. I was bummed and I felt like an idiot.
It was totally wrong for me and was just not what I was expecting. In hindsight, I should have asked the sales girl if it was chalky, but I didn’t think to ask her. It just didn’t occur to me that it could be bad.
If you’ve ever been in a situation like this, I know you’ve wished you could go back in time and just ask more (or the right) questions to make sure it was the right decision. Now I know we’re just talking about ice cream right now, but I’m sure you’ve bought a pair of shoes that didn’t work out, or a piece of furniture or hired the wrong plumber or doctor and the product or service just wasn’t right. Sometimes it’s just a fluke, but most of the time the reason the person or thing didn’t work out is because you didn’t ask the right questions.
In our April wedding planning challenge, we are going to help you with your decision making. I know you’ve probably already faced a situation in the planning of your wedding where you weren’t sure if you were making the right decision. We don’t want you to feel like a fool! We want you to be asking the right questions so that you can feel good about your wedding decisions and know that they fit with what you’re looking for. This applies not only to finding the right wedding vendors but to picking service packages or choosing things like your invitations or decor pieces. If you’re asking the right questions, you’ll be confident that you’re making the right decisions.
There are two sets of questions you need to ask, one set is to the business/sales person, so you have the information you need to make an informed decision on the product or service. The second set of questions you need to ask yourself, so you know how you really feel about it. Armed with the answers to these questions you’ll know what the right decision is for you and prevent a white chocolate ice cream situation.
3 questions to ask the business/sales person about the product or service they are providing
1. What will I be receiving?
This question is meant for you to understand what you are actually getting. If it’s a product, we’re talking about the quantity, the quality, what it doesn’t include and what it does. For example, with invitations, you want to understand how much it costs and how many pieces that includes (RSVP cards, envelopes, etc…), what kind of paper it’s printed on, what choice of ink you have, whether it includes shipping, address printing, hand painted elements or gold foil. If it’s a service, we’re talking about the hours of service, the equipment, the people, and the end deliverable items (if applicable). For example, with a photographer, you want to understand how long you have him/her for, what kind of equipment he/she will be using, how big of a team will be coming and what you’ll be getting after the wedding.
2. How will the process work?
Now that you know what you are getting, you need to understand what it will be like to work with this person. If it’s a product, we’re talking about the timeline, whether any assembly will need to be necessary, how they will communicate and what you can expect. With the invitation example, you’d want to understand how long it will take to be created and printed, how involved in the process you will be, whether you’ll get to sign off on the product before it prints, what you’ll need to do once it’s finished, when will they notify you and how. If it’s a service, we’re talking about very similar items, the timeline, how they will communicate, what they will need from you, and what to expect. With the photographer example, you’ll want to understand what happens between now and the wedding, how will they be in touch, what will they need from you, what happens if you need something from them, what the wedding day will be like, what happens after the wedding and when will you get your photos and album.
3. Who is their ideal client?
This question is so you can understand who is a good fit for them. Another way to ask this question is who do they work best with? If it’s a product, we’re talking about the style, the type of wedding, and the type of people. Continuing with the invitation example, you want to understand what types and styles of weddings this invitation is used for and what types of couples work best with them. If you aren’t working directly with a stationery designer and you’re purchasing invites using an online retailer, these might be questions you have to ask yourself instead of a person, but you can also always talk to customer service as well. If it’s a service, we’re talking about the type of couple that they work with, the type of location or the style of wedding. Using the photographer example, you want to understand what kinds of couples they work well with (personality), whether they specialize in weddings in certain types locations (e.g. indoor vs. outdoor) or certain styles (e.g. vineyard weddings). You can also find some of the answers to these questions by looking at their website and portfolio.
3 questions to ask yourself to understand how you really feel
1. Does this make me happy?
This question is your initial gut check. You want to understand if this product/service makes you happy. When you think about it, does it bring you joy? Does it make you smile? This is an overlooked question, but perhaps the most important. Our gut reaction to things is usually pretty spot on. Here are some additional questions to ask yourself all related to the happy factor – Was your interaction enjoyable? Did you feel like they cared about you? Did you connect well with them – who they are, what they do and what they believe in? You want to feel happy about the product or service and if you don’t, you need to walk away.
2. Is there anything that concerns me (even if I can’t put it into words)?
This question is to understand that small voice at the back of your head. Is there something nagging at you? Is something just not quite right? While you need to trust your gut, part of that is trusting all of it. If 95% is happy, it can overwhelm the 5% that is slightly off. But, it’s important that you acknowledge that 5%. That could make all the difference or it could not matter at all. But, you need to evaluate that nagging feeling before you make a decision. You are either ok with that slightly off bit, or you’re not. And if you’re not, you either need to ask more questions so you feel comfortable or you should walk away.
3. Does this fit with what is important to me and what I want? Is this me?
This last question is about understanding how this product or service fits with what you care about, what you are trying to create and who you are. Your wedding is just that, YOUR wedding. So, you need to evaluate, if the product/service fits with what you want. Does it fit with who you are and how you work? Is this you? Is this right for your wedding? If the answer is yes, then great, but if the answer is no, then you need to consider another option.
Now, it’s your turn!
Get your decision making cheat sheet below and take our April wedding planning challenge to help you through each of your wedding decisions. Remember these questions can apply to hiring a vendor or purchasing a product like a wedding dress or favors. Don’t be a fool, ask the right questions and you’ll confidently make the right decisions.
We want to hear about your successes with the MME Method to decision making and how it brought more joy to your wedding planning. Share one decision you made that you feel confident about in a comment below or on social media with #weddingplanningchallenge.