3 Ways to CYA as a Wedding Planner

PITA. Bridezilla. Rouge. MIA. <- we've all had these types of clients and the end result is that they inevitably blame us for things way beyond our control.

The one that haunts me the most is the one that apparently didn't realize that taper candles do indeed burn down. Like yes, they get shorter and shorter as the night goes on. That would be science. Can't control the laws of physics. Nor can I read her mind and know that she obviously expected me to have a magic stash of extra tapers to be replacing the short ones all.night.long. 

Avoiding these "energy sucks" is a good conversation to have, and we will, but today let's assume one slipped through the cracks and you need some tools for risk mitigation when it comes to the wedding day itself. Here are my most used tools!

WEDDING DAY CHANGE OF ORDER

I want to know that I will get paid for everything I touch. YES! I will totally go above and beyond but I want to be in control of when and how I do that- like treating the client to those chargers she drooled over for her head table. I don't want my helpful spirit to land me with back pain after the event because I bused tables and moved chairs around all night. A change of order allows both parties to understand my fees for anything beyond the scope of my service that may arise on the wedding day. Examples in my COO document include moving tables and chairs, sweeping and mopping, handling trash, cutting cake, etc. I share that tool openly. Click here

WEDDING DAY CYA CHECKLIST

This is by far my favorite tool. This is an extensive list of our responsibilities including prep for the day (what to pack and what to print). As vendors check in, I have them initial that we spoke. As bouts are pinned, I mark it off. If a mom has a concern, I make note of the interaction. When I send the bride down the aisle and communicate timing to catering, I check it off. Everything. 

If nothing else, if a client comes back with fuss about their day, I can show that these are the things she hired us to do and we busted tail. This may not cover emotional hazards but it can really clear the air on any misunderstanding about the finite details of our event management. 

GRATUITY SIGN OFF FORM

I list all vendors on a form and my clients initial by the ones receiving an envelope. When I give the envelope to a vendor, they also initial the form. 

There are clearly a million other ways to CYA as a planner, throughout the whole process, but these are my standout tips and tricks that vendors have communicated are setting me apart. Consider applying them to your company and let me know how it goes!