a woman whose behavior in planning her wedding is regarded as obsessive or intolerably demanding. "I don't want to be a bridezilla, but so far my attempts at getting people to respect my wishes aren't working"
The #1 reason beauty professionals say they don't like working in the bridal industry is their fear of working with a bridezilla. With close to 1,000 weddings under our belts, I think it is safe to say, I have definitely dealt with some bridezillas in my career, but surprisingly, not as many as you think. If you do a great job at marketing your business correctly, you should be able to avoid attracting any less-than-ideal clients. But sometimes no matter what you do, they can still find you!
Below is the story of a less-than-ideal bride that we ALMOST worked with and the aftermath of "firing" her 7 weeks before her wedding:
It was 14 months before the wedding and Andy (the bride, not her real name,) had reserved us for her wedding. She was a client referral from an amazing bride we had worked with the year before, but I was cautious since we don't always have great luck with client referrals. (99% of our "Bridezillas" are client referrals! But we can dive into the "why" behind that another time.)
Six months before her wedding, she was ready to schedule her trial and this is where the trouble starts. She immediately is shocked when she finds out she is not book with me (Nine) and demands to be booked with me. (She had never mentioned wanting to work with me specifically.) Luckily, I am able to rearrange my schedule and switch her over to my books. Next, she tells us that she is coming in from out-of-state and needs to do her trial on a Saturday. We have a VERY strict policy that states that we do NOT do trials on Saturdays or Sundays. This policy is mentioned in our contract 3 times and is actually a line item that has to be initialed. We tell her about the policy and she is enraged and demands a weekend trial since she is an destination bride. We tell her that it is a policy because we are busy with weddings on the weekends and that an exception wouldn't be possible considering 70% of our brides are destination brides. She reluctantly schedules for a Friday.
Flash forward a couple more months, and I get another email from her asking if she can remove a significant number of services from her contract. (Another policy that we have is that we can not remove services from the contract after it has been signed. Why? Because our team is in high demand and once they are booked on a wedding, they are turning away all other appointment and money making opportunities for that wedding. This policy is also mentioned in our contract 3 times and is a line item that is initialed. This policy is also mentioned in 3 separate emails our brides get before they are sent a contract.) After several emails back and forth about removing services, I meet her half way and I allow her to remove a few services, but she wouldn't be able to remove them all.
Another few weeks pass, and I get another email from Andy and she is now trying to make adjustments to the service count. . . again. At this point, we are about 7 weeks out from her wedding and her trial is in 3 weeks, so I still haven't met her in person. I tell her that at this point, there is no way that we can make any further adjustments to her contract since her wedding day is our busiest day of the entire year and all of our team is booked. Andy is enraged! She starts telling me that she had never agreed to anything and that she didn't "accept" the changes that had previously been made to the contract. Then she wrote something that was the kicker for me! She wrote, "This trial better blow me away because my experience with WedLocks thus far has been anything other than pleasant."
Not gonna lie, my initial thought was, "Oh hell no!" But then my rational/professional brain took over and I started to break it down I asked myself 3 questions:
Can we meet this bride's expectations?
Am I excited about working with this bride?
Is she our ideal bride to work with?
Can you guess what my answers were to these questions? A resounding no! There was no way I could meet her expectations, I wasn't excited to even be in the same space as her, let alone breath the same air, and she sure as hell wasn't our ideal bride to be working with.
Andy had no respect for our policies, had a sense of entitlement, and after looking through every single email that had been exchanged with her, I realized that there wasn't a single pleasantry. No "Thank you," or "I appreciate it," not even a little "Good morning." It was clear what I had to do. I had to the right thing and let her go.
Within 10 minutes of receiving her email I replied with:
"At this point I think it is clear that our company is not the best fit for your wedding party. We would not want any bride to feel contractually or financially obligated to stick with our company if it doesn’t feel like a good fit. As a means to rectify the situation, I will be refunding your $200 deposit (it should be in your account in 5-7 business days,) and I have attached a list of other bridal beauty companies in the area.
We wish you the best of luck with your wedding and marriage."
I had already refunded all her money and had sent her a list of over a dozen other bridal beauty vendors in the area. What did she do next? She threatened me with a bad review. Figures.
But the bad review never came.
Her wedding date came and went and I had almost forgotten about Andy all together.
Then. It. Came.
Two weeks after Andy's wedding, my phone starts going crazy with review notifications.
Google, Yelp, The Knot, WeddingWire.
Andy was determined to drag our name through the mud, but I wasn't going down without a fight. Since Andy had never actually received a service from us, the review was removed form Wedding Wire, the Knot, and Google, since she had violated their terms of agreement.
But imagine my surprise when a month later, Andy went back onto the Knot and WeddingWire, realized her reviews had been removed, and reposted them. They were obviously taken down once again, but WTF?!
Who keeps tabs on the shitty reviews that write? Apparently Andy!
Moral of the Story
If you ever find yourself in a similar situation, ask yourself these three questions::
- Can we meet this bride's expectations?
- Am I excited about working with this bride?
- Is she our ideal bride to work with?
If the answer to any of these questions is "No," you need to do the right thing and cancel her services.
If that is a hard pill to swallow for you, think about it this way: Is it better to do the right thing, fire her, and get a bad review? Or is it better to do her wedding, take her money, risk ruining her experience, and getting a bad review anyway?
I don't know about you, but in this situation, it always comes down to my conscience and doing the right thing. Did it suck getting a bad review? Sure. But was it worth it? 100% and I would do it again in a heartbeat!
If we have to get a bad review, I would rather it be from doing the right thing, than ruining a bride's wedding morning. End of story!
Sometimes the worst thing that could happen isn't the worst thing.