Destination Wedding Specialist | How to Avoid a Bridal Blowout to Keep a Bride or Groomzilla at Bay

avoid bridal blowout

Since 2009, I have planned dozens of destination weddings in Mexico and The Caribbean. As a result, I’ve learned a lot about dealing with different people and types of personalities.

I’ve never met a destination wedding specialist whose ideal client is a bridezilla, haha! However, the reality is that when some couples don’t get what they want and how they want it, mean behaviors can come at us destination wedding specialists when we least expect it.

Steps to Avoid Bridal Blowout

As the destination wedding experts, our job is to detect when a storm is brewing. See it coming on the radar, so to speak, so that we can keep it from turning into a category 5 hurricane! This article is all about that!

🌟 Set the Stage: Managing Expectations from the Get-Go

Starting on the right foot with clear, realistic expectations can prevent a lot of misunderstandings and disappointments as you help a couple plan a destination wedding. Explain what’s feasible and what’s not right from the initial consultation.

For example, I recently had a consultation with a client who wanted a resort in Mexico that would allow them to bring in their own traditional Nigerian food. And this was not just for the wedding events. They were going to have some of the family stay in a nearby villa where they would cook the food and then bring it onsite.

I knew right away that this would likely be impossible and that I’d be setting myself up for a situation if I “promised” this during the consultation, the couple paid my $2,500 planning fee, and then I couldn’t deliver.

Key takeaway: Clear communication will significantly reduce client complaints.

🌟 The Consultation Questionnaire

A comprehensive questionnaire helps you understand the bride and groom’s vision, personalities, preferences, and priorities.

In my 20K System & Toolkit, a destination wedding specialist certification program, I have a resource of the questions to ask during a consultation because we must cover all the details to avoid miscommunication and grasp what our clients really want.

Include questions about their must-haves, deal-breakers, and non-negotiables, and explain what could be possible and what may not be. Let couples know that your job is to find something that will check off as many boxes as possible with an emphasis on non-negotiable things.

Key takeaway: Never promise anything on a consultation!

🌟 When Things Start to Unravel…

What do you do when the wedding plans start to unravel and what a couple initially told you they wanted seems to be changing.

I remember a time when one of my couples kept adding new requirements to their needs after we started the research and looked at several resorts. Suddenly, it was “Oh, by the way, we also need a place that will allow us to party until 1 a.m. and we want to be outdoors, not in a ballroom… We have two guests who have M.S., and we need them to be cool during the outdoor ceremony and reception, so how do we guarantee they won’t be overheated?”

That was a stressful wedding, and she did turn a bit bridezilla on me.

Sometimes, despite the best-laid plans, expectations begin to diverge from reality. This could be due to budget constraints, logistical issues, or simply a change in the couple’s desires.

Hold a mid-planning session review. Realign expectations with gentle reminders of the initial agreements and adjust plans where feasible.

Key takeaway: Regular check-ins can reduce planning stress for you and your clients.

🌟 Proactivity: The Best Medicine for Potential Problems

Being proactive means anticipating potential issues before they become real problems—like noticing storm clouds on the horizon long before the rain starts.

In my experience, one of the biggest areas of frustration for couples planning a destination wedding is the lack of communication from the resort wedding team.  

What can we do? I encourage you to submit a list of questions to the wedding team to find out what to expect in how they plan the wedding. This will allow you to communicate a timeline or checklist for the couple, so they aren’t frustrated if the wedding team isn’t responding two seconds after they send a message.

I wrote this list of questions for those of you who are part of my Academy Pro membership

Key takeaway: Establish a clear line of communication with all vendors and create a timeline that includes a few buffer days for unexpected issues.

🌟 Building Bridges: Winning Over the Bride and Groom

Building a strong, positive relationship with the bride and groom can transform them from potential foes to allies. When they trust you, they’re more likely to approach you with concerns before things escalate.

How do you create this relationship? Schedule regular, informal check-ins with the couple to foster openness and trust.

Planning a destination wedding is very hands-on. We must take the travel agent hat off and be an advocate, friend, and confidante to ensure the couple doesn’t have a sour taste in their mouth before they even arrive on their wedding day. We must be the buffer that keeps the peace.

Key takeaway: Couples who feel a personal connection with you are more likely to handle the stress of planning a wedding away more positively because they feel supported and understood.

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, let’s keep the peace for the sake of our clients and ourselves!

In destination wedding planning, your role extends beyond logistics; you are the calm in their stormy seas. By setting realistic expectations, maintaining clear communication, being proactive, and building strong relationships, you avoid bridal blowouts and ensure a joyful journey to the altar.

Remember, a happy bride means a serene wedding day, a stellar review, and future referrals. Keep these tips in your toolkit, and watch your reputation for creating dream weddings grow. Together, let’s keep those bridezillas at bay and turn potential breakdowns into breathtaking “I do’s!”

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