Paper Me Wonderful

Purely Wondrous Inspiration

Green with Envy

Sometimes we allow fear of consequences to keep us from speaking truths regarding situations we deal with daily. Everyone tip toes around certain subjects and it appears "taboo" for one to call others, including ourselves, to the carpet about certain issues. Anyone who knows me, recognizes almost immediately that there is not anything that I'm afraid to say. Are there times we should keep our mouths closed and mind our own business? Of course! However, today, I'm saying enough is enough.

 

I've been in the wedding industry for over ten years and have never witnessed the things we are being exposed to today. As Marvin Gaye said best, "What's Going On?" I consider getting married one of the most sacred times in a couple's life that should be reverenced with honor and celebrated in grand fashion at the same time. It should be a time when a couple can share the things they love most about each other in a ceremony and celebration. A good friend and fabulous wedding planner, Brian Green, of F&G Weddings says, "A wedding is the first opportunity a couple hosts a party together as husband and wife." If this is true, why is there so much chaos in the wedding industry?

 

Some days I feel as though our industry could be traded in for the TV slot of The Young and The Restless or All My Children. Planners are fighting caterers. Caterers are fighting designers. Designers are fighting venues. Who has the best interest of our clients, the bride and groom, in mind? Every industry has competition. That's the way the world goes around, but competition is only as competitive as you see it. Sean Low, Founder and President of The Business of Being Creative, LLC, said once, "keep your blinders on and focus on what you need to be doing for YOUR client." Well, that brings up a different subject that I won't address today. {Do you really know who YOUR client is?} I have witnessed so much bickering back and forth between vendors that I'm sure clients have had second thoughts about who they hired. Vendors are undercutting each other to get the business and the sad part is they think that no one knows. {WE KNOW, BOO!} Vendors are going around town pretending to have interest in business relationships and instead are seeking information and sharing negative information about one another. Are you serious? If we spent less time trying to figure out how she opened a new studio or how he booked the client you met with and more time serving our clients, the Atlanta wedding industry would be everything everyone THINKS we are. I love when vendors from other states call and want to come visit. From Facebook and Twitter, they see how much we network and party and celebrate each other, but what they don't see is how we use one other, back bite and gossip.

 

What about the newbies coming into the industry? Why are we so afraid to share a few minutes of our time to help them learn? I didn't say you had to be a mentor or give away all of your trade secrets (if there is a such thing!), but a cup of coffee to help Suzie decide if she really wants to be a planner wouldn't kill you. If they are calling seeking advice, that means you must be doing something right. We shouldn't be threatened by or intimated by new people joining the Atlanta market. I personally would love to have a network of stationers that met and shared creative ideas from time to time. If I'm busy or on vacation, I would love to have someone I could trust to refer my clients to for a one time job, etc. However, that's almost unheard of here in Atlanta.

 

We've all been a part of a negative conversation, whether we choose to admit it or not. We are all human and sometimes we just need to vent, but when it turns into a serious plot to put people out of business, we need to check ourselves. The word of God says in James 3:16 "For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work." Stop being envious of another planner for booking seventy weddings a year. You don't know what they have to do to maintain that schedule or what level of service they are providing. Designers, start charging what you're worth and not $500 below your competitor just to book the business. Stationers, please develop your own style and stop copying other designers. All inspiration has to come from somewhere, but this is a creative business. Be inspired to create your own designs.

 

I don't believe that Rodney King knew how life changing his statement was years ago, "Can't we all just get along?" Unfortunately, it seems to be impossible, but I am a firm believer that if we all spent our time servicing our clients to the best of our ability instead of worrying about what other vendors are doing, we would create the best wedding industry in America. We have the talent. Stop hating and get to work.

 

"To cure jealousy is to see it for what it is, a dissatisfaction with self" ~ Joan Didion