is no magic number of years of experience, no level of training,
which makes a professional or business able to serve you well.
Every type of wedding-oriented business (apparel, flowers, catering,
photography, music, etc.) demands a different training and competence
to perform efficiently. It is also important to note that a talented
and conscientious newcomer to a profession can give you service
equal to that of an established professional who has less talent
or enthusiasm, or fewer principles. Weigh the information you
learn about a professional's experience with the other characteristics
--Ask the professionals to show you examples of their work.
Creative professionals such as florists and gown designers should
have photographs of their past projects for you to view. They may
also have samples you can examine, which is very helpful. These
give you a chance to see the details and finishing techniques they
use. Reference letters address the professional's competence, but
remember that professionals only show the good ones, so weigh the
--For expensive products and services, you should ask for formal
references. However, in small- to medium-sized communities, word
gets around if a business is trustworthy or unethical, if the staff
is helpful or pushy, if the prices are reasonable or expensive.
Couples and their families spend a lot of money and put a lot of
emphasis on wedding products and services. If they did not get what
they wanted or expected, they broadcast this information to others
in the area. Certainly some customers are unsatisfied because of
their own unrealistic expectations, but if a professional in your
community has a reputation for negative practices, consider this
information carefully before deciding to work with them. Compare
favourable recommendations against your own needs and expectations.
--A responsible professional will make an effort to inform you of
their practices, limitations, timetables and any problems which
may occur. They should take time to answer your questions and address
your concerns. It is important that you, in turn, pay close attention
to this information, and abide by the guidelines the professional
sets for services they will provide.
and Enthusiasm --Although everyone has their own personality
and way of expressing themselves, you should look for a professional
with whom you can work effectively. Besides being able to communicate
as mentioned above, you must be able to agree on methods and procedures
and trust that your professional's handling of your wedding and
any crises which may occur will be reasonable and responsible.
difficult to measure, is very important. Try not to do business
with any professional who seems uninterested in your wedding and
desires. Everyone's moods vary, but a consistently apathetic or
negative professional may be a poor choice. Once you contract for
their services, breaking the agreement may be impossible or expensive,
so try to gauge the interest of the professional early on. Enthusiasm
is not a substitute for any of the other traits listed, but a professional
who really wants to work with you may try harder than one who is
* * * *
If you live in
a medium or large community you will have several providers available
for most products and services, so you can select the professional
who best fits your needs, desires and budget. In small or rural
communities, there may be only one professional in the area. If
you are unhappy with the professionals available to you and cannot
handle that service in another way, be very clear with them from
the start about your expectations and desires. Then stay in touch
to achieve the best possible results.