Thursday, April 2, 2009

Wedding planners, Professionalism and the Puffer Fish

I typically rely on blogging as a means to share news, trends and exciting accomplishments with our readers. But I'm taking a different route today...offering some insight into something that I feel is definitely worthy of blogging.

It’s not often that PBW gets to mix wedding planning with marine biology. Unless, of course, you count ocean-themed weddings! But that’s a topic for another blog entry.

We’re sure you’ve seen pictures of the pufferfish – the big, round, intimidating critter – right? Well, it turns out that the pufferfish is, in fact, a pretty clumsy, slow, puny member of the underwater kingdom who needs to puff itself up with air and water to appear bigger and meaner to ward off potential predators.

Well, people tend to puff themselves up too – in job interviews, online dating profiles, and lots of other situations involving exaggerated self-promotion. It’s called puffery and while we at PBW don’t condone any exaggeration of credentials or accomplishments in the wedding planning industry, we can understand why some planners may feel the need to do so.

We are alarmed, though, about a disturbing trend that a number of brides-to-be have alerted us to where mere puffery has morphed into something entirely different and more distasteful.

It seems that the wedding planning business is not immune to the type of badmouthing, devious plotting and outright lying that you expect to see on primetime reality TV programs like “The Apprentice” or “Survivor.”

We’ve heard stories about planners making personal attacks against not only other businesses, but individual planners as well, including unfounded statements about physical and mental health, as well as other outright fabrications.

Maybe it’s the state of the economy and a fiercer competition for a limited pool of clients. Maybe it’s a lack of good business acumen or principles. Perhaps it’s just general cattiness. Or maybe something more…psychological.

Whatever the root cause may be, the good news is that this type of talk seems to have the opposite of the intended effect. All of the brides-to-be who we’ve spoken to say they found such comments off-putting and considered it a factor in deciding against using that particular planner.

We here at PBW take great pride in our reputation and professionalism. We don’t badmouth other planners. We don’t need to. We let our success, rate of referrals and the overwhelmingly positive comments of former clients speak for itself.

Chances are if your prospective planner spends time talking about their competitors instead of focusing squarely on their own abilities, services or accomplishments, they may not really have great confidence in those services or their ability to provide you with the wedding of your dreams.

PBW encourages all of its prospective clients to meet with several planners before deciding whose services to use. In fact, we are so confident in our wedding planning philosophy and abilities that we want you to meet with us last. We guarantee that we will do our best to exceed any comparable package or services.

And that’s not just puffery, that’s a fact.