» Wedding PR: Dealing with Unhappy Clients

WeddingWire Education Expert

Meghan Ely
Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding marketing and wedding PR firm OFD Consulting. She is the exclusive Wedding PR Education Expert for WeddingWire and is a highly sought after speaker in the wedding industry. To learn how OFD Consulting can assist you with your wedding marketing and wedding PR, please contact us today.

One of the biggest benefits of real wedding submissions is being able to share the good news of a feature with a former client.  It can be the proverbial cherry on the sundae if you already had a fantastic relationship with them!

Sometimes, however, you will find yourself in the midst of an unhappy bride or groom – whether it be because of unwanted attention or the media placement of the actual submission.

There are ways to handle this scenario, but the first question you need to ask yourself is how can this situation be avoided? Very simply put –prepare, prepare, prepare.  Make sure your contract cites that you may use images and information from the wedding for marketing and public relations services.  If you’re working with a couple that is particularly visible in their community, consider running the idea by them once again just for good measure.  This will be your best line of defense if you run into a “well I didn’t know you submitted weddings” situation.

Additionally, gather all of the information you need prior to the wedding so that you don’t need to involve them in the submission process at all. This allows you to avoid having to discuss your intentions or worse, feeling pressured to reroute your submission due to their wishes.  If they do know your intentions to submit, keep their expectations reasonable and do not guarantee that the wedding will be picked up. There are far too many variables outside of your control to be able to do so.

Furthermore, I would strongly urge you to not submit weddings of particularly difficult or press hungry brides. There is no media mention worth it in the world if it means you have to continue staying in contact with a former client that you’d rather just file under “glad their wedding day has come and gone.”

So what if you still have an unhappy client on your hands?  Honesty will always be your best policy.

Respond to them promptly and with a phone call, if possible.  If they are unhappy that they were featured, then assure her in the most sincere way possible that you had nothing but good intentions and were thrilled to see that an Editor loved the wedding as much as you did. If they are unhappy with the placement itself, you can potentially encourage her to resubmit to her favored media outlet, as long as she has permission from the photographer and includes a mention in the submission that the wedding has been featured elsewhere.

Ultimately, a real wedding feature is almost always going to be cause for celebration. In the unlikely event that you face push back from your bride, keep your chin up and the above tips in mind.