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Friday, July 21, 2017

Selecting Wedding Professionals You’ll Love

Written by  David Egan

A confession: I‘m crazy about getting good customer service. It always has a strong influence on my buying decisions. I stopped by a Mazda dealership yesterday while I was out and about, ’cause I’m a Miata guy and the new one is outstanding. I made a point of checking the time when I started looking at the cars out on the lot, taking bets with myself on how long it would take a salesperson to come out and talk with me. You know what? Nobody ever came out. That impressed me – in a good way – so I decided to go inside and see the top-down Miata in the showroom. The closest salesperson, Ralph, and I started a conversation after a couple of minutes. He was easy, helpful, and enthusiastic. While it was clearly Ralph’s business to sell cars, there was absolutely no pressure, and no BS.

That’s exactly the kind of customer service I like. If I buy a new Miata, you can be sure that I’m going back to see Ralph.

The wedding world has lots of people in it who are just like Ralph, and lots who aren’t.

Ralph listened to me. He heard what was important to me. We communicated well, and easily. He told me about his son’s Miata, a year older than mine, and pulled out his phone to show me pictures of the car when I expressed interest in the source and quality of the car’s new paint job.

If you asked me how Ralph was dressed, I couldn’t tell you, but I remember that it was appropriate to the situation. He was clean, neat, and presented well. I felt comfortable in his presence.

I had the sense that Ralph knew his business. While our conversation didn’t take us deep into his professional competence, I’d be really surprised if he failed on that point.

You’re getting by now that I liked Ralph, and would have confidence working with him on buying a new car.

The best wedding professionals are just like Ralph. They’ll listen to you, understand what you do and don’t want, and give you good, informed guidance.

How they dress for meeting with you and for working at your wedding is important. Your wedding calls for looking neat and professional and generally blending into the background. We tend to favor black. The meeting is about making you comfortable while conveying that they respect the client-professional relationship. To paraphrase Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart, I can’t describe it, but I know when I see it.

All of the enthusiasm and listening and sartorial splendor doesn’t mean a thing if they don’t have the technical skills to do the job. I like to see their tools of the trade, either in person or in photographs of them in action. How does their equipment look? Clean and well-kept? Professional? While the “stuff” doesn’t tell the whole story, it tells a lot.

I like to know how many years the company and the individual has been in the business. How well are they grounded in the business? Do they have experience and relationships that will serve you?

Almost every provider in the wedding industry –  venues, caterers, DJs, bands, photographers, and cake bakers, to name a few – should have liability insurance. That’s the kind of insurance that protects you and your guests should someone be injured or if something is broken or damaged. Coverage is easy to verify: ask them to have their insurance agent send you a certificate of liability insurance. You can get it on paper or via email. It costs them nothing to send it, and gives you peace of mind, now and later. Consider the lack of liability insurance to be a deal killer. If they’re not serious about protecting you, their guests, and themselves, walk away.

Next time: friends and family and wedding planning

David Egan is the proprietor and steward of Chase Court, a historic Baltimore wedding and event venue. Visit chasecourt.com, and follow ChaseCourtWeddingVenue on Instagram and Facebook! Send your comments and questions to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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