My Mum recently sold our family home in Belfast and moved to a new-build here, in Bangor by the sea, where I have been living and loving life, since 2021. Having lived in our family home for the guts of 36 years, the move felt monumental and wholly overwhelming; given how much a family can accumulate over the years, and all with the added layer of it happening in the absence of my Father, who sadly passed away suddenly in April of last year. On top of this incredibly emotional life change, and as expensive and exhausting as a house move of any kind may be, relying on and putting her trust in estate agents, solicitors, removals men and builders proved to be the most trying and deflating of the entire experience for my Mum.
I felt defensive for her, fearing that they may have been preying on her vulnerabilities as a widowed woman, and tactically pushing her to agree to things that were more beneficial to them than to her, and then, when attempting to pacify my frustrations, part of me realised that for many of the aforementioned people, it was simply just business. So many of their behaviours are commonly considered “normal” and to be expected, whereas I saw a lot of it as simply self-seeking, greedy, unprofessional and tactless business prowess. Be it tardy responses to important questions in emails, calls or meetings, delays in delivery, avoidance of responsibility or half-assed efforts, the overriding factor that triggered me the most, was this perception that they were all doing her a favour, yet she was the one paying them?! There was one exception, however, in a young man who gave my Mum a quote for a job, and when she agreed to it, he thanked her for booking him, and the effect that it had on her is the entire reason for this blog post.
Planning a wedding, much like buying or selling a home, is quite literally an emotional and expensive labour of love. You will likely discoverer that your expectation of costs and the reality of them can be significantly different, however, how you prioritise your budget when choosing suppliers and who you choose to spend your money with, is personal and I implore you to really suss out each vendor before committing to booking them as it really has the potential to make or break your day. Delve deep into their website and social media pages, and read their google reviews, but also their comments under posts etc. Using a cost/benefit analysis may be beneficial to the more systematic planners, but I believe that ultimately, the feeling of money well spent comes when your booking is treated with respect and appreciation, and the supplier shares the same enthusiasm and care for your wedding day, as if it were their own. I honestly couldn’t even tell you how much we paid our own wedding suppliers, who I felt truly revelled in being a part of our small affair back in December 2020, but then again, think about it - you don’t harbour ill feelings towards spending money when you feel appreciated and the work done exceeds your expectations, right?
Over the years, I have witnessed quite a number of wedding suppliers who have prioritised the ‘money shots’ for their social media pages over a couple’s wish for privacy and even personal boundaries, time and time again, and then on the other hand, I’ve experienced those who have gone the extra mile, often at their own expense and time, to make sure that their couples feel that they are in safe hands and the only people that matter because they care about them, and their vision for arguably one of the most important days of their lives. I’m sure you won’t need me to tell you which wedding felt the most enjoyable to be a part of, with an atmosphere of love, joy and excitement for the couple tying the knot!
When someone makes you feel that your choice in them is valued, you’re no longer spending money, but investing it. You are investing in the person, and ultimately, who you choose to invest in on your wedding day will determine whether the pay-off exceeds the price.
How that tradesman made my Mum feel when he thanked her for booking him changed the trajectory of her day, week and even month and that's before he had even stepped foot in the house and just as the glorious Maya Angelou famously said, '[...]people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel'.
Thank you for reading this post today, and if you are a past, present or future couple booking me, thank you for choosing and investing in me.