What Does Professional Look Like
Everyone would label himself or herself as a professional in their industry or at very least promote the company they represent as a professional business. Somewhat of a buzzword, it should make the client feel comfortable and confident that the service will be provided in the best manner possible for the investment made. But how do you know that the service or individual is up to the caliber that you expect a “professional” to produce?
Another reason why a consultation is so important is because you may see red flags while talking about your wedding or event. Don’t take this evaluation time lightly! You should spend time talking to that company to ensure you’re not missing those indicators or just not giving them time to show them to you.
Survey all the media on the Internet from that company. Look for un-staged photos or videos of what their equipment or service looks like at an actual event. Staged photos display the company’s ability to advertise and not always the actual service provided at the event. If you spend enough time, money, and Photoshop you can always get a great picture. The real question is how much do they actually care while at each event.
This came to the forefront of my attention at a recent wedding when a vendor put this light and ugly orange power cord next to the head table. Our cord is the black one plugged into the same outlet. All of our power cords and cables are black, to be as inconspicuous as possible. We take great care to hide our cords, tucking them it into the crease of the carpet and taping them down. This is to produce the most professional look and to allow our bride and groom’s head table to be the center of attention as it should be. Obviously not every vendor shared our attention to detail or expectation of professionalism for each event.
We consistently see wiring exposed and in a contrast color, accent lights placed in high traffic areas, and equipment placed where it detracts from the overall feel of the wedding for the guests. There are several causes for this and while some are downright criminal, some have a little justification. Let’s use a monogram on the dance floor as an example. If your venue has an accessible ceiling over the dance floor with anchor points and power outlets, the monogram is hung from ceiling, all wires are hidden and all is good. But if you’re not fortunate enough to have these options and you want a monogram then you have a choice. Our suggestion would be a different location for the monogram like behind the head table or some alternative lighting options. Without exhausting all options and with fully explaining the situation to the bride and groom we would never put a tripod on the corner of the dance floor to hold the monogram and shoot it onto the floor. While it would put the monogram on the dance floor it would cause a major eyesore for the guests and create a hazard that everyone would have to walk around during the event.
Sometimes it’s the balance of getting a good picture of what you want it to look like; and what it felt like to actually be there. With the right companies this doesn’t have to be a give and take and you can have both. A true professional will explain the pros and cons of each add-on they are suggesting and would never try to upsell you on an item that was not right for you. They should also give you the stipulations to equipment they are suggestion. Things like “yes we can provide a starry night sky on the ceiling, just to let you know that requires at least 4 theater style lights that will need to be placed around your guest tables.” This is much more professional than showing up to see surprise equipment you paid a lot for, scattered though out your finely decorated venue that are now a hazard for the invited children. Or a bright orange extension cord attached to a huge blinding light right in the view of your head table. But hey, the pictures will be great.
So, what does “professional” look like? Its taking all things into account and keeping in mind that every little thing adds up to make the wedding what it is. It’s taking the time and dedication to evaluate yourself, while working in cohesion with everyone. Every centerpiece needs to be in the center, every candle glowing bright, and yes every cord and piece of equipment cleaned up and displayed properly to achieve the goal of every person and vendor involved, the wedding of your dreams.