Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Bridal Consultant

One of my nine lives was as a bridal consultant....at Tiffany & Co from 1998 - 2002. The only reason I even secured an interview for the job was through a very VIP customer of theirs who I babysat for. My hourly salary was a little higher than the normal salesperson there, but I only earned 1% commission instead of the 2% or 3% the others got..so I had to hustle!

There were serious perks to this job. When I was first told about the discount, I almost fainted. They wanted their staff to wear their goods, so they made it very easy to stock up. You were required to open a Tiffany & Co. credit card for purchases..very dangerous and several times a year you were invited to a chip and dent sale..you can only imagine.

My small desk was in the back of the store right next to all the china and flatware. I took my job so seriously and was always looking for good brides to come register with me. Luckily, my timing there was perfect, three good friends got married during my tenure bringing tons of business and securing my status as the bridal consultant with the most sales per registry in the company for 3 years in a row. I let everyone I worked with know this accomplishment and believe me, they were happy to let me deal with brides and all their returns and high maintenance behavior.

There are so many decisions to make when you are a bride and lucky for me, most of the time, when they were coming to register, they really hadn't gotten started yet. Armed with every issue of Martha Stewart Weddings behind me in my cabinet, I could spend hours chatting about every wedding detail and took copious notes for the book I was going to write. Obviously, that hasn't happened yet, but I will share some of my favorite tidbits here...

1. Favors-so important because this is what your guests will leave your wedding holding..a reminder of the big event. I have always thought that unless you can afford a really nice favor, skip it and spend the money on a nice program. I used to keep some pretty samples in my drawer. This was almost 10 years ago before so many paper options were available, but you would be surprised what you could get printed at Kinkos and then add a little grosgrain ribbon. Now, I would stalk Etsy until I found something great.

2. Weather- I happen to live in Miami and it is hot during wedding season. One of the prettiest weddings I ever attended was ruined because the doors of the church were left open from the wedding before and the church heated up. By the time they realized the problem, it was too late to do anything about it and everyone was fanning themselves with their programs. This is the perfect job for the Uncle or cousin you have that needs something to do so they don't get in the way. Send them over to the church a little early just to check things out. I promise the bride I am talking about never thought in a million years that this would have happened to her.

3. Thank you notes- Every bride stresses about writing timely thank you notes. Don't think you can get away from not writing them..people will talk and they won't ever forget it. If you are having a large wedding, or you just know that it is going to take you a long time to get your thank you's done, I always recommended brides to have simple cards printed up that state Your generous gift has been received. A formal note of thanks will follow. This puts everyone at ease, letting people know that you did, in fact, receive your gift and it buys you some time to get the thank you notes done. Also, make many copies of your gift list so there is no chance of losing it. You will never remember all the info.

There are so many more wedding tips in my arsenal. After 4 years of debriefing brides after their weddings, I collected some pretty good intel. Someday I will use it for my own wedding..not sure where my groom is hiding! This is my ongoing project besides writing in Summer in Newport..finding a husband

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