I was planning to share this little post – something that has been on my mind for a while – tomorrow, but with it being Thanksgiving Thursday in America, I figured today was the best day to talk about those two magic words: thank you. And yes, you should totally thank your guests after your wedding (a whole post on its own), but today I want to talk about thanking the people who help you make your wedding the day of gorgeousness that it is – your service providers.
When I say I’ve been thinking about this for a while, it actually came out of something unrelated to weddings. As you know, I recently left my day job as a publisher. I worked at my former company for almost five years (five happy years, and I would have continued to work for them had it not involved a two hours plus commute). When everything was decided, my manager sent round an announcement, which was an odd feeling, like reading your own obituary. That announcement had been in the works for a while, so when it went public, I suppose deep down I was expecting some sort of reaction.
I got three emails.
THREE emails. After nearly five years, three people bothered to email me and say they were sorry to hear I was going, but wish me everything of the best. And they weren’t even the people I expected to hear from. One of them was a new hire in another team, who I’d regretfully turned down for a job two years before. And yes, some people stopped into my office and spoke to me in person, but on the whole, I was pretty surprised by how few people acknowledged the change. I was also surprised by the way that made me feel – I knew, based on the good working relationships I had, that it wasn’t personal, but I felt a little wounded. After all, I’ve always tried to mail people when promotion or birth or leaving announcements went round. But not always. There must have been times when I was too busy to pause my life for a few minutes and acknowledge someone for what would be a big deal in their life. It made me wonder how many times I’d helped someone else feel like they didn’t matter as much as they deserved to. Like so many other instances, manners mattered not just because they were the right thing to do, but because they were an easy way to combat thoughtlessness in our busy lives.
The same is true, I think, for your service providers. No, you don’t HAVE to thank them – you pay them. I get that. I know that after your wedding, the people you’ll be wanting to thank first are the father who walked you down the aisle, or the aunt who drove all the way from Pofadder to be there, or the friends who clubbed together to help you pay for your dream honeymoon. But here’s the thing – in this industry especially, your service providers put their heart and soul into making your dreams a reality. Letting you down isn’t an option, because they’d be letting you down on one of the most important days of your life. And not just that – usually they are creative people who are running small businesses and channeling their passion and talent into what they do – showing off the very best they have, and all for you. Most of them won’t be part of a big corporate structure, with annual appraisals and a reward system. Knowing that what they did made your day that extra bit special? That’s something they want to hear.
When you take the time after a wedding to write a personal note to your photographer, your co-ordinator, your florist, etc., I promise you that you’re not just fulfilling a piece of etiquette. You’re making their day. You may even be helping their business, if that thank you is a quote they can use to spread the word amongst potential clients. But most importantly, it’s an acknowledgement. It makes them feel great. It makes you feel great. Winner winner, chicken dinner. So when the day is done, the dress is packed away and the honeymoon snaps have been liked all over Facebook, sit yourself down one evening with a glass of wine and some cards, and don’t forget to say thank you.
And also, PSS. Happy Thanksgiving, Americans! (And Canadians. I think. Do Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving? Happy happy if you do, Canada!)