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Are you a Porcupine?

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by Carol Rame of Carol Rame Weddings in Hamilton, ON

The reason I ask this question, is that as a Professional, on some occasions, I have had to deliver some critical feedback to some of my fellow vendors. While it is easy to “believe in our own hype”, it is also critical to remember that we DO make mistakes and we are not ALWAYS perfect.

One way to keep improving on our craft, is to do follow ups with our clients as well as the people we partner with. BUT… You MUST be prepared that you may not get a 10 out of 10 everytime.

Your relationships with those you work with should be based upon honesty- and that includes being open enough to tell someone that their “game” may be lacking.

Recently I had to be honest with a vendor I work with (who I also consider a friend). Based on previous good experiences working with this individual, I felt that this time something was lacking-so I brought it to attention. Please note that I TRIED very hard to be tactful on my delivery so that I did not want to be seen as “bashing” their work. I simply started with taking ownership of my feelings and stating “I felt this way because….” and then asked how they felt about how it went.

Almost immediately after I stated how I felt, that person got their back up and started firing off questions at me, and then turned it around to the “Well YOU should have… and YOU should have…” My impression of this person immediately changed. I now started wondering what this person would be like if I was a client, and not another vendor in the field.

My point is this, you must be open enough about your work to accept feedback (constructive critism, whatever you want to call it), when someone is trying to be honest about something they were not happy with.  If you disagree-it’s fair game to say so too, keep the lines of communication open. You can choose to do something about it-or not think about it again-that is your choice whether you see it as a learning experience to improve your craft.

I always remember the old saying “You can’t hug a porcupine when they have their quills up.” So don’t get your back up, just because someone points out something that is not perfect-it could be your best learning tool, and others may not have had the guts to say something about it before.

Thanks everyone-hope you all have a successful year 🙂


  1. In response to Carol`s advice, I would love to post a comment! As a new face in the industry – I can admit to the mistakes I have made! Everyone makes them! Usually I am well aware of my mistakes after-the fact as the event goes by and I think in my head “Oh shoot! Why did I do that?!?!? A seasoned planner through WPIC gave me some tips as we were assisting another planner with an event. She said the following: “Lia, my best advice to you is to reach out to the couple a few days after the event, and ask them how they felt. Positive critisism will be key to learning how to be be succesful planner, but it is also an endearing attribute to have as a person in general.”

    So, here I am…two years into starting my own business. I`ve made my mistakes. I`ve learned from my mistakes. And I`m sure I`ll be making more mistakes. But when I approach every couple and ask them for their feedback, they are shocked that I am interested in finding out what their thoughts are. Had I not asked, they probably would have never told me! The fact that they know I`m just starting out and I am self-aware, knowledgeable and willing to learn for the sake of continous improvement makes them even happier with my services after the fact!

    And that`s how word of mouth has got me where I am today. But that`s another topic within itself entirely! 😉

    Thanks to Bernadette Sousa! Little does she know her kind words of advice have inspired me to provide the same advice to those around me, in all fields and industries.

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