15 Ways Couples Can Help Wedding Vendors Provide Their Best Service
Every vendor really wants to do the best job possible for your wedding. What can a bride/groom do to insure that they are able to do exactly that? Here are some general suggestions that go across most if not all vendor lines.
This might be the only place you will hear this!
1. Communicate with your vendor in a timely manner during the planning process. If they reach out to you, they probably need information from you to proceed.
2. If your vendors don't reach you as quickly as you might like, they are probably in a meeting or working an event. Remember that they will show you the same courtesy when you are having a consultation with them or they are at your wedding.
3. Ask if they have a questionnaire to complete before the consultation. If so, have it done before your appointment. If you can email it to them even earlier, all the better.
4. Don't be afraid to ask a lot of questions at a consultation.
5. Keep your vendors informed of any major problems/questions that have come up as soon as you can.
6. Notify the appropriate vendors of any changes after you have considered the change carefully. Limiting the number of changes, especially closer to the wedding will make things flow more smoothly. Changing your mind often will increase everyone's chance of confusion and possibly result in things not being as you wanted for your wedding. Emailing is the best way because it creates a record that can be referred to or transferred to notes in a file created for you. It never hurts to double-check.
7. Try to keep your questions relevant to what a vendor actually does for a wedding. They want to help you, but their time is better spent in their area of expertise. When they suggest that you need a coordinator, they are trying to save you valuable time and money as well as for themselves.
8. Try to keep all of your appointments and give at least 24 hours notice if possible. You should text, email or call or a combination of any of these. Depending on where your vendor is and what they are doing, their access to any of these might vary.
9. Have some idea of what you want your wedding to be like. When asked what you envision for your wedding, as much as possible avoid responses such as:
A. "We don't really care".
B. "My Mom (or whomever) is taking care of all of that". Come prepared with details of what is being done.
C. "We don't think that anyone will cause problems at our wedding". (You really have no way of knowing how people are going to react on such an emotionally-charged day added to alcohol).
D. "We haven't really thought of a budget". A vendor will be wondering if you are even able to pay them and won't have as good of an idea of what you want for your wedding.
E. "We're just shopping for prices." This is okay on some level because sometimes that is the only starting point or ice breaker you have! If you're speaking with a professional vendor, be honest with yourself. If a particular type of vendor is really important to you and you know that they are integral to your wedding day and future memories, you want a quality product. The lowest prices are often the costliest decisions. Set what you feel are priorities for your wedding. You might not know it, but some professionals take offense at this "price shopping" response, because they feel that you have not taken the time to check out their quality of work which they generally take a lot of pride in versus a non-professional who probably doesn't have a portfolio, testimonials or nearly the experience. They could wonder how serious you really are about that particular aspect of your wedding.
10. Assumptions you should never make:
A. Your friends will help you set up and clean up.
B. Your bridal party and guests will show up on time. Do what you can to encourage people to be on time. (The opposite can be a problem, too) If people show up too early, they might want to help and that can actually hinder vendors trying to do their job.
11. Remember that your vendors working at your wedding are people! They will probably be working many hours and to do their best they will need a chance to eat. No fainting vendors! You can arrange to provide a plate, or a trip through the buffet line after your guests have been served or have gone though a buffet line. Offer them a little bit of privacy as they won't want to be seen eating in front of the guests if possible and they may only have a few short minutes to eat.
12. Ask if a vendor needs a tablecloth and order them tablecloths that go all the way down to the floor. They will need to hide a number of things that are unsightly or just don't want everything in plain sight.
13. Tell a few key people who will be at your wedding what some of the venue rules are. This is especially true for those things that might prevent you from getting your deposit back.
14. Don't expect a vendor to wait for payments. Sometimes brides have an attitude of "..but it's my wedding day!" To this type of bride, I would say, think of it this way. You expect a paycheck for your work and wouldn't appreciate it if your boss said, "I'm not paying you today because it is my birthday!" (A little tongue in cheek there)
15. Last but not least, don't procrastinate to hire a vendor. Remember that most wedding vendors do the majority of their work in a 3-4 month period of time. This also can set limitations on the number of vendors available for whatever service you need.