When choosing the professionals that are going to help you plan the most important and emotionally charged day of your life, there are many things you need to consider. Today, I am going to try and guide you down the path to choosing vendors that will ensure you have a perfect wedding day. Some of the same qualities that you looked for in choosing a mate, you should also look for when choosing your vendors. These qualities are TRUST, RESPECT AND OPEN COMMUNICATION. You must also realize that you are buying products, though emotional in nature, you are still
in the marketplace and the professionals you are seeking are in business. Every bride is on a budget of some sort. And, there are wonderful professionals for every budget. Respecting the fact that these professionals make their living in this industry is important for you to remember. There are many ways to save money, to cut costs in one area in order to use it somewhere else and ways that your wedding vendors will be happy to add in something, cut the cost of something or help you to tailor your budget and not lose the integrity of your big day. So, before you cancel someone out as "too expensive" or "I don't need that" or " I have a friend who can do that cheaper", think about the fact that hiring a professional is the REAL cost effective and surest way of having a day that is flawless and wonderful.What should you look for in your wedding vendors? There are so many websites to "guide you" to choices. There are hundreds of wedding pros in all facets of your wedding needs. How will you know if you have chosen the right one, the best one for you, an ethical and honest one? Here are five things to look for when meeting with prospective vendors.
Photo Courtesy of Sarah Dicicco Photography
1. Are they caring and available? Your wedding should be a priority to someone you hire. They should be interested in you, your wedding, how you met, your family dynamic and your vision and budgetary boundaries.
2. Do they listen? You should hire people who hear you, who listen to you, who understand what your wedding means to you.
3. Do you "click"? You should feel a connection to the people you hire for your wedding. Photographers and planners, especially, should be people that you like!
4. How prompt are they? When you call or email a vendor with a question or a thought, it should be addressed in a timely fashion. You should not have to wait days to hear back from them.
5. Don't be afraid to ask questions. And, make sure the professional you are meeting with asks questions too. No one should assume they "know what you are thinking". If they aren't asking questions, they aren't listening.
Here are some other things to be aware of when you begin hiring the people who will be making your wedding day a flawless one.
**Know your budget going in. Be realistic about what you have to spend and how much wiggle room there is. Meeting with vendors who are out of your reach is a waste of everyone's time and can be very upsetting and frustrating to you.
**Understand that this is a business. Be respectful about discounts. This is how these people pay their bills. Just like your doctor, a plumber- and you, this is a job. So, don't ask for things that are unreasonable to ask.
**Be upbeat and friendly. Bossy behavior and aggressive demands are not the best course toward a happy day. Remember that you have put your trust in these people. And, though this is a huge event in your life, you would not want someone to treat you badly in your business life. It is true that you catch more flies with honey!
**Be flexible. Be ready and willing to compromise on things and be aware of what is readily available, such as seasonal flowers, limited bars and shorter time slots for photographers and videographers.
**Be aware! Have a trial hair and makeup session before you finalize the deal. Do a tasting, so that you know how your meal will be presented. Go to an open house at a venue or caterer, so that you can taste the food and see the set up before you commit. Look at the photographer's work. They all have books, web sites and blogs. Just make sure that what you see is really their work- especially on line. Get referrals. Find past clients that have worked with the people you are considering. See how their day turned out.
**Read the contracts! Don't assume anything. Make sure you understand exactly what they will do, how they work and what they expect in return.
**Plan for emergencies. Mother nature, an unexpected disaster, all kinds of things can happen. Have a plan B and get wedding insurance.
**Trust your vendors. Once you have contracted with the people who will bring your dream wedding to life, trust that decision. You have chosen these people intelligently. So, let them do their job and allow them to guide you in the right direction.
**Hire a planner. I know, it isn't in the budget, you are doing it yourself, your mother is helping you. A planner can save you money along the way, can steer you to the best vendors for your dream and your budget, can fend off many emergencies before they occur and be your advocate during the process of hiring vendors. A good planner will also be able to facilitate your day from start to finish and that is something that you, the bride, can not do yourself.
From choosing colors and flowers and linens, erecting a tent in hurricane season, to getting you down the aisle in style and presenting a feast to die for, your wedding professionals are there to help you. If you use your head, as well as your heart and you apply the three basic concepts of Trust, Respect and Open Communication, you will have the perfect wedding. There are many seasoned and wonderful people in this industry. There are also bad ones. Use these tips and you are sure to weed out the garbage and find the gems!
And, as always, let me know how I can help you to have a Beautiful Day!