At this point in the game, I’m pretty sure I email and talk to my vendors more than I do my friends and family. I kid, but I do feel like my relationship with the people I’ve hired to do my wedding is growing rapidly. The closer we get, the more questions they have, the more questions I have, and the more decisions there are that need to be made, which means we need to be in constant contact.
(All of the photos in this post are just for fun! I miss the days of browsing for inspiration and I figured pictures of other people’s weddings made sense for this post about vendors. In the photograph above, those chocolate centerpieces remind me of the my initial decor idea that was thrown out by, wait for it, EVERYONE. Pine cones. Sigh.)
Personally, I have to say I’ve had a fabulous time working with the professionals I’ve hired. I can attribute this to two things, 1) Mr. Sword and I only hired people we liked/got along with/respected. 2)
Mr. Sword and I did lots of research in advance before we even met with our vendors in person. I won’t go into detail about picking vendors, (because well, yawn), but I will give you some advice to help benefit BOTH you and your vendors throughout the planning process.
(Clearly the above photo needs to be me on my wedding day, surrounded by men in kilts. Yes.)
Your relationship with your vendors should be symbiotic, which means you both benefit from it. Here are Miss Sword’s Top Tips for Vendor Success:
- Show respect for their art. Listen to their concerns and ideas, and try to work within their perimeters. If a vendor explains they need space for this thing or extra equipment for that thing, try to accommodate them. It will only benefit you if they are comfortable and have what they need! For instance, my photographer asked to be fed dinner at the same time as myself and Mr. Sword, meaning, before our guests. This is a bit uncommon as the vendors are usually fed after all the guests have eaten dinner, but Crystal explained that she often misses key events or touching moments if she eats after the bride and groom eat. She says it’s best if she’s done eating before the guests are done eating so she can take more photographs of the party. So I asked our hotel coordinator to change the vendor meal time. Simple as that.
- Respond quickly to emails. Don’t you hate it when you don’t hear back about something you’ve been dying to know in regards to your wedding? Vendors are the same way. We all rely on email as a quick way to exchange info and ask questions. I’m so grateful that the two wedding coordinators at my venue respond right away (usually within an hour) to my questions and therefore I always try to respond as quickly as I can to their emails as well. It goes both ways and keeps everyone on the same page.
- Feed them. We are feeding all of our vendors, from the photographers/videographers to the DJ and the band. Even though our Ceilidh band is only playing a one hour set, we invited all four band members to come to the hotel early and eat dinner on us. They are taking time out of their Saturday evening to play at our event and I appreciate their time. Speaking of time, it also ensures that they won’t be late because they’ll have to show up early to eat dinner! And isn’t everyone happier and more fun on a full belly?
- Communicate constantly. This might sound excessive, but every time I think of something that is important to us or to Mom Sword or whomever, I email it to my vendors. If I’m unsure of something, I ask them right away. The more you communicate the more likely you are to have a smoother wedding day without too many hiccups.* I also encourage letting your vendors see your wedding timeline first before showing your bridal party and family, because that way they can give you any necessary changes before you send it out to everyone.
- Tip them. ARGH, TIPPING!! Side note: Tipping stresses me out. I’m big on tipping but I really dislike being asked for a tip (which recently happened and by letter, what??). I also feel like the wedding standards on tipping are extremely high. That said, for most vendors, it’s not optional. What goes around comes around, so tip the folks that worked their asses off for you on your wedding day. If someone goes above and beyond, then tip them extra. You might find yourself in a service job one day and will want the same courtesy extended to you.
I can think of 3 extra special things that three different vendors have done for us just because they know we’re going to treat them well and they know we respect the
work art they do create. I can’t go into it because frankly, that’s tacky, but I’m so happy that all of people I have trusted to make our day special are going above and beyond my beginning expectations! It’s making me so freaking excited for the Big Day!
*This is mere speculation as I have not yet had my wedding day and cannot confirm this to be true! 🙂