Wedding Hacks: How to make Wedding Vendors Like You
During the wedding planning process, you’re going to find yourself dealing with a number of vendors from different areas of expertise. It may not have occurred to you up until now, but it’s important that you at least try to make wedding vendors like you.
It’s not automatic just because you’re offering them money – yes, if they’re professional, they’ll provide you with good service, regardless, but you’ll find the experience a whole lot better if you get them on side.
I’m paying them – why should I work to make them like me too?
Yeah, you’re definitely going to win them over with that attitude…
Think of it this way: if you ever worked in retail and had regular customers, didn’t you always make an extra effort with the customers who were nice to you? Even now, aren’t you more likely to help out a colleague or client quickly if they’re friendly and pleasant to deal with?
It’s human nature – if someone is nice to us and we have a rapport, we’re going to give them our best. On the flip side, if you’re dealing with a client who is rude and demanding and treats you like a second class citizen, you’ll do the minimum and rarely anything more.
Making the experience pleasant for your vendor, respecting their experience and collaborating with them means they’ll enjoy working with you. This can result in them throwing you a couple of freebies or going the extra mile if you have a crisis at any point.
Makes sense – so, how do you make wedding vendors like you?
#1. Don’t bring your entourage
It’s hard enough for a vendor to combine a bride and groom’s ideas into a finished product, without you guys bringing along your entire wedding party and several family members. It also means the vendor feels incredibly outnumbered and may not feel confident enough to give you the best advice they usually can. That or everyone’s talking too much to let them speak.
When you first sit down with vendors, make sure it’s just you, them and your fiancée and this way, you can turn your ideas into a plan without several opinions being given at the same time.
This is especially important for anything creative, like flower arrangements or venue decorations. Once you’ve told them what your vision is and you’re confident they understand, stop and listen to what they’re telling you. They’re the experts, so they’ll tell you how to achieve what you’re going for and if it will even work. They can also offer other suggestions they feel are in line with your taste, but that they know will give you better results.
#3. Don’t micromanage
By all means, check in now and again to ensure things are on track, but don’t try to control every single move they make. You’ve hired them as an expert, so let them do their job. Once you’re sure they’re on the same page as you, get some kind of plan on paper with a timeline and leave them to get on it. Having a written plan means you can send an email or give them a call once in a while to make sure everything’s going smoothly and there’s nothing for you to worry about.
#4. Don’t argue in front of them
Is there anything more awkward than watching a couple fight? The both of you should have decided what you want before you met with the vendor and should use this time to combine your vision with their expertise; not fight about what colours you prefer with your fiancée or a parent. If you aren’t sure what you want, that’s absolutely fine – visit the vendor, get them to run through a number of options with you and then go home and fight about what you want to go with.
#5. Negotiate, but don’t low blow them
Of course you’re on a budget and we presume you’ve done some industry research, so you know what the average price is, so negotiating is a given. You should definitely see what deals you can get or if they can give you any freebies, but be respectful. Don’t just try to get them down to the lowest price you possibly can. Vendors work hard, are often self-employed and the hours aren’t that pleasant. They have business expenses to cover, as well as their own wages, and remember, you’re paying for their services, time and skills – it’s not just materials.
#6. Understand they have a different working week to you
Most vendors work at weddings throughout the weekend and will then take a day or two for themselves during the week. Keep this in mind if you email them and don’t hear back within a few hours. It could be their day off or they’re giving another couple their full attention because it’s their actual wedding day. Give them a bit of time to respond and don’t panic.
#7. Don’t keep changing your mind
It’s not unusual for you to get a new idea or decide something is just not working a few months after making a plan, but this should only happen once (maybe twice) at most. Remember that every time you change a plan, the vendor has to start from scratch, scrapping completed work and putting even more time into your project. Plus, the more you tweak things during the process, the less likely you are to get a cohesive finished product.
#8. Be honest
You shouldn’t be hounding them, but if you’re genuinely worried about something or unhappy with the direction, talk to the vendor. Whether the issue is with the ideas you decided to go with or if you’re feeling like the vendor doesn’t really understand what you guys wanted, it’s always best to get it out in the open. Once you’re honest and don’t attack them, in the long-run, the vendor will be happy you spoke to them. At the end of the day, no vendor wants a couple to arrive at their wedding and be unhappy they decided to work with that company.
Oh and last (but definitely note least) don’t forget to say ‘Please’ and ‘Thank you’! In particular a ‘Thank you’ card or comment on their Facebook page will be greatly appreciated…