Know Your Vendors

July 10, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Hello Again! It's been some time since I've posted anything but there was a holiday and I hope yours was lovely and full of fried treats and fireworks. I had so many topics outlined and this was not the post I had intended to write but here we are. Jim and I are preparing a vendor booth for a bridal show, I am a planner so we won't be working the event until January but I'm preparing for it now.  I've started thinking about the design of the booth, showcasing our work, and making a really inviting space. What do brides want? How can we make people comfortable? Jim is a people person, I'm a little shy by nature but I could talk about weddings for days. (Side note, it's super strange to refer to my dad as Jim)

While I was thinking about what brides want, and what kind of bride we want for our business I was reminded of a terrible run in I had with a wedding planner. I was the maid of honor for my best friend Erin, the woman would put a Disney princess to shame. She was such a great bride, calm, collected, and ready to marry her soulmate. When people think of Erin, mean or demanding are not descriptors they would use. It was with some surprise that Erin and her wedding coordinator did not get along. Now, this coordinator will not be named but she was part and parcel of the venue. I'm not sure on the particulars of her job since I didn't see a lot of her, we did most of the set up and post wedding clean up ourselves. Some things I do remember were her suggesting that Erin and Jason choose alternate wedding attendants as one of them is handicapped, one is larger, and another was covered in tattoos. This woman made it clear she didn't like the people as they would not photograph well.  She also voiced her displeasure as the couple took a moment to pray together immediately following the ceremony, and instructed the guests to begin eating without the them. She got snippy with Erin at the cake cutting and was finally asked to leave by the Mother of the Bride, but she stuck around and instructed some of the clean-up staff to throw away their sand ceremony vase and the top tier of the wedding cake. Fortunately, people were on hand to take the items back and get the woman out of the building. The damage however was done, she was so rude and unwelcoming that people left the reception two hours early because they felt that she had rushed them. 

I have taken a wedding planning course, it was mostly information I already knew but that is coming from someone with a life-long love of wedding planning. I think everyone should have a wedding coordinator in some form or fashion. If you cannot afford a coordinator for the entire planning process at least hire someone for the month of the wedding. Many planners offer this service, a lot of brides can handle the details, stay on schedule and budget but in my opinion, it is imperative to have someone in the month of your wedding and for the day of especially. The planner takes all the arrangements you have made and turns them into an active timetable of where you need to be and when. She will direct all the vendors you have selected to be in their locations and she handles any snags that come up so you can get married without having to worry whether the cakes have arrived in the reception location while you’re in a chapel trying to get married. My friend Chelsea hired month of coordination and it made things so much easier. We handled the leg work and the coordinator put it together flawlessly. Including the rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, and the wedding day plans. They direct the guests, the vendors, and take care of problems that arise, in this case a groomsman who thought sneaking his own bottle of liquor would be a good idea. They handle this so the bride and groom can focus on each other and that’s what matters.

If you have the money consider hiring a planner for the event from start to finish, it may seem expensive at first but they have contacts in the industry who they can call for anything and everything. Many times they can book a bargain or discount on your behalf. So, while you may pay for the planning service, you’ll pay less for other services because of their skill and know how.  

 Get a feel for who your planner is personally and professionally, and make sure you are comfortable with them and their style. We love a relaxed and happy bride and we strive to make everyone feel great but that comes with some effort. When I accompanied my friends on their bridal appointments we sat down to chat with the potential vendors it felt like meeting with friends. The conversations were seamless and comfortable. Even discussing the vision and finances were no trouble at all. Be sure to read up on the company, who they are, what they do, and how they can fit into your day. A red flag when meeting with vendors is the way they speak of competition, I hate to hear one company bad mouth another. Another thing to watch out for is someone who promises to make all your wedding dreams come true without having a real conversation with you.

The main point I want to make is that when you're planning your wedding, there's more to consider than booking a bargain. Make sure you can fully articulate your vision for the day and make sure your vendors can deliver. Better to do some extra leg work early on, than be disappointed after the fact.


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