Dear Preston: What Is Your Advice For Hiring Vendors?
November 18, 2014
I recently became a bride. I am in the process of hiring all of my vendors for my wedding (including my florist, designer and planner) and it all feels so overwhelming. Do you have a few tips for me that might help me make the right choices?
First of all, let me say congratulations! I know that it feels overwhelming, but I promise that you are in for the ride of your life, and I want you to enjoy it! I would love to offer you these five tips based on the mistakes I have made in handling past clients.
An Open Mind Is Essential: You need to work with someone who will listen without judgment. This is much easier said than done. In the past, I have made the terrible mistake of telling clients that what they liked was in poor taste. Since then I have learned,it is not my place to dictate, but to offer suggestions.
Experience Depends On Size, Location and Logistics: Years ago, I did a destination wedding that began two hours late because of my poor time management. At the time, I had no experience in overcoming the challenges of a destination wedding (and I am not afraid to say that it took me a few years to get it right).
High Expectations: Do not expect good service, expect great service. If you feel neglected in any way, this person is not the right vendor for you. In the past, I have been so busy working on my next weekend wedding that I have neglected in getting back to a client on time., They rightfully fired me for not understanding that, for them, their wedding was the only event that mattered.
Money Matters: Do not hesitate to discuss money. At the same time, be open to educating yourself in what things cost. This is new for me. In the past I used to put off monetary discussions until later, but I have learned (the hard way) that one cannot show brides things that they can not afford, or do not want to afford.
Follow Your Gut: Steer clear of the braggarts. Vendors who brag about how good they are, usually aren’t. If they are good, there is no need to brag. You’ll be able to see it with your own eyes.
Question: Do you have any suggestions for this bride?
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Photo Courtesy of John Labbe