Planning a wedding can be an exhilarating or exhausting experience, depending on how you choose to approach it. I am not speaking only about maintaining a positive attitude (though that’s important) but also about taking the time to do your own legwork and put in the effort to choose the vendors who will help bring your dream wedding to life. Today, I will share the advice I gave to a young bride who called into our offices for advice. Though we are not working with her on her big day due to her budget constraints, I wanted to do my best to guide her in the right direction.
Look Beyond Your Budget: I do not mean go outside of it, but just because someone gives the right estimate does not mean they are the right person for the job. Be sure to do your research and try and have a list of a few planners and vendors to interview and get to know. Have a list of questions and ask for recommendations. Remember, you are interviewing them for the job and not vice versa. Also, remember to trust your instincts. It doesn’t matter how great a reputation a vendor has, not if something doesn’t feel right. Trust your gut.
Hire a Planner: I have said this a number of times, but there is more to planning a wedding than knowing where to sit relatives, recreating ideas from Pinterest, and hiring a florist and caterer. A qualified planner can help you with everything from negotiating lower rates with vendors and contractual conflicts to managing the event itself while you enjoy your big day.
Be Firm, Yet Flexible: There are two types of brides who always wind up disappointed: those who are so tied to their specific idea of their dream wedding that any diversion “ruins” everything (example: a florist not being able to get her dream flowers) and those who are so afraid to offend her vendor that they wind up with a wedding they never wanted. The brides who fare best are those who have a clear idea of what they want, but are realistic about things like budgets and seasonal constraints.
Speak Up: Vendors are human beings and that means that miscommunications are bound to occur if there is not an open and effective line of communication. If you have a question about something that is said or written in a contract, make sure to address it as soon as possible. If something is promised verbally, ask for it in writing. This is less about a lack of trust and more about keeping things streamlined and easily retrievable.
Decide Who Is Handling What: It’s not uncommon for couples to be planning their wedding with parents, family members, or close friends. With that said, a vendor needs to have a clear understanding as to who is handling what, which will help any crossed lines of communication and unnecessary upsets.
What is your best advice for new brides looking at hiring vendors for the first time?
(Photo Courtesy of Vogue France)