This is it! Wedding plans are underway, you’ve got your look books, your inspirational photo album, your list of possible motif colors and menu items! You’ve got a hundred questions going through your mind right now, you're ready to get planning and find out what you need to know.
All the wedding planning can really get you energized so that you want that information right now. But before you run off to your vendors with your list of questions in hand, keep in mind that in order to effectively communicate with them, you need to settle some things on your end. Below are a few times to keep in mind in order to effectively communicate with your wedding day vendors.
Create a Dedicated Wedding Email
Getting organized can be difficult if you have all your correspondence in your primary email. Unless you’re regularly checking your primary email, it would be best to set up an email address primary for all your wedding correspondence. That way, you’ll only have one place to check and you have all the communication in one place. Staying organized is an important part of wedding planning! It can also keep spam emails out of your primary inbox.
This is good because you can share access to the email with your partner, which easily gives them visibility. Your vendors might not be accustomed to using the ‘Reply All’ button, and if there are several email recipients, they might be left out of the email trail. Another thing you should keep in mind is to be consistent with the platform you use to communicate with your vendors. That way, they don’t miss any communication from you, and you get all the information in one place from them.
Be Transparent and Clear
Whatever you do, do not be vague. Be very clear about how much you are willing to spend and what your allocated budget is. You should also be very clear about what you want for the venue or your reception or even from the catering. This way, the vendor can honestly tell you what they can and cannot meet as far as your requests are concerned. Be honest about your needs and expectations. For instance, if you have a guest list of 150, with children as guests, and you are expecting that your vendors would have some kind of set up for guests with children, then be clear about how you want that handled.
Not all wedding planners are capable of handling every single detail of your wedding. They might be someone who can handle some aspects, and direct what you need to be done, but they might not have access or ability to handle other parts of your wedding such as scheduling meetings with other vendors for you, or handling your dress fittings for you.
On the other hand, if you expect your wedding planner or coordinator to have access to these services, there might be an additional amount that you would need to pay. Make sure you work with them and communicate with them regularly about all details about your wedding. Communication is very important if you want your vendors to do a good job on their end.
Get Everything in Writing
A lot of wedding vendors use email to communicate. It helps keep everything organized and allows you to follow up through one mode of communication. As with any project, paid work, or business agreement, you are paying for a service, so make sure everything you have discussed with your wedding vendor is written down. Your vendors should be discussing things and taking notes during in-person meetings and phone calls.
All types of fees must be indicated in your contract, as well as additional services fees, late fees, corkage fees, and other applicable charges. If there are changes to the services in your contract, that should also be written down. And before you sign anything, make sure you read the entire contract and understand the clause in your contract. No matter what it is, get it in writing. a
Manage Your Expectations
First of all, make sure you read your contract. Communication with your vendors starts with your contract. If there are any sort of promises or conversations outside of your contract, make sure you get those in writing whether in an email or via text communication. Read your contract as it explains the limitations of what your vendors will or will not do. Take note of any inconsistencies, and if you have any questions, let your vendors know.
Avoid having expectations that are nowhere near what is listed in your contract, otherwise, it would create some conflict between you and your vendors. These include expectations on your vendor’s response times and business hours. Keep in mind that your vendors have other clients they cater to, so they may not reply back to you within an hour or three, or even within 24 hours.
If this is something that is important to you, let your vendor know upfront so that they can make some sort of adjustment. But be attentive when your vendor gives you a manageable timeframe that they may be able to respond to, and you can compromise, then you will both have an agreed timeframe of which to respond and expect a response. And whatever you do, please do not text or call your vendor at 9:00 PM at night or six in the morning, unless they explicitly say that it is okay to do.
Select a Point of Contact for you and your Vendors
If you are a bride getting ready for your wedding, it’s not a wise idea to allow everyone to reach out to your vendors should they have any questions. It will be much easier for you to appoint a point of contact with whom you will share all the specifics and details of your wedding celebration. They should also be the only ones whom you will allow to reach out to vendors. If anyone has a question, they should be directed to you, or to the couple, or to your chosen points of contact.
Let Them Know If It Is Not Working Out
Oftentimes, you will find that neither you nor your partner is not happy with how things are going, or there are several expectations that are not working out. Feel free to voice your concern to your vendor in a factual manner. If you have voiced your concerns and set a timeline or did a follow-up, done everything on your end to accommodate delays and you’re still not getting the output you are looking for, then you can consider firing your vendor. Hopefully, it does not get to that point as it can be super stressful having to find another replacement. But it would be a better option than to pay for something and not be able to get on your wedding day.
Make Sure Your Vendors Are Aware
Is there a family member that is known to indulge too much? Has there been a divorce between someone you’ve invited? Are there family members that do not get along with each other? This is very helpful information for your photographer so that he or she would not avoid trying to put them in the same photo.
Don’t hold back on personal information especially when you know there should be some guests that need some help getting control. Your vendors are part of the planning and should know what to expect.
Weddings can be full of hidden wedding expenses but having successful vendors you trust is an easy way to keep the budget transparent. Keep in mind these tips when communicating with your wedding vendors to have the most successful wedding day possible!
Kara has been with Wedding Favors Unlimited for 2 years. She’s been giving wedding and style advice for the past 5 years from bridal magazines to bridal boutiques. Feel free to ask Kara a question below!