Wedding Vendor Etiquette: Making the Most of Your Vendor Experience

Hello lovelies!

ks-sweetheart-tablePhoto Credit: Chloe Moore Photography

If one thing is true about making a wedding come to life, it’s that the day undoubtedly rests in the hands of your vendors. From the enchanting florals, to the enticing eats, down to the exquisitely printed paperware, each vendor plays a fundamental and unique role in your wedding day shenanigans. That being said, making the most of your wedding day vendors is all based on having the best possible interaction with them. The goal is to leave both parties happy and optimistic to working together again in the future. We at Marisa Nicole Events strongly believe that you can always catch more flies with honey than vinegar… While dealing with vendors can be stressful, with the right know-how and a cheerful spirit to go with it, both parties will leave satisfied and smiling. So, here is our advice for getting the most out of your vendor experience!

leanneandmattwedding-1458Photo Credit: Booth Photographics

Getting Started

Three words… Plan in advance! Before you even think about contacting vendors, be sure to know what your budget is, both overall and specifically for the service the company you are meeting with offers. Once you do start connecting with potential vendors, let them know your price point and ask them what services they can include while staying true to that. Many brides worry that presenting a strict budget means vendors will shy away from giving her everything she wants for the wedding, but it is in fact the opposite! When vendors have an honest, clear budget to work with, and a straightforward idea of what you have in mind, each will do what they can to make it happen within your price range (and if they can’t, you’ll save a lot of time not communicating with vendors you can’t afford). As always, throughout the research process with potential vendors, kindness is key!

tracy-adam-wedding-4Photo Credit: Iris and Light Photography

Booking & Negotiations

Hooray! You’ve decided on a vendor to book, now you just need to solidify details and make things official! Here is where the precedence is set for what your relationship with each vendor looks like moving forward. Through all the planning, design, or what have you, remember that each vendor plays a massive part in making your day everything you want it to be, so treat your vendors with respect. In other words, don’t be that client who is a pain in the booty during this part of the communication and negotiation process, because you don’t want to end up paying top dollar simply because vendors think you’re a pill. When the potential vendors present you with their fees, understand that if you have been consistently specific and kind, it is their honest price. Trying to haggle a price point or talking them down can give off vibes that say you’re feeling as if the vendor isn’t worth what they think they are. Constant kindness from you means when it comes down to it, vendors will bend over backwards for you!

mel-and-andy-19Photo Credits: Ronca Productions

Wedding Logistics

As you approach the date of the event, don’t forget to communicate with your vendors! Don’t assume they’re off doing their job and don’t need to hear from you anymore. Ask for each vendor’s collaboration by sending your contact the working day of flow. See if what you have planned is setting their team up for success. When your contact gives you feedback, actually take it into consideration and try to work it into the day of plan. If what he or she is asking for just isn’t possible, be sure to communicate why, keeping the lines of communication open and allowing each vendor to feel as if his or her expert opinion is valued. If your vendors don’t feel heard, they are much less likely to give you their all on the big day. Just be clear and interactive.

ks-401-of-1130Photo Credit: Kim Fox Photography

Execution

When the big day arrives, the most important thing to keep in mind with vendors is to never, ever treat them like they are ‘the help’ (sorry if this sounds uncouth, but there just isn’t a better way to put it). Each one of wedding team members has shown up to make your special day even more wonderful, and should be treated as kindly and with as much respect as one of your guests. The key is to remember that although your vendors are providing a professional service on your wedding day, they are still people too, just doing his or her best to make your celebration fab. Oh, and please, please feed your vendors in a timely manner. We suggest having the vendors eat at the same time that your guests do, as you wouldn’t want them to have to miss a minute of the action once speeches and dancing commence (the photographer can’t snag photos of your bestie’s Maid of Honor rap if the vendor meal is served at the same time and a hungry band won’t able to perform their best with tummies rumbling).

haelydavid-452Photo Credit: Andrew Abajian Photography

Post-Wedding Etiquette

In the same way that our mothers taught us to say “please” (see the “booking & negotiations” section above), they also taught us to say “thank you.”  We at Marisa Nicole Events truly believe that showing your hard working vendors how much you appreciate them is a must if you want your vendors to feel like you are happy with their work. This is where tips (and a kind note) come in. Which vendors should you tip, you ask? Our rule of thumb is that you tip the team members who are actually present during your wedding, pouring their blood, sweat and tears into making your day a success (whether or not the person on-site is an employee or the owner of the company)! If your vendor did a fantastic job and played a part in making your wedding as perfect as you had hoped, then put your money where your mouth is and give them a tip and a nice note to thank him or her for their service! If they’re not tipped, vendors will take it as a hint that they didn’t do a good job. Tip them, write thoughtful thank you notes, etc… Just give them love if they did their job well.

440-seaton-warehouse-event-venues-los-angelesPhoto Credit: Leif Brandt Photography

The bottom line is, always be as sweet as possible to your vendors! As we said earlier, you will always catch more flies with honey. Kindness is the the key to having the most productive interactions, getting the best price, and having the best overall experience. Just remember that it’s your day, and your vendors are there to make it phenomenal! Happy booking!

beccarillo_20151204_5223Photo Credit: Becca Rillo Photography

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