January 4, 2016

The Wedding Files #4 - Vendors

Those people that you will rely on to make your wedding come together - those are vendors. How many and which vendors you'll have will depend on the style of your wedding and how much you're doing on your own.

The following are some of the most common vendors, but there can be others. An asterisk denotes a vendor that I did not have to work with:

  • Church
  • Reception Hall
  • Caterer*
  • Florist
  • DJ
  • Musician/Band
  • Photographer
  • Videographer*
  • Dress maker
  • Decorator
  • Wedding Planner*

The two most important things to consider in the vendor selection process are:
  1. Give yourself as much time for the selection process so that you can shop around as much as possible.
  2. Know what you want!
They're all going to be nice because they all want your money. They're all going to want to meet you face to face to try to win your business and tell you why they are the best. You'll have to look beyond all that. While there are always things/options that you may not have considered, you'll know the most important details of what you're looking for and you'll have to stand your ground on them.

To make it easier to choose, make sure that you are comparing apples to apples when asking for estimates. For example, have each caterer quote on the same number of courses, same serving and bar style, and leave out any differences as a 'bonus'. You can apply this to all of your other vendors. It may be a bit more up front work for you but it'll make the decision-making process much easier.

The biggest learning from the vendor process for me was how much I needed to spoon feed vendors versus them providing me with info. I guess I may be the only one that feels this way, but I highly doubt that.

For example, the florists all wanted to see picture examples of what I was looking for. This was totally fine; I knew the colours I was looking for and sent them a few different options. Of course, the first quote I received from each was based exactly on the images I showed. No use of imagination or recommendations of high/low cost options. I mean, you could have a least asked if I was open to suggestions before doing the quote. So of course I sent it back. At that point, only a couple were not annoying to deal with because I'm not going to sit here and tell you "replace flower A with flower B, give me size X instead of size Y..." etc. You have my budget and my ideas - work with it.

Don't get me wrong - the florists were not the only offenders. Pretty much everyone asked for my vision and then utilized none of their own imagination until I pushed them to. That's why it's so important to know what you want!

I think that's all the 'wisdom' I can impart on this topic ladies. Just don't let yourself get pushed around by bully vendors & you will be fine!

Happy Planning!

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