My-oh-my I have TONS of tips for you all today! One of the things that I had NO clue about when I was planning my own wedding was inquiring with vendors. To tell you the truth, I was actually afraid of it- which is probably why I ended up not quite having the best wedding I could have had. As some of you know, after my wedding, I started working in the wedding industry, and during this time, I definitely saw my share of inquiries. I of course want you all to learn from my mistakes as well as my industry experience, so I thought I would share a few of my tips for you on inquiring with wedding vendors…
1. First and foremost, search in Every Last Vendor for the most awesome vendors that I myself have extensively reviewed and approved. And then… DON’T BE AFRAID TO INQUIRE with them like I was! Along those same lines, also know that it’s okay to search outside of where your wedding is occurring. Vendors are always willing to travel, and who knows- your absolute favorite photographer could be in the next town over!
2. Don’t just send one big mass email to every single vendor in your area. Narrow down your list to your top choices and send inquiries to them.
3. Keep your email short, kind, and informative. Start off by telling the vendor why you are emailing them- what is it about them that drew you to them? I know it’s corny, but it will establish a nice sense of relationship for both of you. :) Provide them with your wedding date, your venue, a little bit about the kind of wedding you’re wanting to have, what services of theirs you are interested in, and what your estimated budget is for those services.
4. If you’re searching for pricing and packages options, some vendors put that information right on their website, so be sure to look to see if it’s there before you ask about that.
5. And the biggest thing of all- respond! Even if you’ve decided to go with someone else, please respond to them and let them know!
I also asked a few of my friends to give us some of their tips for inquiring with vendors…
“Remember when inquiring with vendors for services for your wedding, to be prompt in responding to their communication, both emails and phone calls. It takes a lot of time and energy to put professional and customized proposals and consults together in a timely manner, and it’s nice to get a response (good, bad or otherwise) in a timely manner. It goes a long way when you can return the courtesy they have extended you in responding promptly. Also, it is helpful to your potential vendors to be honest and upfront with your needs, wants and desires and, of course, your budget. It helps the vendor create a customized proposal that best fits your wedding. If you are honest in your inquiries, then you will have better results from your potential vendors.” Just Save The Date
“I always love it when my brides send me a little more than just the basics (name, email, date and phone number). I feel like if they tell me their story or a little about their wedding, we have more of a connection than just how I can be a part of their day!” Imprint Cinema
“Always go with your gut feeling when talking with vendors. You will spend at least 25 hours with them – photographers and videographers even more. A great connection with a fabulous vendor will pay off in spades – both in your sanity and their creativity! If you are on a tight budget, that’s okay. Be honest about what you can afford and be realistic about what you’ll get for your money. Would you rather have 12 hours with a so-so photographer or 6 hours with a fantastic photographer? Finally – if a vendor is sending a contract to you, they’re pretty serious about the relationship and would like to work with you. If you decide to go a different direction, good karma dictates you let them know. Many of your vendors will receive other inquiries for your date and many will do a courtesy hold. Don’t assume that just because you have a contract in your hands, that your date is locked down. Until a signed contract passes from you to the vendor, waiting two weeks to sign could result in them taking another booking and you searching for the perfect vendor – again.” Stephanie Haller
“If you send an email inquiry and don’t receive a response in 48 hours, don’t assume the potential vendor is blowing you off. Technical challenges do happen, so try again or reach out via phone to be sure.” First Coast Weddings
“When contacting a vendor regarding services for your wedding, it’s helpful to be specific about the services you’re requesting and the date in which you need the service. This also helps the vendor to put together a custom quote for you.” Enraptured Events
“It’s important that couples do their research before contacting a specified vendor to know they are a good fit. And that exploration should continue throughout the inquiry/consultation phase. When receiving an inquiry, it’s nice to know the couple values what you could bring to the table. When I get: “Hi, I love your work. How much for X?” it’s clear to me that they don’t understand how I can help them because I can’t just put a price on X. It’s after meeting and speaking with couples that I can fully understand what their needs are and how I can best fulfill them. So, I think it’s best to do some research to figure out what 2-3 vendors in each category you really like, and would like to work with, and then communicate with them to see who the best fit could be.” Weswen Design
Wow, those are all GREAT tips, don’t you think? I also have a few more tips about finding and inquiring with vendors in this past post, and if you’re wondering about ways to find out vendor pricing, I’ve got that here for you! :)
Brides, do you have any other tips of your own that you found helpful? And vendors, have anything else to add that might help out brides?