Hey all you wonderful ELD brides out there! My name is Erica Sarell, and I couldn’t be more excited to share my experiences with you all! A quick little background on me: I’m a wedding planner based in Breckenridge, Colorado, and I was recently married this past summer. Surprisingly, even though I’m in the industry, I found that planning a wedding and being a bride was more challenging than I could have imagined. That specifically is another story for another time, but I’m thankful that I get to share all that I’ve learned here on ELD!
Today, I’d like to talk about choosing your wedding vendors- probably one of the more important aspects to planning a wedding right?! I mean, without vendors, how do you have a wedding? They can either make your day more memorable, or completely ruin your memory of the day. That’s a pretty big deal. So drawing on my experience as a planner and a recent bride, I thought I would share a few things to keep in mind when choosing your vendors.
1. Follow your gut
It’s usually right and should be a good guide to follow. First impressions mean a lot, and so do interacting with them. If you don’t feel comfortable with them now, why would you be on your wedding day? Not every vendor is the right fit for you and not every bride is a good fit for the vendor. It’s ok when this happens. No hard feelings, just move on.
2. It’s OK to contact more than one vendor. Just follow up with the vendors you’ve chatted with.
Sure, you want to shop around, do your research and price out services. We all do it. Not all vendors will be priced the same, and don’t include the same services. **Disclaimer: Please refer to the next point for more on that topic. So go ahead, look around – just make sure you follow up with the vendors you choose not to work with as a courtesy. If they’re a professional, they’ll do their diligence by following up with you and it’s the right thing to do to let them know you’re going in a different direction. As simple as that.
Read more on this: To Follow Up Or Not To Follow Up…
3. All Packages are NOT created equal. Try not to compare.
Now you might say “Erica, you just said it’s ok to price shop?!” Yes, I did and it is. Just remember that each vendor prices their packages differently, they include vastly different services in their packages and add value because of their specific experience. It would be like trying to compare apples to oranges, it’s not a fair comparison. As a consumer, you are looking to find the service that best matches your needs. Remember to objectively consider each vendors services for the cost. A photographer that is cheaper may not always be better. Consider your budget, but also consider the vendors experience and quality of service when making your decisions.
Read more on this: Comparing Vendors: Apples To Oranges
4. Be as informative as possible
When you are chatting with a vendor (especially when talking a wedding planner, ladies we need to know ALL the details! We live for details, and they help us help you) divulge what you need. The more information us vendors have, the better we can figure out how to best help you. When vendors ask you questions, it’s usually for a reason other than being a nosey Nora. Honesty is the best policy here.
Read more on this: 5 Tips For Inquiring With Wedding Vendors
5. Don’t negotiate- ask for payment plans.
Budget. The B word. Everyone should have one and you should stick to it. Whatever it may be. So more than likely you’ll have some number that you need to stick to and no matter what the number is – be true to it. When evaluating which vendors to book for your wedding day, you are bound to want to hire a vendor that may be more than your budget allows. If you can’t necessarily afford that vendor, instead of negotiating and asking them to discount their services – ask if you can make payments. This may allow you to afford their services if you aren’t dishing out big chunks of money, but rather making smaller payments along the way. A vendor might be more willing to work with you on this so you can afford to book their services as opposed to belittling a vendors experience and services by asking to pay them less. We usually ask for what we feel our service is worth.
Read more on this: What Negotiation Doesn’t Mean
If you keep these things in mind when looking to hire your wedding vendors, I think you’ll be highly successful in assembling the perfect team to carry out the wedding of your dreams.
Oh, and one last word of advice: you don’t have to hire every vendor the second you’re engaged – spend a little time enjoying being engaged first! Happy Planning!
We’re curious here at ELD- if you’ve chosen your wedding vendors, what kinds of things helped you make your decision?