A huge part of planning a wedding is choosing your vendors. You have to be sure that you pick professionals that you can trust to get the job done and that you can have a pleasant experience with. I can imagine that there’s nothing worse than picking a DJ, photographer, or florist and having them disappoint you with their work on your special day or butting heads the entire time you have to deal with them. So I’ve come up with a list of five things that can help you and your vendors throughout the wedding planning process.
Read your contracts thoroughly
It’s so important to read every single contract BEFORE you sign it and that you ask questions about anything that you’re unsure about. It is very easy to get caught up in the excitement or pressure of booking a vendor that you just sign whatever they put in front of you. Do not do that! Read over everything carefully so that you know what you’re signing up for. This is important for any vendor that you book but it’s specifically important for your photographer. Sometimes there are limitations set on what you can do with your wedding and/or engagement pictures (regarding sharing, printing, or altering of the images) and if you don’t pay attention, you may end up being blindsided by things.
Keep track of receipts and contracts
Do not throw away or misplace your contracts or receipts. We are all human and sometimes a vendor may forget that you made a payment because they misplaced their own copy of the receipt or never wrote it down. It will be up to you to PROVE that you made that payment or that you made an amendment to your contract, etc. It’s in your best interest to keep EVERY piece of paper regarding your wedding until well after your wedding is over. I keep an electronic version of everything that comes through email and I print it out so that I have a hard copy (just in case). I keep all of my hard copy receipts in my Erin Condren wedding planner (which is always on my person nowadays) and all of my contracts are in a bag that is specifically dedicated to wedding information.
Trust your vendors’ vision and process
Nine times out of ten, your vendors have done the wedding dance many more times than you have. Assuming you have booked professionals and not “friendors”, it’s typically in your best interest to trust them because they are the experts. The words “we trust your vision” have been said to literally all of my vendors and it’s true. I really do trust them and that’s why I hired them. You don’t want to be that bride that thinks she knows it all and won’t let the professional do their job. Most of my vendors have been able to tweak the ideas that I came to them with and create a vision that’s even better than what I originally thought I wanted. Give your vendors the opportunity to impress you. The only vendor that I would say you should/could probably take the reins from is your DJ because you know what you and your guests want to hear. And a good DJ will be able to adhere to your playlist IF that’s what you want.
Trusting your vendors’ vision doesn’t mean you can sit back and not give any input. That would actually be extremely frustrating for a vendor because they’ll have to guess on things that you should be able to tell them. Tell them what you like AND what you don’t like. Doing one or the other isn’t enough, your vendor will need both pieces of information to satisfy you. Generally speaking, knowing what you want and being able to communicate that is important but it becomes even more important when you’re hiring people to create something for you. And your wedding day really is a creation.
Consider the big picture
Try to think about all aspects of your wedding day when you’re collaborating with your vendors. That means thinking about your guests too. Those beautiful, lavish, tall centerpieces that you pinned on Pinterest look great on a table but if you put that on EVERY table… Will anyone be able to see over them when you have your first dance, cut your cake, and make your toasts? You may love the club atmosphere with lots of bass and loud music, but will you want to be unable to hear what your guests are saying to you on your special day? Sometimes people can get so fixated on details and specific elements that they want, that they don’t realize how it will translate and the effect it will have on the vibe of their wedding day. Try not to fall into that trap.