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If you haven't heard about Bitchless Bride yet, you are in for a treat. Bitchless Bride is an anonymous wedding planner full of jaw dropping stories of brides behaving badly. More importantly though, she's full of helpful information that will let you plan a wedding without turning in to a, well you know! Today she shares some of those tips with us. Be warned, she's a straight talker.
Listen up because I am about to spill a big ol' can of beans with you. If you want to make sure that your wedding vendors hate you, then stop reading. But, if you want to learn how you can be a brag worthy bride, then read on.
DEMAND A DEAL
Let's start at the beginning. Lately, there has been a lot of talk about the "art" of negotiation and perhaps this is getting to your head. Before you meet your vendors, do your homework. Research the appropriate price ranges for the particular service you are looking to procure, and then do a lot of listening at your meeting. If there is a drastic price difference between vendors, then most likely you are not comparing apples to apples. For instance, not all florists provide the same quality of product, versatility and design aesthetic; so don't expect the same price. The same goes for your band, DJ, caterer, planner, etc.
Instead of demanding a deal: just tell us what your budget constraints are so that we can work with you on a plan that meets your needs and helps you stay on budget. But, please DON'T tell us about how some second rate "professional" is cutting you a deal. Because odds are, you won't like our answer.
Once you hire us, please don't stalk us. We don't want an email every time you change your mind or make a decision about something. If your wedding isn't until fall of 2013, then you don't exist to us yet. Lose my number until January. Seriously, unless you are splitting from your fiancé and you are calling to release the date, then we don't want to talk to you until AFTER the first of the year.
Instead of stalking us: Why don't we set up an appointment immediately after your deposit comes through to chat X amount of months before your wedding (it's different for all vendors), and keep notes about your ideas and plans so that we can hit the ground running. Because right now, we are focusing on our current weddings, and yours hasn't even hit our radar. We are busy satisfying the needs of our current brides + grooms, and that means that you will have to wait. Because we are busy providing excellent service to our current client list, we might not get back to you within 24 hours of your call or email. As I mentioned in the Bitchless Bride post regarding this very subject . We will certainly take care of you when it's YOUR time, but until then, please, give us some room.
We are the wedding professional, not you. You don't see us marching into your office telling you how to do your job, do you?
Instead of telling us how to do our job: Let us know what's confusing you, and what isn't going the way you expected. You see, your wedding is our "office", a place we frequent several weekends out of the year, and you only do this once (or twice or maybe even three times), and probably haven't done this before. Please, learn to trust us because we are the professional.
It's okay if you don't know exactly what you want, but please don't be SO indecisive that you can't tell us ANYTHING about what would make you happy on your wedding day. While we are quite happy to offer our opinion, we are not in that crazy little noggin of yours, and it's actually WORSE for us to work with a client who doesn't know what they want. Because then we run the risk of disappointing you on your wedding day if our ideas contradict what you THOUGHT you wanted.
Instead of telling your vendors that you have no idea what you want: Ask them to walk you through what other brides have done so that you can have a place to start (and read our post about it).
MULTI TASK ME
If I am your photographer, please don't ask me to do anything else except take pictures on your wedding day. You wouldn't ask the chef to fill in for the DJ, so please don't ask your wedding vendors to do anything that is outside the scope of their contract. It puts them at risk for not fulfilling their requirements for you, and it makes your wedding appear completely unorganized.
Instead of asking your vendors to take over: Hire a day of coordinator, or ask your most type A friend (who is NOT in the bridal party) to step in and run the show, and let your vendors do their jobs.
Well, there you have it! Take this with you to your next vendor appointment as your cheat sheet. Got it? Good!