10 Ways Of Being A Wonderful Wedding Client
I socialize with a lot of vendors in the wedding industry. It is fun to be with people who can identify with the challenges and excitement of working with couples on the most significant party of their lives to date. We all get a chuckle over the funny stories… the drunken toasts, the crazy late night dancing.
When we chat about serious business, we often turn to who our best wedding clients are. Who are the couples we enjoy working with the most? Who are the clients who we love to give 120%. I think you might be surprised on what wedding vendors think. Here are ten tips to being the wedding client ever. I promise if you follow even a few of these, you will have your vendors bending over backwards to exceed your expectations on your wedding day.
1. Be honest with your vendors. We love to please our clients. We know that not every single one of them can afford an over-the-top wedding. We love working with all kinds of couples. Most vendors have various levels of service. One is apt to fit within your spending parameters. If you go into your initial meeting with a clear idea of what you can spend, the professional vendor will give you recommendations on how to get the most for your money… even if it means referring you to a trusted colleague.
2. If you interview multiple vendors in a certain category, for example three photographers, once you hire one, let the other ones know that you made a decision to go with someone else. Most wedding vendors have small businesses. If they continue to hold a date for you, they will not have the opportunity to book another wedding client. Allowing a vendor to release your date is just a courteous thing to do. Most of us know and like each other. We will just be happy that you have hired a quality vendor who fits your style.
3. Respect the vendors’ professionalism. You do not have to take every bit of advice that a vendor gives you, but if you allow him to do his job without micromanaging him, you will get a superior product. If your florist advises you that something you chose will not be good on the wedding day, you may certainly ask questions to understand the situation, but take his advice. Remember he has done hundreds and hundreds of weddings. You chose him because you like his work, trust him to give you a product you will love!
4. Keep your vendors informed. You do not need to give him a weekly phone call or a bi-weekly email, but if you make changes to the wedding day, give your vendors plenty of notice. This is particularly important for start times and end times. It is also a good idea to let all your vendors know who you hire. Chances are they have worked together. If there are any issues that they need to be worked out such as space or timing, they will be able to work through it before the wedding day. That will make things run more smoothly.
5. Remember your vendors are human beings. If they are working with you for eight or ten hours on the wedding day, provide them with something to eat. This goes a long way to getting extraordinary service. I am not suggesting that you have to feed them the $100.00 dinner your guests are getting (some clients do). Arrange a room close to where your reception is and provide the vendors with a simple meal and non-alcoholic beverages. It will give them a chance to take a quick break and get refreshed.
6. Make payments on time. Your contract will outline when payments are due. Keep in mind again that wedding businesses are typically small businesses. Cash flow can sometimes be tight. Vendors don’t like asking for money. It is such a pleasant surprise to receive timely payment in the mail without asking.
7. Say thank you. All wedding vendors agree that we love to receive tips or gifts, but even just a simple thank you note lets us know that you really appreciate all the effort we put into your big day. Working in weddings is a truly stressful job. We have one shot to make the most important day of your life perfect. A little recognition pushes us forward to continue doing wonderful work.
8. Write thank you letters to the boss. This is something that is even rarer than the traditional thank you note. If you work with a vendor who gives you extraordinary work, letting his boss know is perfect compensation. Some vendors get raises, bonuses and even promotions based on letters like those.
9. Keep lines of communication open. If you are concerned or unhappy about something during the planning process, don’t save it up and get angry about it. Let the vendor know. It is much better to change something during the months prior to the wedding rather than on the very stressful wedding day itself. It is better to address unsatisfactory situations with a cool head rather than when everyone is anxious.
10. Send referrals. The best way to reward a good wedding vendor is to send your family and friends. Word of mouth is the life-blood of any wedding business.
Following some of the tips above can actually benefit you GREATLY. People take care of people who care for them back. Being a great wedding client truly can make a difference.
If you have any comments on tips to working well with wedding vendors, I would love to hear them. Send me a note or post a comment.