Wedding Vendor Etiquette You Need to Know Before the Big Day
If you’re planning a wedding for the first time, you likely feel like you’ve entered uncharted territory. The wedding industry can be a tricky one to navigate—especially with many different vendors who all have different needs and ways of operating! Not to fear, JK Productions is here. We’ve put together essentially everything you need to know about wedding vendor etiquette. We hope these tips will help you understand your vendor’s roles a little better and lead to a fruitful and awesome client-vendor relationship!
ith-the-flow? These are important questions to ask yourself and your potential vendors during initial meetings!
STARTING YOUR WEDDING VENDOR RELATIONSHIP
Question: Which vendors should I have a phone call or face-to-face meeting with? Answer: Your wedding vendors are going to be the ones that help make your day the dream you’ve been imagining. Making sure personalities mesh is extremely important. We always recommend at least a phone call with your vendors before signing on the dotted line. The one exception would be if you’re working with a planner. You planner will likely have a list of top-notch vendors whom they’ve worked with many times and trust. Even then, it never hurts to get on the phone and chat!
Question: How to I find the right vendor for my personality? Answer: First thing’s first: Take some time to think about each of your personalities. In your every-day relationships, what are some of the things you value? Are you more of a type A person who thrives on organization and timely communication or are you go a little more with-the-flow? These are important questions to ask yourself and your potential vendors during initial meetings!
HOW TO COMMUNICATE EXPECTATIONS
Question: I really would love to meet with my vendor in-person more often. How do I express this to them while still respecting their time? Answer: We get it. Meeting with your vendors in-person to go over all the lovely things you’re excited about only makes sense! First, check to see if meetings or planning time was mentioned in your initial contract or package PDF. If not, kindly reach out and communicate how often you’d ideally like to meet with your vendor. Keep in mind that wedding vendors have opposite schedules as most “normal” weekday jobs. Your vendor is likely working on the weekends and taking a day or two off during the week to take care of their personal life. Respecting your vendor’s time and schedule will go along way!
Question: Is it appropriate to text my wedding vendor (especially the photographer, videographer, or planner)? Answer: We don’t recommend texting your vendors unless they’ve clarified that boundary in advance. Wedding vendors likely are using their personal phones for work, so it’s also easier for them to keep track of your request if they’re sent in a formal email that can be flagged for response!
“Generally I would say the most important piece of advice is to be open, honest, and courteous with all of your suppliers. Try to gently remind yourself that the professionals you’re speaking to are experts in their field, and are sources of very valuable knowledge, insights, and tips – so do listen to their suggestions and warnings. They live and die by their reputation, and have probably built their business from the ground up – their agenda is the same as yours, which is to make sure you have the most amazing day possible.” — Valentina Ring, The Stars Inside
Question: How do I tell my vendor I need them to respond in a more timely manner? Answer: If you’re planning a wedding, it’s likely one of the biggest things occupying your headspace. It’s an exciting, and also somewhat stressful, time and you want to make sure you’re crossing all the t’s and dotting the i’s! Remember this: You chose your vendors because they’re experts at executing the vision you have in mind. Even though something might seem urgent on your end, there’s a chance it might not be as pertinat in based on your vendor’s expertise. However, if things seem to be taking an unreasonable amount of time or you’re missing key deadlines, give your vendor a call to see if you can work out a plan.
Question: What do I say if I don’t like something my vendor has created or done? Answer: Speak up! There are many kind, respectful ways to let a vendor know that their deliverable doesn’t match your vision. Your vendors want your day to be everything you dreamed of—and more—so they should have no problem making a change that will make you happy. However, depending on your contract there may be additional fees involved. Check your contract, and go from there! If this happens on wedding day, stay calm. Have a designated person (MOB, maid of honor, etc.) talk with your vendor about how they may be able to save the day and make the correction.
Question: We’re feeling like we need to go in a different direction with one of our vendors. How do we let them go? Answer: It’s never easy realizing that one of your vendors is just not going to work out. As always, check your contract. It’s unfortunate to lose out on a deposit, but we encourage you to think about it from the vendor’s point of view. The deposit reserves their services on your wedding date—and they’ve likely been declining other weddings or events because of your reservation. If you feel that the contract terms have not been fulfilled, there may be room for negotiation, but it’s common courtesy to let your vendor go without asking for the deposit back.