"Helping people who help people"

Working with wedding vendors

I’ve been thinking a lot about the economy and how scary it must be to be planning a wedding right now, especially if you or your fiance are in an industry with a lot of lay offs. It’s also hard when family and friends, including your wedding party, may be hit with devastating job loss just as they’re supposed to be happy for you and be there financially and with their time for parties and logistics.

One of the joys and frustrations of wedding vendors from my own bridal experiences and even in my role as a “wedding vendor” of sorts, is to maximize their wisdom and experiences without denying your own wedding needs or wedding values.

As you’ve likely seen, meeting with wedding vendors can be an exhausting, fascinating, nerve wracking experience. Depending on their personality you may leave the first meeting excited, uncertain, stressed out (hard sales pitches are never fun) or maybe you leave laughing at the AWFUL style or crazy prices they are trying to charge. You may also leave not feeling heard – you want THIS, not THAT, you don’t need that part of the package but you DO need this other thing. Wedding vendors are always trying to make packages and wedding couples are always trying to tailor their specific budget and needs. Sometimes this works and often it doesn’t, or things get lost in translation (the wedding vendor agrees and then when the bill comes, or product is delivered, it’s NOT AT ALL what you agreed to.)

One bit of advice my husband and I were given that proved to be wise was knowing how you operate as a couple and being able to not commit to anything in a vendor meeting. My husband and I have bad luck with sales people no matter where we go. We generally are on the same page without talking and have “that look” we give each other that says, “oh my GOSH, seriously, can you believe this sales person? GAH!” Then when the sales person lets us be alone, we groan or laugh, whispering frantically about our plan of attack…. leave the store, try AGAIN to explain what we want, or decide to maybe come back later and find a new sales person.

When you’re putting big bucks into this day, you may not always be able to control the personalities of your wedding vendors, but you SHOULD be able to get control over exactly what you want or know exactly why you can’t have what you want (the hotel won’t allow open flames, or the caterer had bad experiences with cakes they didn’t bake so they refuse to tarnish their reputation when guests think a bad cake was made by them…true story of my caterer.)

So back to the economy. My fantasy is some of you are able to find those AMAZING wedding vendors where you can be brutally honest and get their absolute best service, even if it means they’re not making tons of money off you. Like finding a florist who says, “hey, if you use THIS flower with some funky favors, you can save a ton of money and still get the wow factor.” Or a photographer who admits in her experience, friends do a fine job with the wedding preparation photos and the best use of your money is to hire her for the ceremony, do photos after, and have a few of the big photo-ops done right away. Then have a good friend take the final farewell photos. You’d feel a lot better if your photographer “blessed” that idea and says it works great. Most of us do not feel good when we read that sort of advice in “how to save money” but don’t actually know anyone who has done it!

I am thinking about you all. Let me know if you’d like to see any specific advice related to the family or friend dynamics when the economy is in turmoil and nothing seems to be going as planned.

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