You're engaged! Congratulations! Now, it's time to start planning for your big day and reaching out to the people that you'd like to be part of creating your wedding vision. As part two of our tips series, we'd like to share some advice about the initial steps you should take in planning and communicating with potential vendors before booking.
Tip 1: Know the Details to Share
We have a ton of couples reach out to us immediately after they are engaged, and it is always great to be ahead of the curve when selecting vendors as many tend to book dates up to a year in advance. The single most important thing to have determined, however, prior to booking any of your vendors is a firm wedding date. Asking for a photographer or other vendor, for pricing information to get a feel for what is out there and doable for your budget is acceptable, but without a specific date, you won't be able to book with the company and may be disappointed to find out later that they are unavailable. Generally, most vendors will also want to know your venue as well as some may charge additional fees for travel if the site is outside of their normal coverage area. So, set your date as quickly as possible, and go ahead and book your venue to get the ball rolling for your other inquiries.
Tip 2: Respond and Just Ask
Any time I send an email, whether personal or business related, I am always impressed when the recipient responds quickly. This is something we really strive to excel at in our correspondence with clients, and it's one aspect of our communication that our couples really value. This is just as important when requesting information from a photographer, caterer, or venue, just as examples, from a client perspective. We always appreciate when a couple gets back to us, even if it's just to say that our pricing does not work in their budget. That's ok, and there are never hard feelings on our end. We are grateful for the response, and we both know that it's nothing personal or that they don't love our work. The other aspect of the pricing conversation is also being willing to ask what a particular vendor can do within your budget or requesting if there is a package or option that may suit your needs better. I always think, what's the worst that someone can say? No? I can handle that. If you really want to book a particular service or company, just ask, and the vendor will let you know if your vision is doable or not for them in your price range.
Tip 3: Keep an Open Mind
Don't forget one important tip from our last blog as well; although pricing and budgets are, of course, important, many vendors want to get to know you a little better and build a relationship with you also. Sharing details and information about yourselves as a couple and being specific about your dreams for your wedding allow us to have some insight about who you are and if we are a good fit for capturing your big day. Quality work, goods, and services may cost more than you anticipate when starting your wedding planning, and although you should stick to a budget, make sure you are considering other aspects of what a vendor can offer including experience and the overall vibe you want to achieve for your wedding.
Thinking about the planning process from a vendor perspective can only help you achieve a more relaxing and smooth experience for your wedding day. To summarize, choosing your date and selecting your venue are usually the first decisions to make. Be open to corresponding with vendors openly and honestly and asking questions you may have. Finally, consider all aspects of what a potential vendor has to offer as part of their pricing. Referrals from friends and family are always meaningful, as personal experience is definitely valuable, and meeting with vendors in person to discuss options can always help you evaluate the connection you have with one another, which is another important factor to consider. Your wedding day should reflect your values and your style, and carefully choosing your vendors will ensure that you have the best, most memorable day possible.
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