As a wedding planner, a big part of my job is to coordinate all of the wedding vendors. When you work with the best wedding vendors, this is easy. When you don’t, coordinating becomes more like wrangling. There is A LOT of following up, getting questions answered and making sure we have what we need.
I’ve had some particularly frustrating experiences recently and I can imagine how much harder it would be if I wasn’t a wedding planner. So, I want to share with you the differences in wedding vendors so that you know what to look for.
Because no one wants wedding planning to be harder.
So, here is the thing you need to know. There is a difference between a wedding vendor who is good at what they do and a wedding vendor who is professional.
The Difference between Good and Professional Wedding Vendors
(Photo credit: VAS Photography)
Most wedding vendors are essentially artists of some sort. They’re musicians, designers, photographers. And when you come across a wedding vendor that you love, you get excited. What they do is artistic, different, beautiful, etc… It’s exactly what you were looking for. Their style is fantastic. Their philosophy is right on point. You feel like they get you. It’s all so great and perfect.
Choosing a wedding vendor because you like their style is important, but it’s also important that they’re professional. And you know what a professional is like, you experience them in all walks of life from your gym to your dry cleaners. Professional companies have great customer service. They’re prompt, they’re helpful, they’re friendly and they make your life easier. And if something goes wrong, they do what they can to fix it.
And sadly just because a wedding vendor is good at their craft, doesn’t mean they’re professional.
I’ve been seeing this more and more. Couples get really excited about someone and their work is beautiful. But, they don’t respond quickly or they do, but they don’t actually answer your questions. There is much more back and forth required to get the info you need or get to the next step. Working with them is frustrating.
On the flip side, there are also wedding vendors that are professional, but not that good at what they do. While these vendors are much less common, they do exist.
But, what you want is someone who is both good and professional. You want someone who is good at what they do and someone who will take care of you. Because who cares if they are good at what they do if working with them makes your life harder.
How to Tell if a Wedding Vendor is Professional
Finding someone who is good at what they do is relatively easy via portfolios and real weddings. But, finding wedding vendors who are professional is harder. So, how do you make sure your wedding vendor is professional before you hire them?
1. Check reviews – Read reviews and pay attention not only to what they created, but more importantly what the process was like working with them. If people rave about the flowers, but say getting in touch is hard, that isn’t a good sign.
2. First impression – Pay attention to your initial interactions with the wedding vendor. How quickly did they respond to your request? How did they treat you during your meeting? Did they show up on time? Were they organized? Did they listen to you? Your first impression should be a good one.
3. Questions – You will inevitably have questions. The key here is whether you feel like they answered your questions. And not just the questions you asked, but the ones you didn’t think to ask. You want to walk away with all the info you need.
4. Full picture – You need to understand the full picture. Do you know what they can do for you? You should have a sense of what it would be like to work with them. And does that feel both good and professional? You want the answer to be yes.
Finding the right vendor is about more than how great their work looks. You need to find someone who will treat you and your wedding with the time, effort and care it deserves.
Don’t be swayed by how much press they have, how big of a name they are or how long they’ve been in business. These don’t necessarily mean they’re professional wedding vendors. Pay attention to all the other pieces and how they treat you and others.
Because planning a wedding is already hard. Having wedding vendors who make your life harder is not what you want to get yourself into. Trust me on this. It will only stress you out. And who cares if you have the most beautiful invites/florals/photography/reception if you had to suffer to get it.
Remember, this process should be a joyful one. Choose the good and professional wedding vendors that will help make it so.
(Photo credit: Emily Piraino)
Not sure about one of the wedding vendors you’re talking to? Share your concerns in a comment below and I’ll give you my best recommendation.