Wedding planning is a lot of work! You're working with a large team of wedding professionals who all have different needs, personalities, and communication styles. But they're all working toward one common goal: To create an incredible wedding that reflects your personality! Here are some great vendor etiquette dos and don'ts that will help make the planning process easier for all of you.
Do Establish Boundaries
Wedding vendors are in the people business. They're all working with couples and their families on the biggest, happiest day of their lives, and they want everything to be perfect. Most pros try to establish some communication lines and boundaries when hired on to the team. It helps ensure that couples know they're a priority but not always their only client.
For most wedding pros, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays are typically filled with rehearsals and weddings. This sometimes includes more than one wedding over a weekend. So, understand that couples getting married that weekend want their vendors' undivided attention, just like you will. So some weekends, you might not be able to schedule a meeting or get a quick response to an email or call.
Oftentimes your wedding vendors are going to reach out with a series of questions. Most are designed, even if they seem random, to get to know you, your style, and personality. They may be for three steps down the road to be proactive and line up products or services for your review promptly. Too often, vendors find that couples randomly skip over questions. Sometimes it's not something you thought you needed to share, and others it's because the email was read on a cell phone, and you simply skimmed over it. Help your vendors help you and respond to questions and requests promptly so they can do the best planning possible for you.
Don't Blow Up Their Phones
Some wedding vendors love communicating with couples via text message, while others reserve cell phone/text access to the week of the wedding. There's no right or wrong. Sometimes, tracking communication in your file and organizing requests is easier via email. Again, something great to discuss when setting boundaries.
If you're texting, keep in mind that just like in your workday, one response is not a green flag for a large back and forth conversation with immediate responses. They might be heading into a client meeting, tasting, or networking event and not be able to keep responding. Be patient.
Do Speak Up If You're Unhappy
Trust us! Holding on to frustration or when you don't like or understand something is not good on either end. Your wedding team is trying their best to hone in on exactly what you need and make your day special. Sometimes, they might not exactly hit the mark. The shade of pink might be off, or that font, centerpiece, or cake design might not be what you had in mind. Let them know!
You'll also find that your team might assume that you're okay and move on with projects if they haven't heard from you. If you have stuff going on, are not liking someone your planner referred you to, or don't get what they want you to do—say something!
Do Feed Your Vendors
There's always lots of chatter about feeding wedding vendors. Your team is with you for a long time on your wedding day—some as many as 12-16 hours with setup and breakdown. It's nice to offer them a hot meal. Ask your caterer or venue about a vendor meal. It doesn't need to be the same meal as your wedding guests; they don't need cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, or dessert. A simple hot meal works. Most want to eat quickly while your wedding guests are eating so they can be up and ready for the next events of the evening.
Do Tip Your Vendors
Another age-old question. Who gets tipped, and how much? Check your wedding contracts! Hair and makeup stylists, transportation services, bartending staff, and servers often include detail gratuities to be paid or if it's already included in the service fee. For others, a gratuity, especially for those whom you feel have gone above and beyond your expectations, is always appreciated.
Do Trust Your Professionals
The bottom line is to hire people you know, like, and trust. Look at reviews, ask other professionals, do your homework, and then trust them to do their job. They live and die by their reputation in the industry and honestly want you to have the most amazing wedding possible.
Hero Photo Courtesy of By Julieta