What We Wish We Knew
We got married in 2016 and now, as wedding professionals, we can’t help but reflect on our planning process. So we thought, hey, let’s share all of our tips for booking wedding vendors. Then, all you lovely brides and grooms won’t make the same mistakes we made!
Show Why You Guys Rock
Wedding vendors are running a business. While I was a bride shopping around for the right price point, vision, and services offered, I had no clue that wedding vendors are looking for someone that’s a great fit for them as well. Like, I literally never stepped back and thought through this. Wedding vendors are going to do their best work when they are working with a couple that allows them to execute their vision and trust them. They’re going to do their best work when they are working with someone who they jive with.
So if I were planning a wedding now, understanding that would change my game. If I were in love with the vendor and wanted to work with them so badly, I would tell them! I would make a big deal about complimenting their work and expressing what I loved about it. I would want to go in-depth in their contact forms to explain all the lovey-dovey details about Cam and me and how excited we were for different aspects of our wedding. In a nutshell, I would want to sell both of us as a couple and our vision to these vendors.
Meet With Them (in person!)
Absolutely meet them in person. Some vendors won’t require a meeting in person before you put money down, but I would recommend this times a million. I’ll go into more detail about this in the next point because it’s so important to find vendors that you click with, but even more so, meeting someone face-to-face is so important. You can learn so much about how they work, how they interact, and what type of vendor they will be for you.
Some of you likely know the story about our make up artist for our wedding. To make a long long long story short, we got scammed. I had done a trial with my make up artist and put all the money down prior to the wedding date. Thirty minutes before she was supposed to arrive on our wedding day I got a call from her assistant saying that sadly, one of her sons had died the night before. Of course I felt absolutely awful. A whole lot of craziness followed this, but a couple months later we found out that her son had not passed away. Instead, she had just scammed us. No one did our make up on our wedding day and we never got our money back.
I did not meet our make up artist prior to my trial. At my trial, she was a bit eclectic and I kind of felt something was a little weird, but at that point, I had already paid money for my trial and we were getting close to the wedding day so I just thought it would all be fine. Obviously it was not. But I just hope that maybe if I would’ve really met with her and interviewed her, it could’ve been prevented. Or at least it would be prevented for someone in the future.
Find People You Click With
I think this point is the most important thing EVAAAAAAA! Your wedding day is a day that you will never get to change. It truly is your best day ever. The caliber of your vendors affects how smoothly it goes and how much you’ll be able to enjoy the day. But you also want people there with personalities that fit with yours.
Think about this: you spent so much time selecting each and every guest and having to draw the line between who got invited and who didn’t. So why wouldn’t you be that intentional with your vendors. Especially considering that multiple vendors, like planners, videographers, and photographers, are there with you the entire day. We always joke that we spend more time with our couples on their wedding day than their bridal party does. We literally follow them around all day. So we think it’s so important for you to choose human beings that you get along with.
One of our biggest vendors was not the right personality fit for us. Their product was exceptional. We absolutely loved it. But the experience and the personality wasn’t quite the right fit for us. We wished that they would’ve fit in with our bridal party and joked with our family, but that didn’t happen. And looking back, I knew that we could’ve prevented this. We spent so much time evaluating pricing and services that by the time I met with this vendor, I had the check already written for the deposit. Instead, when I did feel a bit awkward at the consult, I should have hesitated and reconsidered. When I didn’t really jive with their jokes and personality, I should have not booked them. Hindsight is 20/20, right?!
Do Your Homework
Read reviews and study lots of their work. Make sure to take a look at review outlets, like The Knot and Wedding Wire. Though both of these platforms are pay-to-play formats (as in, vendors’ storefronts are shown higher up depending on the amount they pay to upgrade), they are a great place to learn about clients’ past experiences. Really sort through their work on their website or Instagram. Make sure you can see you and your honey in their photos. If it’s a photographer, make sure the editing, posing, expressions, emotion, and vibe is right for y’all.
Get a Contract
This is basic, but an absolute must. Make sure you have a contract with your vendors and make sure it represents your wants and needs. For anything that will be delivered after the wedding (photos or video), make sure that the delivery timeline is clearly outlined.
After all of this, you will have found the best vendors possible – yahooooo!!! You jive with their personalities, they provide outstanding service, and you’re ready to have the best day ever. Now here’s the key part: after that, just let them do their thing. Just trust in them. Trust in their experience. No matter your personality type, don’t micromanage them. Don’t put major parameters on their service. Seriously. Because when you allow them to do their thing and you instead just go about enjoying planning and your day, that’s when the magic will happen!!
We hope that this is a great guide to finding your vendors!! If you’re a Cameron & Tia bride or groom, you know you have access to our Preferred Vendor Page that includes the best of the best! But any questions? Hit us up!!