Four Things Vendors Want You To Know (before you book them)
– By Evan –
Three minute read
In the corporate world, it is common practice for agencies to turn down work from businesses for any number of reasons, but one of the most important is often the most neglected: the relationship. Businesses and creative agencies work together to solve problems, but if the relationship itself becomes troublesome, it won’t matter how much money is on the table. The business will be left looking for a new agency.
"Vibe with the right one, not just any one."
As a consumer, you may not be as familiar with this kind of transaction. You’re used to looking for a product, finding a seller, paying the listed price, and using your new product as you see fit. And with online shopping and user reviews, it’s easier than ever to get what you want.
Even though the wedding industry heavily markets itself to the consumer market, I would say that working with vendors has more in common with the corporate market.
The Wedding industry
If you go into planning your wedding with a consumer mindset you will probably be met with a lot of frustration. Despite the namesake, wedding vendors aren’t vending machines. No matter how many coins you throw at them, there are still consultation calls, price lists, questionnaires, contracts, meetings, deposits, payment schedules, and even more questionnaires. Most vendors aren't one-size-fits-all, so you want to make sure you vibe with the right one, not just any one.
Relationships with your wedding vendors are important, and to some, more so than the money. As much as good vendors will make it their responsibility to help their couples, it’s also your responsibility to help your vendors.
Four things you should do
Even though every vendor is different and some are more relationship focussed than others, here are four things you can do that will help your vendors want you as much as you want them.
1) Look at their work. You might think it goes without saying, but we’ve met and talked to plenty of couples who don’t know how to answer the question, “what do you like about us?” Before you inquire, examine their portfolio with a critical eye and try to articulate why you want them. You don’t need to give them a report card of critiques or endlessly sing their praises, but try being specific about why you want them to be part of your wedding day.
2) Check out who else is out there. It will help you get a better idea of the market so that when you meet with your favourite vendors you will have levelled expectations and know the right questions to ask. We want our couples to be happy with every vendor they hire, including us, and not leave them wishing they looked for someone else. There’s no better way to start a relationship with a vendor by saying, “we looked at everyone else and we want you the most!”
"Relationships can’t be boiled down to check-lists."
3) Outline what is important to you. You don’t need to know every detail, but spend some time thinking about your vision. Maybe this is easy for you, as you’ve been planning your wedding long before you got engaged. Or maybe you’ve never even planned a party for ten people, let alone a wedding for more than 100 guests, and you don’t even know where to start. That’s totally fine. I’m notorious for not celebrating my own birthday because I can’t be bothered to plan a party.
Regardless of the type you are, it’s important to have a vision for your wedding day so that your vendors know what to deliver. If you’re truly stuck – or even if you’re not – hire a wedding planner. It’s worth it! I would not have enjoyed my own wedding nearly as much as I did if it wasn’t for Amanda Douglas Events kicking our ass into gear and form our vision.
4) Trust the process. It takes time to get things right as every couple is different. Make yourself AND your partner available for meetings, take time to thoughtfully fill out questionnaires and be interested in your vendors as people, not just hired help. The more you are willing to give to your vendors, the more they will be equipped to give back.
It's worth it
Just like any friendship, vendor relationships can’t be boiled down to check-lists and a criteria. Getting to know you and your needs is a process that takes time, but doing these four things will help make that happen.
At the end of the day, we choose our couples as much as our couples choose us. We are selective only because we want the best for you. Your wedding is an important day and we think it should include only the most important people. Even though we are hired vendors, we want to become important people along the way, and we think you shouldn’t settle for anything less with every vendor you hire. You’re worth it.