"My fiance and I got engaged last December, and we are planning a 2017 Spring wedding, I attended a few weddings shows, contacted a few vendors, but I feel they "dont' want my money" as it's so hard to get a hold or even a reply, do you have any tips on hiring wedding vendors? Thanks" - WVlostbride
Dear WVlostbride, first YAY! Congratulations on your engagement, and sorry you feel unappreciated by the wedding vendors you had contacted so far. Here are 5 tips that will help you communicate better with your wedding vendors:
1. Communicate via email first:
A huge percentage of business is done online, so instead of calling and leaving messages or showing up without an appointment, send an email with all the details about your wedding, and give the vendor a couple of days to reply. If you send an email on a weekend, don't expect an answer right away, as I'm sure that vendor is working another event, but if after a few days, they don't reply, give them a follow up call to make sure they got it. Here is a tip how to send your email:
SUBJECT: Wedding Date / Location / Couple's last names (Ex: 06.18.2017 / Morgantown, WV / Smith/Jones wedding) - You won't believe the amount of emails a vendor gets with the subject - Wedding - so by providing your wedding date, location and last names, the vendor will be able to recognize yours, and make his/hers life easier.
2. Provide your budget:
It seems this is the million dollar question...and I understand you might say: I don't know how much things costs. But YOU DO KNOW how much you can spend, and even if you say "I don't have a budget", think about this: Can you spend $1MM on your wedding? OH NO WAY!...we can only spend $XX,XXX.XX so there you go...voila! you have a budget :)
3. Search at least 3 options:
"Not all wedding vendors are created equal" You will need 3 estimates from different vendors to decide which one it's the best fit, based on style and pricing, maybe you love the first vendor, but still, get another estimate, to compare and decide. We suggest you make a list of 3 vendors in each category that fit your style, and take it from there. But don't contact E-V-E-R-Y wedding vendor in your area, as you don't go to E-V-E-R-Y shoe store to find shoes, you narrow it down to the ones you love and see if you find something.
4. Ask questions:
I know you are super excited about your wedding, but at the end this is a business relationship, and you need to dot the i's and cross all the t's. Be very specific, and ask questions, never assume! Some questions can be: For florist: how much for delivery and setup? for DJs: how much for additional hours? For photographers: when can I expect my digital files? For Videographers: Do I get a hard drive with my film? For your venue: Are there other charges (dance floor, generator, bartenders, etc..) not included?
5. Trust your gut:
If a wedding vendor doesn't get back to you, doesn't respond your emails/phone calls, and you don't feel they are respectful of your time: WALK AWAY! That's not the way to start a healthy business relationship, so if you don't feel they are a fit, move on! and keep looking until you find the one.
And if you decide to move forward with another vendor, please let the other ones know, be polite, as there is not need to keep them in the dark. A nice "thank you for your time" email doesn't hurt anybody.