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Sifting through well meaning wedding advice… and having productive vendor meetings

Posted on 26 January 2015

Now the first thing you will probably do once you get engaged is sign up for an on line account either with The Knot or Wedding Wire.  You may even take out an account on each of them just to see their functionality and which one works best for you.  Both sites offer ways of setting budgets and tracking guest lists amongst a host of other features. You will also want to get to get together the future in laws or whoever will be “helping out” with the costs of the wedding for a little pow wow.  If you can’t physically get everyone together, then you will need to discuss separately what costs will be handled by what side of the family.   More and more we are seeing couples come to our offices that are paying for the majority of the wedding themselves.  When this happens, I find there is little discussion at all with their parents and how they are planning on  running their wedding.  I laugh when I get an adamant response from a couple of “we are paying for the wedding so they have nothing to say in the matter”.. I have to admit that when the “kids” as I lovingly call all my couples have say over their wedding planning for the most part it goes rather smoothly.  They all pretty much agree on most things that get chosen.  Even with a couple opinions back and forth the decision making process goes rather smoothly.  Rarely do I find a situation like below of “control or delete” – but went I do I find that offering common ground solutions what everyone wants is what is going to move the process and purchase along smoothly.

             
 

Remember:  you are getting married for  a reason.  You love one another.  One of the first rules of love is compromise. Trust when I say there will be a lot more compromising to come – work together on planning your wedding. Now what if your parents or guardians are helping with the cost of the wedding?  How much input do you want them to or not to have in the selection of the venue, food, stationery, favors and the rest of the day.   Well, it truly all depends on you and your future spouse. One of the best rules of thumb is to get to the money part first and break down a budget.  Get as realistic as you can based on where you want to be on each element of the day.   Everyone is going to want to give advice.  Some people will be more forthcoming than others and those may just grate on your last nerve.  Having a plan of what you would like to see happen and a budget will help everyone stay focused.  I have found that most engaged couples work towards trying to please a little of everyone but are sensible enough to focus on their needs.  You may in fact have a pushy mom or future MIL  (yes we have seen them) who really is pushing their taste in the selection of items.   That’s why it is important to select vendors that can help see everyones point of you but most importantly bring to the engaged couple items that meet the taste and expectations of their day and respectfully pleasing the parental units or other family and friends at the same time.

                       
                                         

   Parental Pow Wow Time Just remember it is your wedding with a dose of “Mom’s input” It is all about compromise and keeping your cool. This my friends I call being a wedding referee.   I have been one many a times.  Our job is helping the couple smooth the differences of opinion and get to the point of satisfaction and happiness in their purchase from us.   We can’t make all family problems and arguments disappear, but we can certainly get all parties to a point of feeling good on what they have selected and move on from that point.   I am also finding that there are many times I am just dealing with either the bride or groom on the stationery, favor and accessory pieces of the wedding.  They break down the chores of what needs to get done and tackle it all separately.  I do find this refreshing in a way because you do see them giving each other a great level of trust in the selection process.  Remember it is OK to just take on separate pieces of the planning.  Your future spouse does not need to be included on every thing if they don’t have the time or inclination to do it.

                               
 

Sister’s roll as self proclaimed “Wedding Planner” Respect opinions because they are coming from a loving place. Continue to stay true to the goals that you have set as a couple planning your wedding. Rules of thumb for couples visiting vendors: No matter what vendor you are meeting with try to stick to the following rule of thumb: Bring only those necessary to a vendor meeting – Only those involved in the decision making process should be at a vendor meeting.  I have had people bring up to seven people to a meeting.  It isn’t productive and causes more confusion and stress for you.   In the event your future spouse has no interest in what you select as a paper product or favors – don’t drag him or her out.  It may be exciting for you and boring for them.  If they are marrying you, they trust your opinion on this one.  Nothing is worst than a bored spouse to be that wants to be home watching a game or doing that deadline project for work. Be on time.  This is a meeting.  Just like any business meeting, being on time is important.  There is a chunk of time scheduled for you.  Your vendor wants to give you 100% of their attention  in order for you to make an informed decision.  So arriving on time accomplishes that goal. Have a guideline of pictures, ideas and the number of people that you are invited ready for your vendor.  Bring that iPad and show off that pinterest page.  The more a vendor knows in the first 5 minutes of your meeting, the more productive that meeting will be.  We have a sheet that gets filled out with all our couple’s information.  That way we can refer to it time and time again during the course of the meeting to insure that we have all the couple’s information.  If you have item numbers that you have found on the vendor’s website or specific items you see in their office.  Ask them about it at the time of the meeting.  Always remember to get a focus on all the potential items you may need.  They may not be able to get you pricing right away but it is all on their radar to follow up with you.  Lastly, be sure to understand your time frames for delivery.  Especially on custom items.  Follow up meeting may be required for flowers, venue food selection, DJ music selection as well as specially lighting or effects decisions.  It goes without saying that you will need a couple appointments for gowns, suits and the like so get your calendar in gear and your time lines in order. If you want to work quickly and effectively and have time constraints and want to use the services of the vendor make the commitment.  Sign the contract, leave the check – in other words make the commitment.  I say this as during peak wedding season there are many couples all seeking to get  detail items of their wedding completed.  Vendors as well as manufacturing suppliers get inundated with very specific and detail oriented jobs to complete in a timely fashion.  Our job is to deliver perfection 100% of the time.  In order to do this, we need to know if your project is going to be on our docket so that it may be scheduled and worked on with the type of care you would give a new born baby.  That’s right, a good vendor will treat your wedding like what it is to you.. your very first big production!  So make the commitment if you are going to use the vendor so they know where they stand.  If they contact you to follow up, be polite and respond as quickly as you hope they would – with a quick e-mail back stating where you are in the purchasing process. Do your research on vendors.  It is important that you do your homework and read on line reviews as well as blog posts, Facebook and twitter done by a vendor in the event industry.  If there is good information and testimonials believe me they will be out there for everyone to read.   We live and die by our reviews and what people say about us.  It is an extremely important part of being in the event business.  I am only as good as my last wedding or event.  I believe whether you buy on line from The Persnickety Bride or come into our offices – everyone should be treated with the utmost respect and receive the highest quality service.  That is why we are “Persnickety” in all that we do! Most of all remember this is suppose to be FUN.  Make it a fun process.  Find fun and tried and true vendors to work with in creating your big day.   It’s suppose to be a wonderful time.  Do not stress the small stuff.

Now raise a glass and toast to smooth sailing through your wedding process journey. If you have any questions for us at The Persnickety Bride, please ask away.  We are happy to help!

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