You probably didn’t realize when you set out to plan your wedding that you were actually accepting a new and demanding job: Vendor Manager. We always say that weddings have hundreds of moving parts, and among the most important of those parts are your wedding professionals.
Since you don’t want to make the news for your epic-ly terrible management skills, I thought maybe I’d share some valuable tips for successfully managing wedding vendors:
- Be Respectful. Yes, we know they work for you, but you selected the best of the best. Now is the time to demonstrate how confident you are in their abilities, and show them the courtesy and respect you hope they will return.
- Be assertive. That said, you do need to assert your needs and wishes. You can do this firmly without being mean or aggravating. Either know what you want and kindly ask for it, or ask for advice. Wishy-washy doesn’t work for wedding pros. The good ones are desperate to know how we can make your day perfect – since mind-reading still isn’t a thing, we need your help.
- Read your contracts. Understand what you are paying for, how much you are paying for it, and what the expectations are of each party. If you are to provide information or materials by a certain date, make sure you do it. If you are expecting something by a certain date, make sure you ask for it. The details of your contract are ultimately the only enforceable services you’ll have on your wedding day, so be certain you have the right information and tend to your responsibilities carefully.
- Ask your vendors for referrals to others. If you are stumped and searching for a vendor in a certain category, ask your other vendors. It is much more effective and peaceful to work with people who actually like each other.
- Issue a timeline. No matter what the requirements are of your contracts, the one thing that everyone needs (whether they know it or not) is the down-and-dirty details: where to be and when. As things fall into place, make a simple outline of your day. Include delivery times, set up, breakdown, and even any appointments you have that day. The more thorough the timeline, the less opportunity for anyone to “guess” and the more likely you’ll have a smooth and stress-free wedding day.
- Note that there is one way out of this management job… Hire a wedding planner! If it sounds like all of this vendor management is going to be too overwhelming, take too much time, or be way too far outside your wheelhouse for everyone’s comfort, hire a pro. That’s what wedding planners do! We streamline your experience so you can enjoy the being engaged/getting married part while we take on all of the who, what, wear, when, and why questions.
Effective vendor management requires organization, leadership, and communication. Know that doing a good job at forming and monitoring your team can result in the wedding day of your dreams. If you need a little help let us know! We’d be glad to give you some advice and lend an understanding ear!!