Getting hitched and having the wedding of your dreams is a blast! But, hold up – before you dive into the deep end of wedding planning, let's talk about keeping things chill with your vendors. No one wants to be that bridezilla (or groomzilla!) everyone's talking about.
So, sit back, relax and let's chat about 10 ways to avoid overstepping boundaries and keep your vendors feeling the love. It's all about finding that balance between getting what you want and showing the vendors some love. Trust us, it's a win-win for everyone!
Asking for discounts.
“Asking for discounts or haggling with vendors is a big “red flag” with most wedding vendors. Each of these businesses have priced themselves carefully, taking into account the quality of their product weighed against fair-market value. Haggling with vendors shows that you don't respect the value of their product or services. If you don't like the price of a vendor, it's best to be upfront about what your target budget is and to ask if they have any other service levels or products that fit into that price point.” – Mandy Connor, Owner, Hummingbird Events & Design
Setting unrealistic communication expectations.
“Most of the time, your vendor team wants to (and does) go above and beyond to serve you and deliver a product that exceeds your expectations. Chances are they are working overtime throughout the planning process to make your day (and many other couples' days) absolute perfection.
Keep this in mind as you set your expectations for communication. If they don't prompt you, ask at the beginning of your working relationship how they prefer to communicate. If they say email or correspondence through a client portal is their preferred method of communication, don't text them constantly! If they request that you make an appointment for a phone call, respect their time enough to reserve a time to connect in advance.
And last – have a reasonable expectation for response time; most vendors will acknowledge receipt of your message within 24-48 hours unless it is an emergency – and they will often provide an estimate for when you can expect an answer to your question so you are fully informed.” – Alexandra Denniston, Owner & Lead Planner, Eventlightenment Planning
Asking to re-edit photos.
“Do not ask your photographer to re-edit photos after the wedding. Always do your homework before hiring a photographer – review their galleries carefully and take note of how they uniquely capture all of the moments in a wedding day so that you understand their editing style. Asking a photographer to re-edit photos after the wedding ruffles feathers and often results in a “no.”” – Mandy Connor, Owner, Hummingbird Events & Design
Questioning their processes.
“When deciding to hire a vendor, do the research and hire them for their talent, experience and expertise in their field and then trust that they will know the best ways to do the best job for you for your wedding day.
It can be difficult when clients don't trust that the vendor has done many weddings before and start questioning and trying to change the whole process, such as how photos are taken if it goes against the style of that photographer or how an itinerary is documented or sent to the vendors.” – Valarie Falvey, Kirkbrides Wedding Planning & Design
Texting your vendors.
“We always recommend that text messaging be saved for the week of the wedding so that our clients texts to not get lost in our personal messaging. It is hard to receive a text while not in work mode and easy to forget about it the next day. Email is always best for us for correspondence as it is easy to save, track and get back to within a reasonable timeframe. We understand that texting is easier and faster, but it is not always easier to use as a planning tool!” – Jamie, Cape Cod Celebrations
Micromanaging your vendors!
“Micromanaging your vendors is the best way to bring out their worst work. Vendors love working with clients who like to collaborate but micromanaging your vendors down to detailed minutiae often makes them feel suffocated and creatively-stifled. Share your vision and priorities. Collaborate with your vendors to come up with a shared vision and then trust that they will bring your vision to fruition.” – Mandy Connor, Owner, Hummingbird Events & Design
Not reviewing their policies listed in their contract.
“There is a misconception among many engaged couples that their wedding professionals, especially their wedding planner, should be available to them 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Many wedding professionals/planners will have office policies in place to ensure they are able to have balance between work and their lives outside of work.
As a client, the best way to ensure you aren't crossing boundaries with your wedding pros is by taking the time to review their policies. Many of these policies are given to you during your on-boarding meeting. These policies can include their office hours & their preferred method of communication. So, just make sure you are respecting your wedding pro's policies by actually reviewing their policies.” – Krisy Thomas, Owner of Southern Sparkle Wedding Planning & Vice President of Certified Wedding Planner Society
Mixing personal situations with wedding planning.
“Try to keep personal situations separate from wedding situations. Vendors can be put in a bad position sometimes when different family members start making separate calls and demands of vendors to do one thing while another family member demands something different.
There should be one final decision maker and after asking questions to clarify, decisions or heightened arguments regarding what the final choices will be should be discussed among the main family only and not dragging vendors into it. Vendors just want to do a wonderful job for all involved and it can get very tricky to balance out family drama and be the mediator.” – Valarie Falvey, Kirkbrides Wedding Planning & Design
Not sticking to boundaries of scope.
“Boundaries in any business can be difficult to establish along with maintaining. A key boundary to keep in place are the scope of services with each client. Sometimes with wedding planning, it can be hard to distinguish what details the planner does vs. the client, and as a planner, educating all of your clients on the expectations or services they are paying for will help keep the boundary established.
We believe it’s always best to list your scope of services in your contract and update your client along the way to ensure the task is being completed, whether it is the planner or clients doing, and it will help the clients understand they are paying for what you're executing in the contract they signed.” – Casey Stamouli, Owner & Lead Planner, Casey & Co. Events
Not respecting “closed office” hours that have been clearly set.
“Having a full-time job in the wedding industry can be quite a unique job from the norm. Vendors typically work off hours, working weddings on the weekends and sometimes holding meetings in the evenings due to clients working during the day.
It is important to remember that everyone needs boundaries with their time and work hours so expecting vendors to be available every day of the week at all hours of every day isn't realistic. Wedding vendors are humans and have families, laundry, groceries and other personal needs to attend to so that when they are working, they can give 100% effort and talent!
Asking vendors for their work hours and trying to abide by those and refraining from texting them outside of working hours or while they are working another client's wedding day is the best way to maintain mutual respect and appreciation for the business relationship!” – Valarie Falvey, Kirkbrides Wedding Planning & Design
In wrapping up, it's all about finding that sweet spot between telling your vendors what you want and showing them the love they deserve. By being aware of these 10 boundary-crossing habits, you and your vendors can high five each other all the way to a fabulous wedding day! So go ahead, give them a virtual hug, and let's make this the best celebration ever. After all, your vendors are the ultimate wedding wingmen (or women!), and together, you'll create memories that'll last a lifetime.