Wedding Planning Advice Wednesday: Choosing Your Vendors

Wednesday, August 7, 2013





Lovelies! It's been way too long. Balancing life with two under three has consumed me lately and with both kids asleep, finally, I have nothing else to take care of at the moment :) It's been a delightfully busy wedding season and I also started a lifestyle change- working out regularly and eating paleo. The results have been good to me so far. The last time i was this committed to my fitness was almost four years ago, the "i'm about to get married and i better look damn good in this dress" diet- maybe you can relate!?

While I could discuss the latest wedding trends and share pretty pictures, i'll save that for another time. It just wouldn't feel right coming back without handling some biz... hope you don't mind. Today is gonna be some "real talk." I have enough weddings  under my belt to distinguish how some weddings are sooo much fun; almost flawless, while others seem like they can be falling apart. I'm not talking about the bridal party or the guests, i'm talking about the vendors involved, who are such an integral part of a wedding day coming together. Yes, weddings are ultimately a celebration of unity and unless it's a spontaneous elopement, whether a big or small party, there are many pieces to the puzzle which indeed make it a production of sorts. There is no such thing as a perfect wedding; things can and do come up but having a solid team of professional vendors who can work together to get through the kinks you may never know about, is priceless. I may have touched on this once before but it's worth a re-visit.

I know many couples want to cut corners with saving money, i totally get that. But free or a bargain isn't always the best option when the saying rings true more often than not- "you get what you pay for." Here are some practical tips to remember when you're vendor shopping-

Reviews
Do your homework and please don't skimp out on this. Sometimes good vendors aren't listed, they are successful via word of mouth but reputable vendors have high ratings for a reason. They deliver successfully, consistently and have some sort of a track record to prove it! So Yelp 'em, search for them on The Knot and Wedding Wire and see what past brides have to say. You'll be glad you did!

Experience
Does your vendor have wedding-specific experience? They could be a re-known club DJ that offered to play at your wedding for free but if they have zero personality on the mic or can't mix up songs to please the crowd, it WILL kill the vibe. One time I was standing by the DJ to tell him what was next on the timeline and not only did his mic not work after he supposedly tested it, he forgot to mention there would be a 20 second delay in the dvd player that would be running the slideshow for the first dance so I couldn't give the bride a heads up. I knew she couldn't stand being in the spotlight so this must have been the longest 20 seconds of her life-- awkward!

As much as I love coordinating weddings at non-traditional venues, I recently did a wedding at a very cool studio and although weddings weren't really their niche, I was shocked to arrive and find out that the ceremony/reception space floors weren't even mopped! You would think that was a basic element that would be taken care of but there was no mention of it in the contract. Luckily the florist and I were able to transform the area with the limited time we had to set up. Vendors *should* be able to think fast on their feet and that comes with experience! It wouldn't hurt to ask the vendors you interview of some examples where they had to go above and beyond their normal call of duty to make something subpar- extraordinary!

Back-up Plan
Summer in California doesn't usually involve rain but on a particular day in the end of July, all of a sudden rain had a 40% chance of making an appearance in one of my outdoor weddings. Luckily it was a passing drizzle but can you imagine it pouring? On another occasion, a couple insisted on having their ipod play for a portion of their reception. Without getting into details, a malfunction occurred and had there been a CD burned with a back-up playlist, guests would be able to continue dancing without any major interruptions. Anticipating needs can only help- it never hurts to have a Plan B! 

With so many details to think about as a couple, there are moments i'm sure that can be overwhelming. The point of me sharing these scenarios is not to scare anyone but to equip you with wisdom to set up an enjoyable wedding day experience. Wonderful weddings are a direct result of carefully thought out details and vendors who are amazing at what they do. It definitely makes day of coordination that much smoother and results in a celebration focused on joy that you and your guests will appreciate and fondly look back upon!

Alrighty, i'm done with my 411 and I promise next time to share some pretty pictures to continue inspiring you on your journey down the aisle! 


Photo credit: 100 Layer Cake


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