How To Work Well With Your Wedding Coordinator: Vendor Edition
I’ve offered advice for how brides can get the most of their relationship with their wedding coordinator, and I realized that I needed to share a “vendor” edition as well. Every wedding planner goes through this at some point, whether s/he has been planning the wedding from the beginning or is coming in to execute and produce the day. How this relationship works differently from that of the client/planner is that this could be a mutually beneficial relationship after an event. Having a great working relationship makes for great event flow and future event production. Brides (and grooms!): here are some things that we as planners love that you might be able to facilitate:
Answer (or at least CHECK) your email. You cannot send a timeline through a phone call and I strongly doubt anyone is going to snail mail you one. A few times I’ve heard of vendors coming to a wedding without a clue of what was to happen at the wedding because they did not receive the timeline or event packet. Inexcusable. Even though we put out a few of these every weekend, and know the general pieces of a wedding day, we cannot do a wedding over. A prepared wedding professional is a better wedding professional. If you have not received a timeline or communication by 2 weeks prior to the wedding, contact your client’s wedding planner or client.
Insufficient Funds. It is really best that you handle all financial transactions prior to the wedding; I’m not trying to tell you how to do your job, but it makes it so much easier on the planner and client when this is handled prior to the event. The Mother of the Bride is not scrambling to find a checkbook and as a planner, I’m not forced to chase my bride down during her wedding to handle your income. That sounds harsh, and I’m sorry—but I’m a wedding planner, not a hostage negotiator. Let me explain. This happens more often that not: a couple finds a few things wrong with your service and decide to withhold payment and decide how they should be remedied. The vendor and client appeals to the wedding planner, who is then stuck in the middle. Note to brides: Make a point to have all of your final payments to your vendors two weeks prior to your wedding day.
There Is Only One Diva Allowed…And It’s Not You. Once again, harsh, but you didn’t come here for puppies and rainbows. We (as planners) totally get that your job is important. Other vendors think their job is equally important as well. Each has its argument as to why they rank higher on the totem pole: photographers produce the images that will last far beyond the wedding day once everything else has faded away; the floral designer produces the floral designs that create the ambience and experience during the event; the caterer provides the food for guests to enjoy at the heart of the event, and the DJ provides the entertainment to get everyone moving and excited. I get it. I hear it often. I, however, am not moved. If it makes you feel better, it’s my job to “be in charge” of all of you in your infinite importance, your contribution and the event. I’m like a mother with her children: you’re all important, and I don’t deal well with temper tantrums. We’re here as a team. Let’s make it fabulous. There is only one diva, and that’s the one in the white dress.
Chow Time. If you require a hot meal, please put it in your contract. I’ve seen vendors throw fits (please see above to ascertain how you think that was received) over being presented with a box lunch from the venue. If this is a topic that is of major importance for you, please revisit it when you conduct any final meetings/consultations with the client. Please never assume that the client has made arrangements for you or knows what you want, and please don’t assume that a meal will be a hot one. Note to brides: Please check the type of meal you are ordering with your caterer or venue. Some venues will “offer” a vendor meal to you at a “discounted” rate, but it is not what the rest of your guests are eating, it’s a $20 sandwich, apple and a bag of chips. If one of your vendors requires a hot meal, it is good etiquette to provide hot meals for all of your vendors.
If You Make Changes or Have Needs, Please Let Us Know…Please. It is not enough to tell the client. They will forget. I promise you—they have other things to deal with and that is the reason why they hire their wedding planner. If you find out that they have a wedding planner, it is common, professional courtesy that you update us with changes or needs in addition to (or at best, in lieu of) the client. If you have things you need returned, moved, etc. during or after the event, please let us know ahead of time. We want to maximize and enhance your service, but please recognize you are one of many vendors that will assist with the wedding day. We are all but a thread in the fabric of the event, and one snag can cause the entire garment to fray. Please let us know of any changes so that we can see how that will affect other vendors and the event as a whole.
These are just some ways that you can work best with your client’s wedding coordinator? Have great experiences to share? I’d love to hear them…leave a comment!