Weddings are highly emotional events. Even planning one can bring out the very best and worst of some people. While this is an important and sensitive event that you plan, you come up against elements of event planning and business that you may have not encountered before in everyday life. It can be hard making the distinction between your event and “business”.
Understand, that your vendors know this is an important day for you. It is an important day for us, too—as we truly want to bring out the best of your event. And we do so by using the best of our talents and resources. This is what you pay for. All too often, sometimes the lines are blurred between the bridal couple and their wedding professionals. When lines are blurred, couples assume that since they are such great friends with members of their event team, that they (the professionals) are more than happy to do small mundane tasks. No, honey. Those cost. And it’s not a matter of you being nickeled and dimed, it’s a matter of paying for and respecting your wedding professionals’ time.
I understand that since this is a monumental, and at most occasions, a one time event, couples do not know protocol. Here are some helpful hints:
- Be sure your vendor’s service information is detailed. If you have something specific you want or need done in your vendor’s capacity, ask if it is included. Typically, if it is not listed, it’s not included and you should be prepared to pay. This includes additional setup, consultation hours, etc.
- Not only are you paying for quality, you are also paying for convenience. No, you don’t want to be stuck the day (or day before) your wedding fluffing 80 tissue paper pom poms or picking up your liquor from a wholesaler. True, you could do it yourself, but you would add stress and a time suck to your schedule. The little things you don’t want to or have time to do? Pay someone to do it, or don’t be upset when you are charged. So when you pay your wedding planner or caterer to do these things, you are paying to make sure it is done correctly as well as your own convenience.
- Don’t overstay your welcome. That sounds harsh, but that is not the case. On your contract, your wedding professional outlines the times of their service for you. You aren’t renting a person, you’re paying for a service. If you go over, be prepared to pay for any overtime outside of your contract. We had a wedding that was scheduled to end at 8 PM. I kid you not, no one danced the entire evening, until 7:55PM. They were ready to get the party going, but the DJ’s contract was up at 8PM. They ended up paying overtime, and surprisingly, didn’t dance again for the the rest of the night. Situations like this are rare, but you should prepare for them nonetheless.
- Don’t confuse line items with being nickeled and dimed. This is a way for your vendor to ensure you understand what you are getting, you are being charged correctly and they haven’t left anything out. It’s for your mutual benefit. Some vendors can get overly detailed, but take it with a grain of salt and credit it to their business savvy.
These are just some tips to help you as you start your planning! What have been your experiences been when working with vendors and their pricing?