March 22, 2011  |  Wedding Tips

Photo by Elizabeth Messina

Why did you hire/are you hiring your vendors?

The answer to this question could save you tons of stress.

Did you hire them because:

a. You really liked they’re work. You heard great things from people who have worked with them, etc.


b. They fit your budget, you think if you can tell them exactly what you want, they can make it happen for you.

If you’re answer is a., sit back and relax. Don’t even worry about micromanaging. If you loved the photographs you saw on your photographers website TRUST THEM. There is basis for that trust and they’ve earned it. You know what they are capable of. Brides can get disappointed if they don’t get what they saw in their portfolio. You probably will not get what you saw in their photos or cake, flower, design portfolios if you micromanage them.

How can you avoid this?

ASK THEM about their process. Finding out what they do to produce such work will help you understand why things are done and you will know not to shut down certain things, knowing it’s part of their process to get the product you desire.

This not only will give you the product you’re expecting, but it also delegates responsibility so you have one less thing to worry about. I had a bride in my office yesterday, she’s planned out her whole day with tons of cute details. It’s been her baby for months and months. Well, she gave me freedom on the wedding day to use my judgment on how to incorporate things. I know she’s going to enjoy her day because she won’t be worried about those things. She trusts my style and judgment. TRUST = PEACE OF MIND. And I take that trust seriously. I will do everything possible to make sure it’s the best for her.

SHOW THEM YOU TRUST THEM. This takes things a step farther. If a bride tells me she loves my style or what she’s seen on the blog, I feel more confidant explore that style even further and bring new ideas to her.

If you’re answer is b., be prepared. You can rarely change an artist. If they take decent pictures and you think telling them what you want will make them great pictures, it probably won’t. It won’t suddenly increase their talent. You can plan and plan exactly what you want but in the end, it’s the vendor who has to deliver. It’s a stressful position to be in because up until you see the product, you don’t know what to expect.

How can you avoid this?

Lower your expectations. That’s right, I said it. I don’t mean this in a depressing way. I simply mean BE REALISTIC. I’ve gotten many inquiries from brides that say they want an elegant wedding that looks really expensive. To me, that’s a red flag because I know it may not be possible and I’m not in the business of letting down my clients! I want to to go over their expectations. For the most part, you get what you pay for. I do have several tricks and tips to advance the value of your wedding but creating a wedding for $10,000 that looks like $100,000 is not possible. If you have $10,000 for your entire wedding, but want a David Tutera wedding look, you will be disappointed. Look at what you do have instead of what you can’t have. This positive attitude will make any size budget manageable.
On the flip side, vendors when you are meeting with potential clients ask them why they are interested in you.

I’ve started to ask more of what they are looking for a wedding planner’s role to be. Since I do have a limited number of bookings, I look to work with those brides who need my design and style help and can benefit the most from my services instead of just needing a pair of hands to carrying out their vision. If I am simply the work engine, I’m not living up to my full potential and my motivation and work suffers. Also, at that point, I’ve handed the reigns over to the bride and am following her lead. Remember what I said about showing trust and how it can produce even better results? Taking over does the opposite. It let’s me know, you’ve got it under control, and are looking for someone to execute the agenda, not someone who gives ideas, tips, etc.

THE KEY to seeing everything come together is hire good vendors. Talk to friends who’ve gotten married recently, meet with a wedding planner for vendor referrals, and ask vendors you meet with for references.

Photo by Elizabeth Messina


  1. finding out what expectations are and helping manage them are one of the hardest but most important parts of our job. excellent post val – thanks for writing it!


  1. Wedding advice from the Pros. » courtney dellafiora blog :: international wedding photographer

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