March 21, 2011  |  Wedding Tips

Photo by Alex Beadon

Hello all! I’ve been a bit MIA lately with weeks filled with weddings, shoots and lots of invitations. This week, I’ll be featuring tons of wedding advice for brides. The info I’ll share is based on my own experience but I also asked input from many other vendors to share some things they’d love for brides to know. As a wedding planner, my job is make sure things go well for clients throughout the wedding process. Your wedding day is a team effort among dozens of people and vendors. So working well with them is a big part of that. Brides, these posts won’t be all posies and sunshine. There’s some tough love too. You may not need to hear it but some may to have a smooth wedding planning process. Let’s get to it!

Today’s tips are simply all about timing.

1. The wedding planning process can be a long one. You may gather quotes, do tastings, etc and wait months before making decisions. Brides, avoid this at all cost.  You may want a little time to digest things or talk them over with others involved, I understand taking time to digest things but the longer you wait,  the more muddled what you discussed with a vendor can get. If YOU forget part of the conversation, imagine how a florist can get talking with four different brides a week about an anemone wedding! I love to say I remember each and every verbal detail we go over, but I’m working on over 10 sets of stationery any given week and 15 weddings. I need what we talk about in writing so I can’t ever forget your details. I can spend a crazy amount of time searching for that email from the summer where a bride told me the font she liked. It’s remarkable how many meetings and conversations I can remember over a week or two but if we chatted about an invitation concept 4 months ago, I need details. It’s the best way to ensure you get exactly what you are picturing.

How can you avoid this? Book vendors when they’re fresh. It will save you and the vendor time reconfiguring what you discussed months earlier. Also, vendors may not keep quotes for very long if they get that many inquiries. You’re proposal may have been deleted if they thought enough time had passed for a decision to be made. And in some cases, prices may change in the span of a few months so the quote may not be valid.

2. ASAP is a four-letter word. Telling a vendor you need something ASAP is never a good idea for a few reasons. First of all, if you tell them ASAP, you are leaving room for interpretation on when something should be done. As soon as the vendor can get to something may be two weeks from now but to you, may mean tomorrow. You just made their time frame ok when you said ASAP. Also, I’ve seen circumstances where vendors can unfairly assume most of the blame. A bride may be behind on her timeline and expect her vendor to make up the time and if they don’t produce something early, get upset. It sounds unfair but it happens ALL the time. I’ve actually heard some vendors say, when they feel rushed, they actually react slower citing the fact that they don’t think the client could have been happy with any time frame, so they don’t bother placing it before other work where they know the client can be satisfied.

How can you avoid this? Tell them an actual date and they can gage whether it works with their current workload. If not, you’ll receive an honest answer and can continue the search for someone who can satisfy your needs better.

3. If you need a job rushed, don’t be surprised if there is an additional (sometimes hefty) fee for this. For invitations, if a bride contacts me and says she needs them in two weeks when are normal turn-around time is 3-6 weeks, for me to rush them means putting their job before others WITHOUT affecting those other orders. Let me explain. It simply means I work extra so that any rush order does not affect my other orders. I can’t bump other orders back because it’s not fair to those bride’s who have contacted me expecting my normal turnaround. It’s the same as people making overtime. And if three brides in one week are looking for a rushed turnaround, it may not be possible at all.

How can you avoid this? Look at your timeline. Know etiquette and plan accordingly. I recently sent invitations to a bride getting married in October. She’s got THREE WHOLE MONTHS to address and mail out. Or don’t be surprised by rush fees. Rush fees can often cut out unneeded stress wondering if something is going to get to you in time.

All these tips will help the communication between you and your vendors. And if I’ve seen it once, I’ve seen it a hundred times, vendors who love their brides and have a great working relationship with them, will go above and beyond for them! Giving you just another reason to feel stress free!

I’ll share more on that later this week.  Feel free to comment with your best tips for timing!

1 Comment

  1. These are all such great pieces of advice. You definitely have experience with all of this and you are worth every bit that your brides invest in you!


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

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