Just this last year, I purchased a new refrigerator because ours was starting to go out. I knew it was on its last legs! I identified what I wanted in a refrigerator … my list was pretty simple: durable, long-lasting, great reviews, ice and water dispenser in the door (I hated that our old one required us to open the door to get water and ice), stainless steel, nice lighting and plenty of room. Online shopping, visiting Lowe’s and Home Depot, talking to sales people, more online shopping … and once I found the one I liked, I set our budget and saved to afford it. (Fortunately, the old one hung on while I did all that!)
Now I own the exact fridge I wanted and are extremely happy with it. That is the same result you should have with your wedding vendors as well. Of course, buying services is a whole lot harder than researching and buying a product like a fridge! When you purchase a service, you also purchase a person who will have full access to all of your guests and family members on one of the most special days in your lives. So more care must be taken when looking for these vendors. The key here is to incorporate the same process into determining your budget for the vendors as you would in buying a refrigerator. This way you will be able to afford the one you want instead of getting stuck with the one you can afford. As many have seen in the past, that can be disastrous for your wedding.
Steps to Avoid Problem Vendors
Here is how I recommend you approach this task to hire an amazing wedding vendors and prevent you from having any disasters at your wedding and with your memories.
Research the vendors – First thing is to identify what professional vendors are in your area. You can do this by googling the service you want in your area. Once you get your search results look at their website and pick the ones that you think look the most professional and make a list. Keep in mind that if they don’t invest in putting together a great website for their business, what makes you think they will invest in the success of your wedding?
Set a Phone Appointment – Now take your list and send them an email asking to set up a time to talk on the phone. This in itself is a test as the professional wedding vendor will respond quickly to coordinate a time that is convenient for both of you to talk on the phone. You may not get a response at all from others. Take the ones that don’t respond off your list. This should shorten your list down dramatically, Most of the professionals will set up times to talk with you after normal business hours as they do understand it’s difficult for you to talk while you are at work. Also, you should understand that we do our work mostly on weekends so weekend phone calls may be difficult if we’re busy working!
Interview the Company – Remember that you are putting this person in charge of the success of a day you are spending thousands of dollars on. More importantly, they will have full access to all of your family and friends and they are representing you. You want to make sure you find out who they are and why they work weddings. You also want to find out about their training and its always important to ask what they do to ensure your wedding is a success. Look for professionalism, extra effort and the desire to work with you to ensure your wedding is a success. Also make sure that their personality is a fit. You do not want to hire someone you do not like or trust!
Ask About Price – Once you are done interviewing them and are sure they are someone you would hire, then describe what you want with your wedding to make sure they they can deliver the result you want. If they can’t or you don’t like their answers, move on! If they can and you like what you hear, then ask them what they would charge to handle that aspect of your wedding. Jot the price down and let them know you need to discuss it with your fiance. This should be something both of you should be involved in.
Make Your Decision – Make sure you go over what you liked best about the companies you had gotten pricing on and then select the one that you think will deliver the wedding you want. You do need to also consider that the good companies get booked up quickly. So if your date is available, make sure you make your decision soon or someone else can book it from under you. Most professional wedding vendors operate on a “first come, first served” basis for bookings.
Mary Beth Lovejoy, photographer
315.374.0506 or 585.348.7380
Thank you to Mark Cherney, owner of Music Man Event professionals