You’ve found the perfect venue. It gives you the space for a cocktail hour, breath taking reception room, and the perfect size dance floor. You find yourself looking through the venue’s pamphlet and you notice their preferred vendor list. It is important to ask if these vendors are preferred because of their talent, professionalism, and knowledge of the location or due to the fact that they have paid to be included on the list. If they have paid to be on the list, this doesn’t mean that they won’t provide you with excellent service, but it is important to be aware of why they are being recommended.
When working with one vendor, and recommendations are made for a photographer, cake designer, florist, or any other wedding professional, always ask what the relationship is between the vendors. Ask if they offer a discount, or a referral fee, because these are important to consider. (As a planner, we do not accept or offer referral fees, since we base our recommended vendors on their skills, passion, talent and professionalism. Plus, we do not feel that it would be honest to accept payment from a client and from a vendor. This is why it’s one of the policies of ESTOccasions.)
When meeting with a vendor, consider it an interview process for you both. It isn’t appropriate to arrive more than 10 minutes early or more than 10 minutes late for either party. Make sure you connect with your vendor; you should feel relaxed and informed at the same time. If you have a planner, and want them to be there, make sure your vendor knows they will be meeting with your planner also. Ask them to bring along a copy of a contract to view. Don’t be pressured into signing the contract, but do ask if you can have 24 hours to consider their offer and then sign. If you take longer to consider the offer, it may expire and the vendor may have already moved on to another client. If you love the offer, don’t let the vendor get away. Also, if you know from the start that their packages aren’t in your budget, don’t waste your own time or theirs. This is where working with a planner can help you find the right vendor for your vision and your budget, without wasting any time. It is also not appropriate to make numerous requests for information from a vendor if you do not retain them. Vendors are not free consultants; they are professionals that make their living providing services and advice.
There are plenty of great wedding professionals and with some effort, time and research you can find the perfect match for you.