Be the best client
Words by Rebecca Mitchell
Planning and executing a wedding is no small feat. For the newly engaged couple ready to embark on this impressive task, outlining and prioritizing the wedding elements that are most important are critical first steps. Once you have a shared vision, assembling a team of professionals who clearly understand that vision is key.
Wedding planning is like any project management: Success lies in executing a shared plan while monitoring schedule and budget. And, success is measured by stakeholder satisfaction. What does all that jargon mean for newly engaged couples ready to plan their weddings? I’ll boil it down to simple terms: For the most positive wedding-planning experience, create and share your wedding vision with a group of vendors selected to fit your style, and cultivate a working relationship with each that is based on shared goals, mutual respect, and open communication. Knowing that, follow these tips to increase your likelihood of a positive experience.
Recognize brilliance. You selected your wedding vendors based on their qualifications, among other things. Once you sign the contract with each, trust that your wedding vendors are experts and will execute the tasks to their best ability with your satisfaction as their top priority. Recognize their skills and trust their abilities.
Respect their time. For any professional, time is precious. As a client, you can show that you value your vendors’ time and efforts by honoring your appointment times and responding promptly to questions or requests.
Offer a single point of contact. Wedding vendors juggle many moving parts as they plan and execute each unique and special event. Simplify the communication by assigning a single point person to communicate with each vendor. It may be that the bride is on point for six vendors, the groom for four, and the mother of the bride for two. However it plays out, make sure you keep it simple to ensure smooth interaction.
Be realistic with cost and schedule. Have a price and timeline estimate in mind for each vendor’s service. Understand that there is more to a vendor’s service than the flat cost of goods; their expertise has value. Ask for their expert opinion when it comes to time and cost estimates.
Pay promptly. Discuss payment terms with each vendor prior to signing a contract. Once the invoices start rolling in, honor those payment terms. Don’t make your vendor beg you for payment. It will strain or ruin your working relationship.
Communicate expectations. Your wedding plans will evolve over time, but it’s critical to start each vendor interaction with a shared vision, set of expectations, and outcome goal. Be sure to discuss budgetary and schedule details to ensure that all outlooks align.
Participate in the process. One of your jobs will be to respond to your vendors’ inquiries honestly and promptly. Make yourself available for feedback and questions. And, remember that live conversations (by phone or in person) may be helpful in addition to emailing or texting, especially if you experience a scheduling hiccup or misunderstood expectation.
If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a million times: The wedding vendors in and around the Tetons are top-notch professionals who are passionate about their skill sets and driven to succeed. You’ll be in good hands with our local vendors.