How successful a wedding is can often be chalked up to the reliability, quality and timeliness of vendors, so it is definitely worth putting some significant time and effort into the search.
Before chatting about how to best prepare for success with your vendor meetings, let’s take a quick glance over a timeline on the ‘who and when’:
Wedding Vendors by the Month
- 12+ months: Wedding Planner, Ceremony Venue, Reception Venue
- 10+ months: Photographer, Videographer, Florist, Caterer, DJ
- 8+ months: Accommodation for out-of-town guests, Wedding Invitations, Wedding Dress, Wedding Tuxe, Sherwani, Makeup/ Hair Artist
- 6+ months: Bridesmaids/ Groomsmen outfits, Wedding Cake Baker, Wedding Rings
- 4+ months: Transportation, Favours
Following a timeline like this will help you space out and prioritise your vendor meetings (or else they can get overwhelming!) while still being on top of things. Plus, with the South Asian wedding industry as busy as it is, you’ll be giving your vendors the courtesy of plenty of time while ensuring the top picks for yourself!
Meeting Wedding Vendors: 5 Tips On How to Do it Best
Shivani & Vick’s Sangeet. @shivi_narang @vickgandhi @rohitsharma25 @lavishdulhan @maggiewuofficial @shirleywuofficial @designerdancefloors @chairsandthrones @tajraj.events @ellebefilms @mississaugaconvention ? @daveabreuphotography #ohshick #gpsdecors #weddingdesigner #designerevents #uniqueevents #lavishweddings
With the general vendor timeline organised, let’s go ahead with a few tips on how to best prepare to meet your vendors.
1. Don’t Skip the Paperwork
Trust us, when the wedding is in full-fledged planning mode, it’s going to be hard to remember things without a neat and organised paper trail. So, do yourself a favour and start the paperwork nice and early with your vendor meetings.
Whether you’ll be typing up a storm on your Macbook, making voice notes on your phone, or you’ll be busting out the traditional pen and paper, the extra effort will go a long way.
Remember, your vendor meeting isn’t just a casual chat, it’s essentially your negotiation of services and payment. You might think you’ll remember what you discussed now, but months down the road an e-mail trail or even a formal contract will help you navigate what you need to know about dates, time, expenses and agreements.
2. Mention Your Referral
Our first collaboration in India ? #MoreToCome on @indianweddingbuzz #IWBCollab . . . Credits: #Styling and #Concept: @styl_bymeha #Photography: @cupcakeproductions13 #Planning and #Coordination: @chapter.2.events #Decor: @designereventsinc #Makeup and #Hair: @aakritikochar #LocationHost: @hostie.asia #Jewellery: @purabpaschim #Model: @shradha.malik
How did you find your vendor? Was it through an online search or a friend? Not only will letting your vendor know where you found them break the ice and be something of interest to them and their business, but that information can also be to your advantage.
Vendors love referral business because it’s often a low-cost and reliable lead. Mentioning where you found your vendor will probably give you some leverage with their availability, and maybe even their pricing!
The bottom line is, go ahead and tell them! Let your referral open up the conversation and who knows where it will lead you.
3. Bring Questions and Inspiration
The MUSLIM Bride @ayeshaasid wore this gorgeous lehenga by @houseofneetalulla “Nazakat” and “Haya” are the two words apt for this bride. This fun bride portrayed the perfect version of a contemporary modern Muslim Bride. Bright festive colors along with the emerald green portrayed the Muslim Bride is her true skin. A collaboration with @indianweddingbuzz and the team who brought this all together ❤️ ————————————————————— Credits : Styled and Conceptualised : @styl_bymeha Photography : @cupcakeproductions13 Planning & Coordination : @chapter.2.events Decor Partners : @designereventsinc Make up : @aakritikochar Hair : @moryalalit Location Host : @hostie.asia Jewellery: @purabpaschim Brides : @ayeshaasid Designers : @houseofneetalulla . . . . . . . #shaadei #weddingstyling #celebration #bridalportrait #decor #indianweddingbuzz #indianwedding #bridesofindia #southasianwedding #loveourwork #shootdiaries #summerinspiration #monsoonweddings #instafashionblogger #instabrides #instaweddings #weddingdesigners #designerdecor #shootstyling #bridesoftoday #hautedecor #muslimbride #muslimbeauty #muslimfashion #neetalulladiaries
Pre-plan your meeting with a prepared list of questions and relevant photos and references. In fact, assume that you’ll be taking the lead of the conversation so be prepared to over-share details about what you’d like.
With that assumption in mind, in the best case scenario, you’ll be pleasantly surprised when your vendor is an equal participant, but even in the worst case scenario, you’ll have passed on all of the information that’s important to you.
Oftentimes we think that the professional will have a good idea about what we want, when really everyone’s preference is so unique to themselves, that it’s best just to spell it out for them. So, don’t be shy! Share your vision and see if your vendor can see it like you do.
4. A Little Professional Courtesy Goes a Long Way
During vendor meetings you and your fiancé are interviewing the vendor, yes. But you know what else? The vendor is also interviewing you. This is especially true for sought-after vendors who can have their pick of clients.
And as with many creatives, money isn’t always the bottom line. You can make a great first impression with your vendor by doing a few small things:
Everything from a firm initial handshake, a pre-bought coffee and a genuine interest in their career will go miles towards showing them that you’re just the kind of generous, thoughtful and professional person that they will want to work with. Do it for the sheer sake of making a solid first impression, and you’ll also be leaving the chance for preferential treatment.
4. Ask for Other Referrals
Welcome to the wedding of George & Melissa. Creating something special for our couple . Event Planner / Stylist & Design @dianekhouryweddingsandevents | Gown @steven_khalil | photography @emiliobphotography | video @nyc_films | florals @johnemmanuelfloralevents | custom floor/tables and hire @harboursidedecorators | chandeliers @chandelierstodiefor | candlebras @whitelabelhire | tableware @the_ella_group | cake @sweetbloomcakes | venue @fssydneybridal | hair @natalieannehair | makeup @melissasassinemakeup
By the end of the meeting, if you’ve decided that you like this vendor and want to work with them, ask them for other referrals!
Why? Because like-attracts-like. Whether you appreciate their professional attitude, quality of services, or all of the above, chances are that they have friends in the industry that are pretty similar.
Asking your booked vendors to refer other professionals is a great way of constructing a wedding team that has great synergy, works well together and maybe…just maybe.. you’ll get a package deal out of it.
Regardless, it’s a fantastic way to show your vendor that they are valued while also helping you find the best for your wedding.
Ultimately, when you’ve gone ahead and met all of your vendors, let your intuition help the two of you make the decision. If you picked up on something that didn’t work well with you, chances are you won’t like it during the wedding either.
You’ll be spending a lot of time with your selected vendors- and time that’s especially important during arguably some of the most important events of your life.
So, take your time to choose the vendors that make you feel the most comfortable with their services, reputation, and personalities.
Ask questions about past weddings they’ve worked, get things in writing, check out their portfolio and don’t be afraid of getting a second opinion.
Then, when you’ve selected your vendors, take a pause to celebrate! Treat yourself and your partner out to an evening out and look ahead to a wonderful wedding that awaits.
Happy Planning! – Indian Wedding Buzz