Published November 13th, 2012
This is the second in our five-part series based on the wedding planning help that I offer my clients at French’s Point. In this series, I provide tips on central concerns like budget creation, vendor selection, timeline management, the ceremony, and set-up, addressing each topic in the order that I typically address it with the client. Last time, we discussed budgeting. Today, we’ll look at choosing your vendors.
Part of my role at French’s Point is to assemble the best team for my clients. That means gathering vendors who will work together as a collective to improve each other’s performance.
First, I sit down and talk with my clients about the list of priorities that they drafted during the budget phase. This priorities list is a pecking order telling me which vendors need to be secured first. Somewhere between my client’s pecking order and the limitations of available providers in this region, we usually agree on contracts.
The most common order of vendor importance usually goes like this: After location, floral design or photography, then music — like is it a live ensemble or a DJ or some combination. These vendors are priorities partly because their schedules tend to be the most limited. A lot of other vendors can do more than one event a day, but these few I just listed are pretty much limited to one wedding a day. So you have to strike fast to make sure you get the vendor you want. The cake supplier, hair and makeup, and any number of other providers can do more than one event a day and are usually much less difficult to secure. But I tell my clients that if you want to have your pick of the preferred vendors and your choice of the spectrum and price-point, prioritize those vendors with scheduling limitations.
Once we’ve identified the best vendors, I have a very open conversation with those vendors about creating a smooth experience for my clients. I remind them that the team is only as strong as its weakest link and make clear that every person on the team has an impact on the overall experience. It’s so important that everyone on the team prioritizes our clients and can work well with other members of the team. If not, it’s part of my job to resolve it. Team effort is one of those hidden factors at a wedding that can make all the difference, and I’m lucky that the vendors I tend to work with are tried and true team-players.