At Storybook, we walk our couples through a signature process for booking their wedding vendors. In our second phase, the initial introduction, we ensure that the proposed vendors are already hitting three key points that make them a great match from the start.
Design & Vision Alignment
Let’s be honest. There are hundreds of incredible vendors that offer what you are looking for in the city that you’re marrying. So how do you know you’re choosing the right person?
Today, I want to share with you, some do’s and don’ts for selecting your vendors.
Do some self discovery before you even begin the vetting process.
What do I mean by this? I mean that you really need to understand what YOU’RE searching for. The first step of Storybook’s vendor vetting process begins with a deep discovery session with our couple. We lead them through a very detailed homework process, following with a meeting to talk big picture and even after, followed by individual discovery sessions for each vendor category. When we say we take the vendor booking process seriously, we mean it.
The reason why I highly recommend doing some self discovery before you start reaching out to vendors is because YOU need to know what you are looking for first.
What is your budget range for this particular category? What style are you looking for this vendor to offer, for example, photography can range all over the place. Light and bright photos, true to tone, dark and moody, film photography, posing or documentary… the list goes on.
Make sure you understand this for each of your vendor categories and then get searching!
Don’t Let Vendors Force You to Make a Quick Decision with Time Sensitive Tactics.
Let me reminder you. You are planning your wedding. You are not making a decision to add one more thing to your online cart and check out before time runs out. With which you can do a return on later if you don’t like it.
With wedding planning you are signing contracts, putting down large deposits and are securing vendors who will have an impact on your engagement and wedding experience, not to forget mentioning, life long memories.
I will say, there are definitely moments where time is of the essence. It does happen often where another lead will be received by the vendor around the same time you’ve also inquired. When this happens, most vendors offer a first right of refusal to the client who inquired/or had a consultation with them first. This is normal and in this case, you should have already spoken with the vendor and hopefully a few of their competitors. But if not, I always recommend to my couple’s to never make a decision based on feeling rushed.
From time to time we encounter vendors, that like to encourage couples to book quickly with cost savings, etc. and if you are making all your decisions based on money alone, then that may work for you. But then are you really getting what you want? I’ll let you answer that question.
Do make sure you enjoy the vendor’s PERSONALITY
We always recommend to have a face to face/video consultation before you make a decision. It’s one thing to love a photographer’s portfolio and previous work, but it can feel incredibly defeating if you’re now in front of your photographer’s camera and you and them just can’t hit it off.
We value putting our couples in front of vendors who sync well with their personalities. Wedding Planing and the wedding day is an incredibly collaborative process. So please make sure you trust and feel a nice personality match when making your final decision.
Don’t Convince Yourself to Like Someone.
Oh…. the internal battle of loving someone’s work online, but then after meeting with them… you feel like something’s “not right”.
We want our couple’s to trust their gut.
Sometimes, I feel like I’ve put someone in front of my couple that seems like a pretty perfect match to only listen to my couple’s feedback and hear that a small detail or feeling in particular didn’t sync.
No one knows you better than yourself. So when it comes to final decisions, regardless of how much you love their online work, if the consultation doesn’t feel right…then it probably isn’t.
Just like “love” should feel easy, same thing goes when it comes to finding your perfect vendor match.
Do Respect The Vendors Time – and their pricing.
As vendors, it can be very disheartening to have a consultation with a couple to only be ghosted afterwards. It is totally okay to realize that we may not be a good fit, our feelings won’t be hurt.
The consultation is just as much an interview for us as it is for you. But, one thing we want to remind you, as you are on your vendor vetting journey, is that we are people too.
We appreciate feedback and we also want to have the opportunity to know how we can improve. Some vendors are open to hearing what was lacking in their services so that they could provide better offerings in the future or even, add in that missing offer to your proposal!
Also, I beg you, please do not ask your vendors to give you a discounted rate. As part of your self discovery process you should also determine your budget, and if the vendor is not in budget, consider raising yours before you ask them to consider lowering theirs. Respect goes both ways.
I will say however, there are some vendors who offer minimal pricing matching or will incorporate added value to make sure you are getting what you’re looking for. Although this can seem very contradicting to my last statement, many of us are open to an opportunity on how we can improve our offerings to sync better with your expectations. It’s with this many of us are happy to consider a custom proposal to match your needs and budget better. What it’s not is asking for ALL OF IT without wanting to PAY FOR IT.
Regardless, even if there were no negotiable factors to your decision◻️, be kind and be communicative to your vendors as to why you didn’t move forward and at the minimum – that you won’t be moving forward
And lastly, I’m going to end with a don’t that tends to raise my blood pressure. Why? Because I feel like this question has no benefit and is doing couple’s a disservice.
Because if you are truly working with a professional, this question shouldn’t matter. And honestly, even if you aren’t working with a professional, this question still shouldn’t matter.
So without further ado… my final tip!
Don’t make a decision on vendors based on if they’ve worked at your venue before.
To be honest, I want you to not consider this question at all. Throw it out from your mind and let me know who told you to consider that in the first place?
Whether your vendors have worked there or not before shout NOT be a deciding factor.
First and foremost, you are hiring your vendor for their skill, expertise and alignment of services that entwine with your vision. The location shouldn’t affect the vendor’s ability to execute their job.
Hypothetically speaking, if you are getting married at a brand new venue many vendors wouldn’t have worked there before your wedding day. So… in that case, would you even ask the question?
Each venue we work at has its individual rules and guidelines, that as vendors, we must follow. Each venue is different but our job stays the same.
If you are truly working with a professional, this question is a moot point.
And there you have it, our top do’s and don’ts for hiring your vendors.
Now of course, there is a lot more to consider. If you are looking to work with a professional planning company that can help lead you through this, we would love to chat with you.
Until next time, happy planning,
Very good tips. Very helpful.