Monday, January 17, 2011

Preparing for Vendor Meetings

Now that you're engaged, you're probably ready to begin interviewing vendors. Before you head out to meet with your potential vendors, there are a few things you should know ahead of time. In wedding planning, proper planning is key; therefore, knowing how to prepare for your meetings ahead of time will save you a great deal of time and stress in the long run. 

What to Bring :: 
  • Basic details about your wedding day - date, location(s), times (if set), & approx. # of guests
  • Wedding budget (or at least $ estimates of what you are prepared to pay for each major wedding category)
  • Photos of your wedding day vision (especially if you are meeting with a wedding planner, event designer, or florist)
  • Dress or fabric swatches (helpful for florist meetings) 
It's also a good idea to come prepared with questions to ask the vendor(s) that you are meeting with. This not only helps the dialogue between you and the vendor, it also helps with understanding how each vendor works. If you are interviewing 3-4 photographers in the same day, your memory may be a bit hazy as to which one was which. Having a separate Q+A sheet for each vendor you meet with helps to keep you organized and on track when it comes time to make your final decision. 

Other Helpful Tips ::
  • Don't be shy to ask vendors for referrals of previous clients they've worked with - reading testimonials on their website isn't always enough. Thorough research is a must
  • Less is more when it comes to the number of attendees at vendor meetings aka don't bring your entire bridal party. You + your fiance or you, your fiance, + your parents (or whoever is paying for the wedding) is plenty. Too many people in attendance creates confusion and can derail your focus when it comes to making key decisions on which vendor you think is the best match for you.
  • Out of town couple? Ask vendors if they can set up an initial meeting via Skype (or video chat) instead of just a phone call. This may help put you more at ease about hiring a particular vendor. 
  • Lastly, if you change your mind about interviewing a particular vendor, please be kind and let them know ahead of time. Often times vendors have to arrange for daycare, take time off from their "day job", or are driving a far distance to meet with you. A simple one minute email (or call) letting them know that you've decided to go another direction will be much appreciated.

    1 comment:

    Leeann Marie said...

    Great tips, Sumer! Can I add one more?

    Follow up with the vendors you've met with after you've made your decision. Even the ones you may not select. We like to hear from you regardless!

    - Leeann