Wedding vendors are an imperative piece of the puzzle that make up your dream day. And after a tiring search that requires aligning price ranges and packed schedules, the moment the contracts are signed can make it feel as if the hard part is over. But then comes the actual planning! Although there are numerous resources to help soonlyweds navigate the daunting road of wedding planning, we talked to our Love Listers about the little things vendors wish their couples knew that you might not find in the planning books that are stacked high on your nightstand. From helpful tips to ensure your day runs smoothly to the things that might never have crossed your mind, knowing these small details can make the biggest difference when it comes to successfully collaborating with your vendors so you each understand the other's vision. Here are five things to know:
Get to Know Each other
You’re going to be spending a lot of time with your vendors, especially your photographer. Most wedding days last more than eight hours, and more often than not, your photographer will be by your side documenting all the special moments that occur during that time, from when you first step into your wedding outfit to the emotional moment you kiss your new husband or wife for the first time and all the way up until your last spin on the dance floor.
Your wedding day is reserved for the most important people in your life, those who are close friends and family, so your photographer shouldn’t feel like a stranger! Love Lister Ana Isabel Photography suggests grabbing a beer together or getting to know each other over coffee, and make sure both you and your SO are available for all your in-person appointments. The better you know your vendors, the better they'll understand what you want for your ceremony and reception. It's a win-win for both of you!
One of the most important things to remember about your wedding day, is ensuring that the people who are working so hard to make sure your day is great are getting taken care of, especially those who are there for the long haul. While some vendors won't require meals — such as those who are there only to set up earlier in the day — it's customary to provide a meal to any wedding pro who will be there throughout the reception.
“Where I see it come apart is timing,” Mary of Mary Veal Photography says. “Most catering staff and planners’ current method of food delivery to vendors is after everyone else has been served. By then, it is too late for the photographers, and it ends up getting cold, or worse yet, taken away before we get a chance to eat it.” For photographers, Mary suggests getting the meal at the same time as the newlyweds — as pictures of them eating dinner certainly aren’t necessary or something that needs to be documented. If the photographer and the couple eat at the same time, the moment the newlyweds are back at it, your photog will be too!
They're There to Help
Some soonlyweds have a preconceived notion that hiring a wedding planner, as well as other vendors, means handing over the reigns of complete control for their wedding day. But that simply isn’t true! Vendors do what they do because they want to help you! They want to execute the best day for you and your loved ones, and when the day comes to an end, there’s nothing they want more than for you to be over the moon with how it all turned out.
That isn’t to say that they’re going to be able to implement every single idea you present to them. And most of the time that's because they know best and know what is and isn't going to work. Remember, they know what they’re doing. This isn’t their first wedding; it’s yours! Even if it’s your second or third wedding, your vendors have far more weddings up their sleeves than you do. So trust them when they give you advice. They promise, they’re only trying to help!
One of the best things you can do for your vendors is be prepared. Before your first meeting, take the time to think about what you want your wedding to look like and how you want it to unfold. Don't just show up to a meeting and expect your wedding pros to do all the work for you! Even when the big day arrives, the more prepared you are, the smoother things will run. Love Lister Mary Veal suggests designating a member of your wedding party to be sure important details don't get missed.
“Have the details together in one area for when the photographer arrives,” she says. “This saves your photographer the time of having to locate and gather these items so they can focus on creatively capturing them. Plus it ensures nothing is missed because it was out of sight.”
Trust Their Vision
You hire vendors because of their creative craft, not to copy what else has been done. In the world of Pinterest, it's easy to swoon over the details in someone else's wedding and want the exact same thing for your own, but you should remember that for most vendors, their work is a form of art. And copying another artist's work is not only plagiarism, but it also doesn't allow your vendor to execute his or her own creative vision.
But don't worry, sharing inspiration is good! Bring pictures or a list of ideas along so that the vendors have an idea of what you envision for your wedding, but don't expect an exact replica. After all, wouldn't it be nice to know that the meaningful and unique aspects of your wedding day won't be copied over and over again?
Your wedding is a celebration — don't forget that! It's easy to get caught up in the stress of planning a party for hundreds of your closest friends and family, but don't lose sight of the reason for the party in the first place! Your vendors are there to help you create a night you'll never forget, so when your big day arrives, don't spend energy on anything other than enjoying your day and having an unforgettable time!