Here are some dos and don’ts to consider while shopping for wedding professionals’ assistance. First note that I call us wedding professionals. We are just that- professionals who provide a product or service in a craft that we work very hard at on a daily basis. In turn, we really do appreciate the courtesy of proper “shopping around”.
We aren’t delusional; we realize that you are most likely shopping for the right pro, maybe the right price, or maybe the right style. However, we aren’t selling widgets you can purchase on any street corner; therefore, there are some rules to proper shopping.
DO – Contact a professional properly through e-mail or a phone call to schedule an appointment. Please be respectful of limited availability of evening and weekend appointments. Introduce yourself with your wedding date and any other details that pertain to that professional. Some details can affect the price or availability based on needs.
DON’T – Do not ever send a bid or contract from another professional and ask if they can match it, beat it or tell you what they would charge for the same thing. It takes a little longer but you will need to do the side work by yourself (unless you hire a planner who will do it for you). Not only is it disrespectful to their individual talents, but it is a much smaller community than you might think and we do talk to each other. We do not want to cause offense to anyone’s business.
DO – Have all your information together when meeting a pro and be respectful of their time for the appointment. Please be on time or call if you are going to be late. Always call as soon as possible if you need to cancel or reschedule.
DON’T – Do not ever “no show” a professional. Booking another appointment with that vendor will be difficult if you “no call” or “no show”.
DO –Inform the professional of your budget or inquire about pricing ahead of time. There is no point in wasting your time or theirs if the price isn’t right. However, a phone call or e-mail that simply begins with “how much” is a turn off and shows us that you are just price shopping. We hope that you are also shopping for talent, experience and style.
DON’T – Do not take too many people with you when meeting with professionals. Too many opinions can waste a lot of time. Take 0, 1, or 2 people, at most, whose thoughts and questions will be helpful and important to you and your special day.
DO – Understand that negotiating means that both parties must be willing to give up something, however…
DON’T –do not be afraid to ask if your budget and needs can be met by that professional. Do not expect this to always happen.
DO – Come to a creative meeting such as decor, linens, floral, hair, makeup etc. with some sort of idea of what you do and do not like. Speak with that professional and share your interests and wants. Bringing photographs to the meeting is also a huge help and will give both you and the professional a concrete vision of what you’re wanting!
DON’T – Do not be afraid to say “I don’t like that” or “No, that’s not me”. We learn just as much from you when you tell us what you dislike as we do when you tell us what you do like.
DO – Be open to ideas you weren’t considering before.
DON’T – Do not be bullied into anything you do not want (but again, a good professional would not do that to a client).
DO – Follow-up with the professionals you have met with in a timely manner, no matter what you have decided.
DON’T – Do not ignore the professionals’ e-mails or calls for a follow-up answer. We all understand that you have your reasons for your decision and we appreciate your honesty and prompt reply.
Planning an event as special as your wedding day is a challenge. These tips will help to aid in successful communication with wedding professionals and a successful planning process! Happy shopping around!