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  • Meredith Heim

3 Ways To Get More Than What You Paid For From Your Vendors

Updated: Apr 19

It's super easy, really.

Photo By HSP Florals By Blossom and Basket

Simply put, no one who is a true professional will give you their time, services, or product for free... BUT this blog outlines basic rules and unspoken etiquette guaranteed to give you a better experience and get your vendors feeling extra generous and grateful for YOU!

Planning any event is stressful. It starts of super fun and Pinteresty with creative ideas whirling around in your head. You are so inspired that you could squeal and just cannot wait to get started. Then come the invoices and contracts, and things start feeling real. Even if budget is not a stressor, logistical concerns may become more pressing and before you know it the artsy and happy inspired You can be dissolved into a frustrated, discouraged, and tense blob.

This is when it is important to have your vendors in your corner. We ALL have been through this hundreds of times with our clients. We EXPECT you to be stressed- But the true test of someones character is how they conduct themselves when they are not feeling like their best selves.

We are all here for YOU. Doing the following 3 things will ensure your day is as close to perfect as possible.

Tip #1 - Be Kind.

The Golden Rule applies everywhere you go. Treat your vendors and service providers the way you'd like to be treated. You are paying someone for a service, not to be your servant. Showing your appreciation does not have to be monetary, either. Building a kind, professional rapport with your vendors (specifically your coordinator, photographer, and DJ - These 3 are the guardians of your timeline) will absolutely give you an extra layer of insurance protecting your event. People will go out of their way to damage control, troubleshoot, and problem solve if they feel appreciated. Makes sense, right?

Tip #2 - Be Respectful.

Everyone has their own lives, and in an industry that requires work primarily on the weekend, establishing a healthy work-life balance can take years. We chose this industry and we get that! But it is just something we hope you keep in mind. Family still gets sick, emergencies happen, crises can emerge. Advocate for yourself and don't take any sh*t... but remember we are all human. Keep that communication open and professional.

Which leads me to this; Aggressive undertones in emails and texts sent outside of the standard 9:00am-5:00pm aren't the best etiquette. It is best to keep all correspondence (especially anything with important details) through email, even if your vendors say "text me anytime!"

Keeping the majority of your communication via email in a single thread is appreciated beyond measure. This is also a good way to protect yourself if (God forbid) you get with a bad apple vendor. Read more about red flags and how to protect yourself as a client here.

"It is not uncommon for galleries to be delivered right at the deadline included in your contract. September through December is especially chaotic, so a little extra grace is appreciated. We promise we are not just twiddling our thumbs." – Anonymous DC Area Photographer

Pro Tip: Schedule your emails to be sent to your vendors at 8:00am on Tuesdays or Wednesdays. Thursday-Sunday are event days, and Monday is a day to catch our breath. By Tuesdays and Wednesdays, we are back in the office and ready to rock n' roll!

Tip #3 - Be Humble.

Your vendors most likely do what they do full time. They are professionals with a skill set range that can only be taught by lengthy experience. This being said, they would respectfully want you to know that although your wedding/event/party is a HUGE highlight of your life (we totally get that, and we are excited for you! That's why we are here!) it is not the only event on their schedule.

In life, nothing is free and we are all just trying to do our best and make our clients happy, promise!

"It was not until my 26th wedding of the season that someone asked me if everyone [guests, vendors] was being nice to me. This meant so much, as I had endured nothing short of abuse from clients earlier that season. Check-in with your people, they'll remember you forever." – Anonymous MD Venue Owner

That being said, all wedding vendors should have a passion for what they do. You should feel that energy in your first introductory call or meeting with them. If they seem bored, lackluster, or annoyed by simple questions they are likely not the best fit. Read more about vendor red flags here.

Finally, Do The Deed.

You've heard it a million times, but sharing a post to your story or writing a review is enough to bring a small business to happy tears. Follow, Like, Share, Comment, Support your vendors on social media. It is TOUGH out here and we all wear many hats.



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