Things Wedding Vendors Want You to Know, But Are Too Polite to Tell You: Part 2

Expert Advice: 15 Things Wedding Vendors Want You to Know, But Are Too Polite to Tell You: Part 2

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1. Give us the Tea

“We need your details and fairly specific ones. Avoid saying subjective phrases such as, Won’t cost me an arm and a leg, on a tight budget, looking to spend as little as possible, or lowkey because we don’t know what you mean by that. Everyone’s arm and a leg are different. Have that budget talk before you even start shopping so you don’t fall in love with a venue, photographer, dress, or caterer that isn’t even in your budget. We need to know how many guests you’re thinking of, are you wanting the ceremony on-site or offsite, and what kind of bar service you want. Give us the deets so we can guide you to the best bang for your buck! Also, a 75-person wedding is not a micro wedding. A 50-person wedding is the same amount of work as a 150-person wedding. I understand you may think 60 or 75 people is a ‘small’ wedding, but it’s the still amount of work.” – Leigh Wilson, Red Mesa Events

2. Pinterest Can Be a Frenemy

Pinterest is not always your best friend! As much as I love to ask for inspiration images and your Pinterest board, the reason is to understand your style, design preferences, and overall feel of your wedding day. Remember that what we are asking for is inspiration and not, I want this exact photo. If you do, we will still of course work happily together, however, we will also assist you in adding in personal touches that make the day about you. We are here to be creatives and design different decor and color schemes that haven’t been used or seen before. Think of your wedding as the next pin someone will use. My couples are always afraid of what their florals or rentals will look like if they haven’t seen exact images before on the proposals. That is the whole point! This is your special day, and it should be based on what you love and not copied from another wedding day. We are here to guide you and give you advice on what will and won’t work together. Also, just because it is on Pinterest, unfortunately, doesn’t mean it’s always attainable with every budget.” – Lauren Gertz, MDP Events

3. Read Between the Lines When We Give You Feedback

“When we hear a bad idea, we will never insult you by saying it’s a bad idea. Phrases like It’s not my favorite or That’s one way to go are our way of responding to it and being polite. Let us think on it, maybe there’s a way to retain the roots of your idea, but add in our experience and expertise.” -Staci Mandikas, UNIQUE Weddings + Events

4. Listen to the Experts

“If we tell you your guest count will be too large for our space, or the dinner service you selected is slower than other types of services; please don’t get upset when your guest count is too large for our space and the dinner service you selected is slower than you want it to be. We’re here to guide you and manage expectations. It’s so important to listen and have realistic expectations during the planning process, otherwise, it sets us and you up for failure and disappointment. Please don’t tell us how we ‘should’ run the business or how we ‘should’ charge for certain things simply because it doesn’t make sense to you. Ask questions regarding why we do things a certain way; I’ll happily explain it and help you understand. We’re all about education!” – Leigh Wilson, Red Mesa Events

Vibrant Same Sex Lesbian Wedding, Brides Exchanging Wedding Vows | Tampa Bay Wedding Photographer Dewitt for Love Photography | Industrial Modern Wedding Venue Hyde House

5. Give Your Photographer Something To Work With

“Don’t count on the photo/video team to make your wedding look like it didn’t. Okay, so hear me out on this one. Many times photo and video might be a large part of the budget, and I think that’s amazing that a couple wants to invest in an amazing team to capture it all. However, a trend I’ve noticed over the years is putting all of the weight of what your wedding looks like on your photographer. Skimping on hiring a planner, skimping on the overall design or florals, and then leaning heavily on the visuals that the photographer provides to ‘fix’ the other areas of the day that are lacking. Remember that we are still capturing your day as it actually looked. While we shoot to capture it all in an elevated way, your photo and video team are just one part of your overall team including your venue/planner/florist/rentals that influence the way your day ultimately looks. Make sure you’re not leaning too heavily on one vendor to pick up the slack, but rather having a more equal budget to spread around! (Extra tip: If you don’t loooove your venue, make sure you are allowing your photographer to carve out extra time after the First Look to take you to a more picturesque area nearby for your photos together/with your wedding party. This actually is a great way to elevate the look of your day if you’re not in love with the aesthetics of your venue!)” – Shannon Dewitt, Dewitt for Love Photography

6. Don’t Show Up Unannounced

“We know that planning a wedding can be stressful and you want to get reassurance from your vendors, sometimes in person. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to meet up with them face to face, but make sure you email or call to set up that in-person meeting. Vendors have very busy schedules and sometimes limit meetings to specific days so that they can take care of their other responsibilities. When you drop in to chat really quick, you could be throwing off a vendor’s entire day and possibly affect someone else’s event. They usually won’t tell you they can’t meet if you’ve already shown up in-person, but know they’re secretly rearranging their entire day in their heads. If the matter isn’t urgent, email first and try to be patient with them. If the matter is urgent, try to call before showing up since phone calls are usually faster and just as much can get done.” -Melanie Eubanks, Lemon Drops Weddings and Events

7. Keep Track of Who You Contact

“Information overload can go both ways for the couple and vendor. For couples, know that vendors advertise and make themselves accessible on multiple platforms, such as Marry Me Tampa Bay, Google, The Knot/Wedding Wire, email marketing, Instagram, TikTok, Facebook groups, our business website etc.). When reaching out to vendors, write down which vendor you reached out to and which platform you used to communicate with them through. This happens all the time, couples will email via the business website, Marry Me Tampa Bay, and Instagram, then get confused on when and which vendor they contacted. The couples will then follow up and ask if we got the information. Yes, we did, 10 times! It can be overwhelming and cause delays in getting back with couples or answering all emails because now each couple has a new client account created for each time they have emailed us via a different platform.” -Melanie Barker, Elope Tampa Bay

8. The Price is The Price is The Price

“I get it, the cost of literally everything is through the roof right now. I can’t control that. Please don’t ask to negotiate your pricing down on a Saturday evening in peak season, and then when we say no, please don’t get mad about it. Figure out your priorities and spend your money there. If your budget doesn’t allow you to properly host 300 people; cut down your guest list.” – Leigh Wilson, Red Mesa Events

Romantic Boho Rooftop Wedding Reception with Neon Custom Sign | Downtown St. Petersburg Wedding Venue Red Mesa Events

9. The Best Vendors Get Booked Quickly

“We hate having to tell clients we can’t do their wedding because they waited too long to book us. If you know you want a vendor and have had your eye on them, book them as soon as possible. Nothing is worse than having to turn down our ideal clients!” – Delaney Driver, Wilder Mind Events

10. Trust Your Vendors

“You hired us to do our specific job. When you book a planner, especially a full plan with design, have faith in our expertise! We will always give you the best advice and steer you in a direction that is best suited for your wedding. We are team YOU! We are not here trying to scam you of anything. From our first phone call in the pre-booking stages all the way to sending you down the aisle, we are genuinely rooting for you and giving you our best advice. We want to ensure smoothness, an amazing vendor team, and seamless operations throughout the whole process. It is ok to feel overwhelmed in this whole process. It 100% is overwhelming. But, remember to listen to us. If I, or another person on your vendor team, is saying I don’t think that is a good idea or that really won’t pan out well for your guest count or location, listen to us! That is us telling you we’ve done it, we’ve seen it!” -Kelci Zicconi, Kelci Leigh Events

11. Day-of Coordinators Don’t Exist

“There is no such thing as a Day-of Coordinator. You cannot just show up the day of and expect anybody to know what to do and make judgment calls on your behalf. The correct term is “Month of” Coordinator. We need a month of getting your details in order and getting to know your vision in order to be able to carry it out the way you envisioned it in your head. -Tammy Waterman, Special Moments Event Planning

12. Most of Our Work is Behind-the-Scenes

“As much as we want to turn it off, we are ALWAYS thinking about your wedding. I know that some clients feel like if we aren’t meeting, talking, or emailing, then we aren’t working, but I assure you, we are. We have to make progress on the planning of every wedding, every week, to stay on schedule. Even though we aren’t face-to-face, there is ALWAYS work being done!” -Staci Mandikas, UNIQUE Weddings + Events

Edgy and Urban Wedding Reception Decor, Black Wall with Pink Neon Sign "All You Need is Love", Red and Yellow Rose Floral Centerpiece, Bride and Groom with Glass of Champagne | Tampa Bay Wedding Photographer Bonnie Newman Creative | Wedding Designer and Planner UNIQUE Weddings + Events | Wedding Rentals A Chair Affair | Wedding Lighting Spark Wedding Events | Wedding Dress Truly Forever Bridal | Wedding Hair and Makeup Adore Bridal Services | Wedding Jewelry Accessories International Diamond Center | Wedding Floral and Decor Monarch Events and Design

13. Let the DJ Read the Crowd

“We cringe when the couple gives us a long playlist of ‘must plays’ that no one knows, then expect us to rock their party. Clients must understand that sometimes you can’t have a picky playlist and also a rocking dance floor.” -Christopher Grainger, Graingertainment

14. Setting up Decor Requires More Work Than You Think

“Please don’t bring your florist or venue coordinator unwashed cylinder vases or glassware you have collected from another event and wish to reuse. We completely understand being on a budget and wanting to save money, so do we! But if you’re not wanting to pay for the additional labor that it entails, then please remember to have your provided staggered cylinder vases with floating or pillar candles clean and prepped for the event and set out before we arrive with your centerpieces. We have learned from experience that fingerprints, melted wax, and burn marks will be visible in your presentation to your guests and in future photos. This is just one of many details that goes unaccounted for when clients are calculating the cost of wedding florist services. Hand washing and drying 30 plus staggered cylinder vases, filling with water and/or adding candles, transporting, setting in place on guest tables and again wiping down any spillage is considered labor and service to be compensated.” -Andrea Roberto, Co-Owner & Floral Artist, Leaf it To Us

15. Be Cool…Just Be Cool

“Please be nice to us. We work really hard to give you the best service we possibly can, and we deserve kindness. Our team and our staff deserve kindness. I’ve seen so many people straight up leave the industry altogether lately because of how clients are treating people. We are still dealing with drastic cost increases, supply and demand problems, improvement and construction delays and inflation, staffing shortages, and increased labor costs, amid a whole host of COVID-related expenses. Just be nice to people!” -Leigh Wilson, Red Mesa Events

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About the Author

Anna Coats

Marry Me Tampa Bay editor Anna Coats created Marry Me Tampa Bay in 2012 to showcase the area’s best local weddings and vendors. She has been featured as a wedding expert on the national talk show Daytime, Fox13, ABC Action News, Great Day Tampa Bay, and Bay News 9 (now Spectrum).

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