Your wedding is an incredibly special day, but that doesn't mean your wants are more important than anyone else's. When working with big-day vendors, it's crucial to see them as professionals who are enhancing your celebration, and therefore treating them with the respect that they deserve. To ensure you're the greatest client around, we talked to four different vendors about what they consider the most problematic behaviors they encounter when working with their couples. Plus, get their best advice for staying on everyone's good side.
You Started Off on the Wrong Foot
Wedding filmmaker Mary Angelini explains, "Occasionally couples decide not to have a wedding filmmaker, and then reconsider closer to the wedding date. Many times couples start off a conversation telling us how video is not important to them. It's incredibly off-putting. Filmmakers are artists first and we put our heart and soul into creating wedding films. Commonly, if we're almost full for the season, we won't take that inquire seriously because they have already told us that we're not important to them," she says. That's why it's so important to begin your conversations on a respectful note. If videography (or any vendor's services) were originally out of the budget, there's nothing wrong with explaining that you now have the funds to spend, but you should never devalue someone's work. "It's only natural to want to work with people who value what we do," she adds. "Instead, start off the conversation on why you're reaching out to us. Is it something in our portfolio that stands out to you or include something that is important to you during the wedding day that you want captured?"
You're Either Unresponsive or Too Overbearing When Communicating
"There is a healthy balance between not being responsive and being too overbearing," says Kristen Gosselin of KG Events & Design. The problem clients have a hard time navigating that line. "This can annoy and overwhelm your vendors for a few reasons, the first being that this is a sign you don't have any trust in your planner." Remember that your planner (or any other vendor) is the professional, and was hired to handle everything in order to produce a successful event. It's okay to share your opinions and vision (respectfully, that is), but you should also be open to hearing their opinions. "Second, it can be extremely time consuming for your planner to entertain every email, phone call, or meeting when their time is already so valuable," Gosselin adds. "Keep your trust in your planners and vendors and be respectful of their time."
You Aren't Respectful of Their Time
Wedding vendors do not generally hold a traditional Monday through Friday schedule. Shannon Tarrant of Wedding Venue Map explains, "Don't be overly demanding of their time. Realize that most vendors work through the weekend and usually take off on early in the week. Be patient for a response instead of calling, texting, and emailing about the same question in a short window of time."
You're Trying to Break the Contract
"Don't negotiate the contract after it's been signed. When the agreement is signed, we should all be on the same page about expectations and costs. To come in later and try to change things makes for a difficult working relationship," says Meghan Ely of OFD Consulting. "I had a wedding where the contract was signed by the parents, who were paying, but they didn't properly communicate everything to the couple and they were a nightmare to work with. I had a feeling they were going over budget so they tried to nickel and dime us, which unfortunately affected the quality of the event." If you're concerned about pricing or the work itself, raise any questions you have before agreeing to work together.