Photo: Lena Mirisola Photography
Congratulations – you are newly engaged and ready to begin the wedding planning process with a team of all-star vendors! Here are six etiquette tips to keep in mind during initial vendor consultations.
Only reach out to providers that you are really considering.
Before contacting a supplier, make sure it is someone you are really interested in working with or learning more about. Start with a little research. Use WeddingWire’s free provider search tool to find professionals in your area and identify some of the best options. Read reviews, browse photo galleries, review FAQ pages, and take advantage of other WeddingWire store resources to help narrow your list.
Come prepared with questions.
Make the most of your interview with a potential provider by listing specific questions ahead of time. If possible, ask each salesperson within a given category the same questions to make sure you are comparing apples to apples. Do you need ideas? Here are the questions we suggest asking a potential photographer, florist, and venue.
There are two golden rules when it comes to asking prospective wedding vendors: 1. Be clear about your expectations (that is, what services you expect them to provide) and 2. Be clear about your expectations. Be frank with your budget. For example, when contacting a floral designer, describe the overall look you hope to achieve with your flowers, identify any high or low priorities (for example: “I have my heart set on a lush peony bouquet, but I have no problem spending less on ceremony arrangements ”), and be specific about how much of your budget you have allocated for your flowers. In this way, the provider has all the information they need to realistically assess whether it fits their needs.
Be respectful in your negotiations.
If you are trying to get a lower price, please do so politely. Keep in mind that your supplier is a business owner and, like any business, needs to make money. Chances are they have thought a lot and went to great lengths to set fair and reasonable prices for their services, so don’t assume they want you to spend their budget. If you have any questions about cost, ask in a non-antagonistic way and be as specific as possible. For example, “Would you mind explaining to us what the shipping cost entails, please?
Respond in a timely manner.
Whether a prospective supplier has delivered a price sheet, emailed a proposal, or followed up with a few questions, a quick response is always appreciated. Make an effort to respond to emails or return calls within a business day or two to maintain a smooth and efficient exchange. If they’ve asked for information you don’t have yet, send them a quick email so they know you’re working on it and they’ll get back to you shortly (ideally, give them a time frame for when they can wait for your response).
If you have decided not to hire them, please let them know.
Even if you’ve started with a shortlist (see tip number one), chances are you won’t end up hiring to each and every supplier you have contacted . And that’s okay. If you have decided not to hire a provider that you have been in contact with, the most polite thing to do is to let them know beforehand. Trust us: they’d rather hear “no” than hear crickets. If they ask why you didn’t end up hiring them, be honest but polite.