The Client – Vendor Relationship | JayLee M.O.

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Having great relationships with your vendors eases a lot of stress leading up to, and on, the day of the wedding. On the very top of this list in terms of interaction time is your event planner, the venue manager or coordinator, and your photographer(s). Not only will you be working with them quite a bit, but they will be coming to your wedding. We would even go as far as to say that you should enjoy working with all of your vendors. Maybe you won’t become life-long friends, but you should at least feel good about having given them your business. When you find vendors through magazines, blogs, advertisements, and even through friends, it is hard to know without actually meeting them whether or not it is the right fit. Here are a few questions to ask yourself as you are deciding on vendors to hire for your wedding day.

1. Do they understand your vision? Whatever it is you are looking for, the vendors you end up going with should fully understand your vision for the day and be able and excited to produce it. Even better, they should be helpful in giving you more ideas and making your vision possible. If your vision does not align with their style, we highly suggest finding another vendor. Anyone who talks you out of what you want for your wedding day should not be someone you decide to work with. If you find that a vendor is suggest things other than what you are looking for, consider their suggestions, but stay true to what you want. Weddings don’t have to be crazy traditional anymore, so anything goes. If they won’t do what you’re looking for, someone else probably will (well, within reason!).

2. Is there open communication? So much goes into a wedding day. Ideas may pop into your head the day after you meet with a vendor, or you may find that you have more questions or concerns than initially anticipated. The vendors you choose should be willing to work with you and assist you in the best ways they can. When you meet with them, make sure there is an open dialogue about what you are looking for.

3. Do you feel comfortable around them? We love getting to know our clients and we want our clients to feel comfortable with who we are as people, as well as our abilities. Most of our client meetings or chat/Skype/interactions are fun. We laugh. We joke. We are ourselves. We get to hear hilarious tales about wedding planning woes and engagement stories and plans for the future. We talk about our own wedding and our dog and our life. We try to treat it as more of a double date than a boring business transaction. This is really helpful when dealing with something as stressful as a wedding. The idea is to choose vendors who make your life easier and more stress free, not the other way around. If you find yourselves talking comfortably and maybe even talking about things that are not wedding related, you’ve probably found the right vendor.

4. Are they easy to get ahold of? Yes, us vendors have other couples we are working with (especially during “wedding season”) and we have to prioritize based on scheduling, etc.; however, at the very least you should feel comfortable calling or e-mailing your vendors and know with full certainty that they will get back to you. We try to get back within a day (2 at the most), and usually we are freaky-fast responders because we know how hard it is to wait.

5. Are they honest? You can’t really tell if someone is an honest person just by looking at them or even speaking to them. Vendors depend on closing a sale because, well, that’s their job – but, let’s hope they do it with a great sense of integrity. What are their business practices? Are they client focused? Are they clear about their prices (no hidden costs)? If the vendor has a clear standard they have set for themselves on how they run their business, that is a good sign. If it is obvious that they can’t give you what you need, they should tell you. It sounds strange to hear that we believe in turning away business if it’s not the right fit, but that is part of our business model (for the best of everyone involved). Another good way to figure this out is to find some reviews or ask to speak with a former client about their experience. We have never been ones to put “kind words” on our website because it feels a little forced to us, but we would completely understand wanting to hear straight from a former bride or groom. Listen as the vendor talks about their business and go with your gut on whether or not they feel trustworthy to you.

We hope this helps! If in doubt, ask a vendor you do trust for referrals. We all have friends in the business and we don’t refer people that wouldn’t trust to work at our own wedding! For specific tips on choosing a wedding photographer, go here. //Josh + Ali

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