You've read the title of this article and thought "Damn, of course they are going to like me. I'm awesome!" Or "I am paying them. It's their job to like me." If you are the later, this one is for you.
Of course you are paying them and expect a certain level of service, and any smart vendor is going to be professional and do their job to the best of their abilities. But do you ever notice at your own job, there are certain people that you bend over backwards for, and those that you just do what you have to do as quickly as possible in order to not be in their presence longer than you have to be? So reverse that and think about how you want your vendors to perceive you. Do you want them to enjoy working with you, doing the very best they can because they like you? Or do you want them to just do what they've agreed to and nothing more because you are about as much fun as an angry pit bull. It doesn't mean it's right or wrong, that's just the way it is. People generally do better work for people they like, and your wedding vendors are no exception.
1. Choose wisely.
The best step to ensuring you have a great experience with your vendors is to book the right vendors in the first place. Meet with a few vendors in each category and choose someone that you feel comfortable with and who you feel you can trust. Don't ever shop on price alone. Everyone wants a good deal, but starting too low can sometimes leave people feeling disappointed in the end. You will be working closely with most of these people, and you want to ensure you actually jive well together and get along well. Remember, you have to like them too!
2. Be nice.
I know this goes without saying, but being nice to people goes a long way. Don't think that being intimidating or demanding will get you want you want when it comes to your vendors. Sure it might keep them on their toes, but they'll end up resenting you.
3. Don't bring a huge entourage with you to meetings.
Nothing is more frustrating than trying to determine exactly what the couple wants, only to have two, three, or more opinions to confuse the heck out of the vendor and the bride as well. Keep it simple -- you and your fiancé, or possibly your mother or your maid of honor if your fiancé is unable to attend. Your vendors will be able to focus on what your vision is, and not waste their time with long meetings filled with what all your bridesmaids think the flowers should look like.
4. Don't argue with your fiancé or your parents in front of a vendor.
Nothing makes things more awkward than someone who argues in front of a vendor. What's the overall energy you want to bring into your wedding day? Your drama with your fiancé or your mother is none of the vendors business and just creates an overall feeling of dread. No one looks forward to hanging around someone like that.
5. Don't drive them crazy with endless emails and phone calls.
I know. I know. But you have questions. You're a bride and you are entitled to have questions. Yes you are. But not every minute of every day. Unless said vendor is your wedding planner (and even then you shouldn't be emailing them every day) questions should be kept for the right place and time -- say a venue meeting or scheduled phone call. A few emails or phone calls here and there are fine, but your vendors are very busy, and constantly contacting them gets annoying.
6. Don't change your mind every other week.
Or every other day for that matter. Yes it happens -- brides see something they love and decide to change their original plan. That's totally fine! But emailing a picture of a different bouquet to your florist once a week is excessive. You don't have to act on every thought that jumps into your head. Keep a list of ideas and questions to go over with them and then address them all with one phone call, not ten.
7. Don't drop hints about discounts or ask them to do things that aren't their job.
I get it, everyone wants the best possible price they can get -- hey me too. But once that contract is signed, hinting around for a discount or asking a vendor to do jobs that are over and above what is stated on the contract is just wrong. Vendors are like anyone else -- they work hard for the money they earn. Would you like it if your boss kept pestering you to work for less or to do tasks that aren't yours? It would make you feel underappreciated and wouldn't exactly make you feel good about doing your job.
8. Trust them and don't micromanage!
If you've hired a reputable vendor, then sit back, relax, and let them do the job you hired them to do. No one likes to be micromanaged. It interferes with how they do their job. You shouldn't have hired them in the first place if you didn't trust them right? So take it easy and trust that they know what they are doing -- they want the best for you. By no means am I saying that if a vendor is being down right bad that you shouldn't say something. If your gut is telling you something is wrong, then speak up.
9. Be honest.
If you are having some doubts or issues, there is nothing wrong with bringing it up to the vendor and airing out your concerns. Yes, you are paying them a lot of money, and you want to feel secure about their services, so if you have anything you want to talk about, then do it. They will appreciate your honesty, and often times it's just a misunderstanding or a clarification that needs to be addressed. It's far better to discuss it with them than holding in that angst all the way up to the wedding day.
10. Say thank-you.
Just by saying thank-you and showing your gratitude makes a world of a difference! If a vendor knows that they are appreciated and are doing a good job, they will look forward to helping you and will feel good about giving you the best possible service they can. A good vendor will go above and beyond regardless, but you'd be surprised what a bit of appreciation can do along the way. Ultimately it's about bringing out the best in people. Your attitude sets the tone for the outcome of your wedding. Good energy from you and all vendors involved is the best way to ensure a fantastic wedding day.