If you’re planning a wedding or any event really, you have probably realized that there are several vendors involved in the process. Between the caterers, DJs, officiate, and decorators it’s enough to drive the sane completely insane. Here are some tips on selecting and managing vendors:
List and Rank – List all your wedding vendors and prioritize them. Decide which vendors should be booked immediately. My top three would be: Your Event Planner, Your Venue and Your Decorator!
Knowledge is Power – Do your homework and research, there are tonnes information on the web. You can also ask friends or family members for recommendations. Bridal shows, social media and wedding magazines are other ways of researching vendors. When looking at a vendors website be sure to look at their reviews and recommendations page, if they don;t have one then you should request references. If you can't get any....RUN!
Pick, Choose & Refuse - Select and meet with potential vendors. Ask questions. Find out why they are in the industry, how long they’ve been in business, the number of weddings per year, contractual terms. Make sure they are the right fit for you and your wedding.
Money Talks - The portion of your budget allocated for a vendor’s product/service may be in-congruent with the vendors actual cost. If cost negotiations are unsuccessful then this may be a deal breaker.
Eye on the Prize – Once you have selected your vendors be sure to set clear expectations. Communicate your goals, objectives and vision and support it with images, examples, plans.
Watch Talk Click – Communicate with your vendors frequently through various mediums. Set deadlines and schedule meetings. There are so many ways to communicate nowadays share your preferred method of communication - phone calls, email, whatsapp, skype.
Hardware & Software - Make use of various tools that are available to you – excel spreadsheets, diaries, to do lists, wedding journals, checklists.
Friends with Benefits - If you don’t have a planner, utilize your friends and family. Assign each of them a vendor whom they will be responsible for managing. This can be a bit tricky but can work and will help you tremendously. Make sure that your friends and family are on board with the vision of your event.