Photo by Fotos by Fola
Hello! It’s Thursday again and a beautiful Thursday at that. Well, at least in my neck of the woods in Atlanta, GA. I don’t know about you but the Spring and Summer season make me so happy! I love warm weather. Maybe its because I grew up in California or because I’m Nigerian but when the sun is out, I’m all smiles!
If you’re new to the blog, you’ll notice that I do love to talk about pretty things like flowers, wedding design and wedding dresses but you can find that anywhere. What I like to focus on are strategies to make your wedding planning process easier and ways to save you time.
Today, I wanted to talk about selecting your wedding vendors but more specifically, questions to ask vendors that are not focused directly on price but more so on the VALUE they bring to you. Now, granted, we all know that a beautiful and custom wedding (like what you see on Pinterest) is not inexpensive so costs should definitely be something to consider but are you securing vendors just to spend money? Or are you securing vendors to help you realize a specific RESULT (e.g. you want to be stress free while planning and on the wedding day, you want to be able to relive your wedding day when looking through pictures after the wedding, you’re super busy so you need vendors who can save you time, etc.)? Exactly! So, when meeting with potential vendors, your questions should be geared more towards the value they bring and if they can help accomplish the results that you desire. Then, and only then, can you determine if their pricing matches up to the results they can provide you.
In my experience, many brides and couples jump to ask the price question first mainly because of two things (1) This is your first time getting married therefore, you have no idea what questions to ask other than price and/or (2) you don’t have a very clear idea of what results you want for your wedding day other than something “pretty”.
So that’s what I’m going to help you with today! (Cue the superwoman music). Here is 1 strategy and 3 insightful questions to ask wedding vendors before “what is your pricing”:
Before you begin booking your vendors, right down a list of 5 – 7 of your highest prioritized results that you want for your wedding planning process and wedding day. Some examples may be the following:
You want everyone on the dance floor for the entire reception having a good time or
You don’t want to worry about anything at least one month before the wedding or
Some of the results I outlined above
When that’s done, you’ll have a better idea on what you value and what type of vendor can provide that to you.
Then, when meeting with vendors, ask these questions.
1. How do you work best with clients? What processes or tools do you have in place to help with the planning process or (insert your desired result here)?
If one of your priorities is saving time but the vendors you are speaking with work better with face to face meetings, take over 24 hours to return your phone call/email, or say “well every client is different. We work as we go” then they are definitely not a good match for you. You probably want vendors who have created resources and tools to make it easier for you and easier for them to work with you.
All of my clients benefit from having a customized online planning portal that houses all of their planning documents so they can access it at any given time without having to look through their email, contact me and wait for a reply or remember anything that we spoke about. But that’s because my firm focuses on saving my clients time and provide them with more ease throughout the planning process. And because this is one of the results I provide, I am constantly thinking of an implementing ways to achieve this goal.
2. What type of clients do you work best with?
Planning a wedding takes a lot of time and involves a lot of details. Believe me, I’m a planner, I know! So it’s important to make sure that you align personality wise with each of your vendors, or at least the vendors that you will be in communication with frequently or spending a lot of time or intimate moments with (e.g. your planner, photographer, etc.)
If the vendor answers “well everyone really” or is very vague try and have then get more specific. If it’s really hard for you to make decisions so you need someone who is patient and will provide options but the vendor works better with clients who already have a complete vision ready then you need to find that out before booking them.
3. I really value (insert something on your list here) how can you help provide that to me? Any examples on how you have done this in the past?
Sometimes it helps to just ask directly. It saves you time and helps a vendor know exactly what you care about and if they would be the best person to serve you. Sometimes, if it’s not a good fit, they may refer you to someone who can help you.
I refer brides sometimes but that’s only if I have a clear idea of what they want and I know I cannot provide that to them. For example, I meet with brides sometimes whose #1 concern above anything else is how to cut corners and save money. I know that that is not my specialty. I focus on saving clients time and create memorable weddings that involve dramatic design elements and overall unique design. Do I save my clients money? Absolutely. Sometimes thousands of dollars but that’s not my #1 focus and frankly it's not theirs either, however, I know at least 2 awesome wedding planners who do focus on cost cutting and I'll refer the brides to them!
Now there are many other questions you can ask but this is just a starting point. I hope this was helpful for you. If so, can you put it in the tweetosphere for me? Just click this link. Yes, it’s that easy!
I just read “3 Insightful Questions to Ask Any Wedding Professional Before ‘How Much Do You Charge?’” by @EventDesignByBE. Take a look!
I’ll "see" you next week! If you have any questions to ask me before then, just send my an email via Facebook or firstname.lastname@example.org. Until then dream big and stay inspired!