how to request an inquiry for wedding services

Our first installment in our series, choosing your wedding vendor, we start with “the inquiry”.

Obviously this is YOU (the bride) requesting for the wedding vendor to contact you. Most of these requests are done through the vendor’s website contact or you emailing them directly. But you could apply the same techniques if you were leaving a phone message.

We wish we could post the web inquiry “client blooper requests” we have received in the past, but that would not be the right thing to do. One planner friend of mine recently received a web inquiry where the bride rambled on and on without saying much of anything and never left ANY way to contact her back. Believe it or not, the vendor is not able to see your email address through a web inquiry form.

Think of it this way, if YOU (the bride) were selling a service, what would you like to learn from an incoming inquiry?

Here are some tips on filling out a web inquiry form for optimal results:

  • Email: Be sure to include your email address through the vendor’s contact form. You may not know this, but when you fill this out, it doesn’t show where the email came from.
  • Telephone: Please leave a telephone number. You can put in the Comment section if you would prefer to be contacted through email, but sometimes emails bounce and it would be better for a vendor to be able to follow up with a phone call.
  • Wedding Information: ALWAYS put your wedding date. It’s great to add the area where you want to get married and what type of service that you may be interested in learning about. Also, THE BEST TIME to reach you.
  • Read the Vendor’s Website: Some vendors sell packages and put them online with pricing. Others state on their site that they customize services but will have a starting price (we do that). So asking a vendor to send pricing that sells customized services isn’t very helpful, because they cannot. They should be able to tell you where their service pricing begins or a range.

Following these tips are to help you and the vendor not waste your precious time.

Tomorrow: how to interview your wedding vendor

plan on!


how to choose a wedding vendor series

Engagement seasons is definitely here, and we could not be more happier.

Yes, we are excited about the new business (our families like to eat). BUT, the love and gushy excitement (and dare say, a little panic) is contagious.

If you haven’t already attended a bridal show you may be starting to look at vendors and trying to secure them. This week we are going to feature real tips on how to make that experience the best possible. Which includes how to narrow down your choices and not waste your valuable time.

The benefit? This also helps wedding vendors too! So you won’t miss a beat, take a moment and sign up to have the blog go straight into your RSS feed, email or read it off our Facebook fan page.

Series starts tomorrow! First up, how to how to request an inquiry for wedding services

featured photo credit: pfe iPhone

plan on!



do not box in your wedding bartenders :: part five/finale

Part Five and the finale of our “don’t box us in” five part series about your wedding vendors!

So far the series of “not boxing” in certain wedding vendors has probably made some sense to you, perhaps you it even made you think, aha?!

So I bet you’re wondering why we would talk about your bartenders and their needs? They just pour drinks, right?

You must recognize that a life-blood area at your reception is your bar. If service is slow due to the small ratio of bartenders to large quantity of guests or the setup is not correct, then your service will suffer. And your guests will be frustrated.

Tips for the best outcome working with your wedding bartenders:

1. If you have a down-time between your ceremony and wedding reception (ceremony starts at 1:30pm and reception starts at 5:30pm) then be sure your venue will not open their doors to your guests until 5:30pm. Guests will always come in and may go to the bar for a drink. Your bartenders have to decline them and your guests will perceive they are being rude.

2. Try not to come up with a complicated, well-intentioned cost-savings idea for your bar. You can thank ill-advised websites for publishing these crazy concepts. Such as:

Open Bar for Pre-Dinner

Bar Closes for Dinner

Bar reopens for Dancing but only serves hosted Beer, Wine, & Signature Drink until 9pm

Cash bar for the remaining wedding reception

Huh? You need a time grid to remember all of this. How do you expect your guests to react to your bartenders and vice-versa?

3. Do not try to squeeze your bartenders into the corner of the room with limited space and light. Sure they are tucked away, but there isn’t enough room to turn around 3x.

4. Please do not skimp and only hire 2 bartenders for 300 wedding guests. The ratio to keep service at its optimum is as follows:

1 Bartender per 75 guests (and some say 100)

But DON’T forget you need a bar back for multiple bars. This is a person who runs back and forth for ice, restocking etc. A very necessary position.

Trust your bartenders.

featured photo credit: pfe iPhone

plan on!




do not box in your wedding caterer :: part four

Part Four of our “don’t box us in” five part series about your wedding vendors!

Hmmmm….. good food. Hmmm…. good food at one of the biggest events of your LIFE, your wedding!

Sasha Souza once said that your guests will remember 3 things from your wedding: food, fun and service! Isn’t that true? If any of those things are sub par, then you will have problems.

Interestingly, your food costs could be one of your higher expenses depending on your taste palette and your guest count. So keep these things in mind…

Tips for the best outcome working with your wedding caterer:

1. Do not pack in 250 guests into a space challenged venue and expect your catering staff to serve a plated meal in a timely manner. This is where event planners can really help you with the floor plan and the real anticipated serving time (which can dramatically effect your timeline). There has to be enough space for the servers to walk around the table to set/pick up the plates.

2. Like with bartenders, do not skimp on the volume of servers that you are willing to pay for working at your wedding. It takes a lot of people to serve a large amount of guests. Most often there will be a line item on your catering proposal as to the number of servers they will bring. Look closely at that.

3. If you have guests that are suppose to have a specific plate, such as; vegetarian or vegan, make it easy for these people to be identified. Work with your wedding planner on where they will be seated so he/she can let them know.

4. Listen to your caterer when they talk about the best ways to serve the food. If they tell you it is difficult to keep your favorite dish hot and serve 200 people, then listen to them. Order that fave dish tonight for just to the two of you.

Trust your wedding caterer.

Featured photo credit: pfe iPhone

Tomorrow, part 5 and finale of this “don’t box us in” vendor series

plan on!




do not box in your wedding photographer :: part three

Part Three of our “don’t box us in” five part series about your wedding vendors!

If you have ever read this blog, you know how much we heart wedding photographers. We post about them often! We may be an intricate part of creating the memories but they are capturing them, forever!

Your wedding photographer will want to schedule a meeting with you to review the timeline, nuances and review the photos that you want to capture on your wedding day. This has evolved into creating a “shoot list” that your photographer will list all the photos you want, such as:

Bride and Groom at Altar

Bride and Groom with Bride’s Parents

Bride and Groom with Groom’s Parents

….and so on.

Not a bad idea, your photographer doesn’t want to miss an important photo that you want. However for your consideration, look at the points below.

Tips for the best outcome working with your wedding photographer:

1. Definitely have an important list for your photographer (you favorite Aunt that you haven’t seen in 20 years coming to see you), they will want to know that. But try not to make this ghastly long list that requires your photographer to be reading from a piece of paper instead of pointing and shooting your wedding.

2. If you are of the more traditional type and have a large wedding party and family, do not think that it is possible to shoot this long list of photos in 45 minutes. It’s not humanly possible, no matter how fast your photographer says they can shoot. You are setting them up for failure, stress on your wedding party and yourselves, especially when timing is tight.

3. If your wedding is later in the day or early evening and you do not want to see each other before you walk down the aisle (read our series on this issue), but adore those outdoor casual shots, understand that may not be impossible. We can’t stop the sun from going down, Mother Nature has a mind of her own. We’ve had many clients in this scenario (although we warned them) told us after their wedding day that they wished they had listened to us. Due to weather, timing, or the sun setting, they were never able to get those outdoor shots. There are no do-overs in weddings.

Trust your wedding photographer.

featured photo credit: pfe iPhone

Tomorrow, part 4 of this “don’t box us in” vendor series

plan on!