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what to expect from consultations with wedding vendors …

So you’re going to get married! Congratulations! This is a special time in your life, planning your celebration and yes, dealing with some stress that goes along with it. It’s a big monetary investment!

When you begin your quest to plan your awesome day to share with family and friends, you’ll begin the process of interviewing your potential wedding vendors. Here are some tips that may help you along the way, as to what to expect.

tips on what to expect from your wedding vendor consultations

1. vendors will give you lots of free advice, about other vendors.

When you meet with your potential wedding venue, photographer, videographer, DJ etc. you may ask or they may give you advice on other wedding vendors they know that are good. Wedding venues like to refer (in general) vendors that they have worked with before and enjoy having at their venue. This does not necessarily mean that they won’t work with others, it’s based on their experiences. Every vendor has an opinion, which they are entitled to have. However, when a wedding planner gives you advice on a vendor, they will take into account your overall budget and your personality. This makes for a great match and ultimately a wedding dream team. Planners have a wider breadth of vendors to suggest to you for your wedding day. Consider it a more ariel perspective, as we work with all the vendors, in every aspect of the day. We know their strengths and weaknesses. For instance, a fabulous caterer that performs better for a small gathering would not be necessarily someone to recommend for a 450 guest wedding at a private residence.

2. don’t pump wedding planners for lots of free referrals.

While we don’t necessarily charge for vendor referrals (some planners do, and that’s fine). It is our business to know wedding vendors that may be a great fit for you (see above). By contracting a wedding planner, they will then start with building the proper wedding team. Asking a planner on floor plans, venues to recommend, where we get our products we order and more, puts us in a problematic situation. We need to prove to you that we know what we are knowledgeable and experienced, but we can’t give away all our secrets before you actually become our paying clients. Or, we won’t stay in business. We hope you understand.

3. do not expect them to lower their prices for you.

Everyone has a story. And while we appreciate that, we also have a story. For instance, making a living that will sustain our businesses and families. Negotiation is fine, it’s part of doing business. But we are not able to give away “free services” or “free products” to every client that we meet. Keep an open mind, and in any art of negotiation, it needs to be a win-win situation for both parties.

Final thoughts: please be sure you’re on the same page before you meet with a vendor. You cannot believe how incredibly awkward it is to smile, while a couple argues in front of you. We’re not judging, we ALL argue with our S.O.’s. But we don’t want to listen to it at our first meeting. Think about the child who says, “I cry when Mommy and Daddy fight”. Yeah. That’s us. Awkward.

And remember: every wedding vendor wants to help you. We want to make money, we want to stay in business, and we want to work like crazy to make sure YOUR day, is a celebration that everyone will remember.

Have any questions? Post them and we would love to answer!

featured photo credit: jesse and gena weddings

plan on! 

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problems with your wedding vendors …

Your wedding is one of the most important days you’ll remember. And let’s face it, it is an expensive day.  Even with meticulous planning, situations may occur (okay, go wrong) and it is directly because of one of your wedding vendors.

If you read this blog, you know, we keep it real here.

When these things happen, it’s easy to get very upset. We get that. That’s is why it is so important to hire professional vendors. Businesses that have experience and the means to make sure that your day goes smoothly and wonderfully.

However, there are situations that can make things go terribly wrong.

when planning your special day, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Vendors are human. Which means they are not perfect (hate that word). There are unforseen health problems. Workers that don’t show up. Product that doesn’t get shipped. On a personal note, we had two weddings planned a couple of days after the death of my father (clients never knew), worked with a broken toe and a fever of 102 degrees. You cannot plan for these situations, but you must get the job done.
  2. Have realistic goals for your wedding. It will not be perfect, because there is no such thing. It can, however, be one of the best and most memorable days of your life.
  3. Get things in writing. A caterer may verbally agree to have 18 waitstaff to assist with serving your wedding guests. But if it is verbal and you have a concern, then you need to make sure you get it in writing. Always, get it in writing. I cannot tell you how many times I have worked with sales people at venues/catering that promise services but then they are no longer employed by the time the wedding is there. They promise this and that. But if it is verbal, you do not have a leg to stand on.
  4. Sometimes it’s out of our control. Inclement weather and acts of God is usually written into contracts. Rain plans with no tents, no additional electricity provided and so on. We do the best we can under the circumstances that are dealt to us. You should keep that in mind when hiring and planning your wedding.
  5. Vendors are not mind readers. If you are not happy during your wedding then communicate. Sometimes (not all the time) vendors are capable of fixing what is bothering you. But if we don’t know about it until Monday after your celebration, then there is not much anyone can change at that point.
feature photo credit: jordan barclay photography

plan on!

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perfect is a four-letter word for your wedding

There are a few words that I really can’t stand hearing or using. Mucus, moist and perfect. I hate the word “perfect” when it comes to describing events and well, life in general. (Don’t quit reading, I won’t say the first two gross words again. Promise).

let’s explore the definition of the word “perfect”

Merriam-Webster says the definition of:

Perfect
: having no mistakes or flaws
: completely correct or accurate

Well, there starts the problem. Anyone who expects their wedding to be flawless or perfect are certainly setting themselves up for a huge let down.

Truth: every care should be taken in the planning of your wedding day, utilizing professional vendors with experience to troubleshoot, adapt and correct any problems.

So instead of worrying that you won’t have the perfect wedding (can we agree to eliminate that word all together?). Let’s focus your energy and mind set that no matter what happens, you will enjoy your wedding. You will trust your vendors to fix any mishaps that may occur.

houston, we have a problem

Something is going to go wrong. There is never a perfect event. Or a perfect day. Or even a perfect marriage. You get the drift. We cannot control everything. Just our own attitudes and how you will deal with them. So carry on, and have a wonderful wedding day!

feature photo credit: jesse and gena weddings

plan on!

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meeting wedding vendors during the holidays

This blog post should have entitled, “TRYING to meet your wedding vendors during the holidays”. Because that’s really the way it is.

We understand, holidays is when you are off work or when you have a scheduled vacation/visit in town. Makes sense that you would like to try to knock out some meetings and get some wedding planning work done.

However ….

Please know, for most wedding vendors (your caterers, florists, bakers, DJ’s, venues) may be at the busiest. Especially if they service all types of clients, not just weddings. They are swamped, tired and here is a little known secret, sometimes cranky and stressed out.

Now they may be able to fit you in, especially if you have reserved the meeting way in advance. But please don’t be disappointed if you are cruising into town and they aren’t able to fit you into your schedule. There are only so many hours in the day and holiday parties will take priority over choosing your menu for your June 2014 wedding. They hope you will all understand.

So if possible, our advice is to wait until you can have their undivided attention. Take a break from the planning. Spend some time with your family and friends. Drink some egg nog and have a second piece of pie.

With that said, WE are available on the Saturday after Thanksgiving … we have a few slots open right now. So give us a call! 812.250.1968 or email at staff(at)planningforever.com

Happy Holidays!

ps This is such a good post, that we wrote something similar in 2008.

featured image: pfe iphone

plan on! 

 

 

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saving you money, may cost you more

Everyone (no matter how much money they have) has a budget or total investment in mind when it comes to planning their wedding. Perhaps it’s a total dollar amount and for some people it’s a dollar figure by vendor category (photographer, planner, catering, et al).

Your choices on how much to invest in each area of your wedding is primarily based on personal importance and what you deem is worthy for your investment.

less experienced vendors:

Often less experienced vendors will offer a lower price point when compared to a more seasoned wedding veteran. And it’s understandable to lean towards these vendors because you can save money. The DJ that has great equipment, but really never worked at a wedding. The planner that is earnest, but has no previous experience, nor resources. The photographer that does really great portrait shots, but has never shot a wedding.

It’s your money and it’s your wedding. But before you sign on that dotted line, please take this into consideration.

Sometimes what may seem to be saving you money, may cost your more in the end. We’ve seen it happen too many times over the ten years we have been planning. We watch our brides grow frustrated at the lack of returned phone calls or emails. We watch them be concerned at whether or not this newer vendor will perform what they have promised.

We receive the 2 am emails from our brides…

[quote author=”Stressed Out Bride”]I can’t sleep and my mind is racing about Vendor Z because I haven’t heard back from them for weeks. Are they going to show up? And now they are complaining that they don’t have this or that. What should I do?[/quote]

It takes all the restraint in the world to not answer, “Why did you hire them in the first place?”

Sure you may save $500 or $1,000 or whatever dollars. What is it worth to you in having peace of mind? 

hiring friends as your vendors:

We were just chatting with a 2012 bride this weekend. Her exact words to us were:

[quote author=”Real Bride”]Please blog about NOT HIRING friends as vendors. We were pretty disappointed with our photos.[/quote]

It happens all the time. A friend is a friend, and it’s hard to mix business with pleasure. Especially if there are problems to discuss.

plan on!