By Leah Weinberg, Color Pop Events
As a wedding planner, people naturally assume that the couple is my only client and that my sole focus is to make the couple happy. But honestly, I approach my services with a bigger picture perspective. When most of my business comes from word of mouth referrals, it’s not enough just to impress the couple. I’ve got to wow their families and their guests, and most importantly, I’ve got to shine for my fellow vendors working the wedding with me. In short, if you want to excel as a wedding planner, treat the other wedding vendors like a client.
Want to know what’s worked for me?
Consider focusing on the vendors’ interactions with me in three areas, pre-wedding, on the wedding day, and post-wedding, as follows:
Before the I Do’s
Pre-wedding, it’s all about communication and organization. I make sure that I’m incredibly responsive to all vendor e-mails, answering whatever questions I can and assisting the vendors in getting whatever information they may need from the couple.
When it comes to putting together the day-of schedule, I view this process more as a collaboration among the vendors rather than me setting a schedule in stone and dictating to them what it is. For example, it’s important to make sure the photographer has enough time for all of the photos he or she needs to capture and that the caterer is on board with the timing of when each dinner course will be served. I even check with the vendors as to whether they have any dietary restrictions for their vendor meal, a question that I hope conveys to them that I’m on their side and will be watching out for them, too.
The Big Day
On the wedding day, it’s also all about communication and generally making sure everyone is taken care of. Before things get busy, I usually touch base with the caterer and DJ (or band) about the schedule to make sure we’re all on the same page.
I give the vendors a heads up as to when they can expect to eat (so that they don’t have to spend the evening worrying about when they might get fed). I make sure photographers and videographers are present before cueing any major moments like toasts or the cake cutting. I check in from time to time with all of the vendors to make sure that they’re doing ok and find out whether they need anything.
With vendors, it’s about the little things you can do to show them that you’re watching out for them, like getting water for the DJ towards the end of the night in case he or she doesn’t want to leave their set up during the final dance set.
Life After the Event
It’s important to remember that the work doesn’t end once the wedding is over. Just like you usually follow up with clients to say thank you or ask for a review, there can be some post-wedding work to be done with the vendors, too. For vendors who did a phenomenal job or who I’d absolutely love to work with again, I let them know! I’ll e-mail them, follow them on social media, just generally letting them know how much I appreciate them and their work. If you want to make a major impression, leave them a stellar review! As a business owner yourself, you know that reviews (even from fellow vendors) are like currency for small business owners!
Sure, it may seem like extra work to broaden your wedding planning process to focus on more than just the couple. But finding amazing people to work with who you know and trust is absolutely priceless, so take care of those folks and show them all the love you can.
Leah Weinberg is the Owner & Lead Planner of Color Pop Events — a New York City-based wedding planning company that focuses on the details and lives in the logistics. Approaching her fifth year of business with Color Pop Events, Leah leverages skills like organization, attention to detail, and client service from her prior career as a commercial real estate attorney to excel at event production. Her colorful work and party planning tips have been published online with Glamour, Marie Claire, Martha Stewart Weddings, Brides, Buzzfeed and more.
Great post, the onus should always be on the planner to start the team mentality. Plus you’d be surprised how much more helpful some suppliers can be if you give a little extra.
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