6 ways to get the best out of your wedding vendors
How you interact with your wedding vendors can help or hinder their efforts to do the best job possible. And since you’re paying good money for their services, it’s worth thinking about the best ways to help them help you.
Your relationship with your vendors seems pretty straightforward, on the face of it – you pay them money and they provide a service at your wedding. But they do it under time-sensitive, often stressful conditions, so let’s have a look at how you can make it easier for your vendors to vend the very best service they’ve ever vended.
Meet Paul and Nkosana
Nkosana (ko-SAH-nah) of Leyza Films is a wedding photographer and videographer. He has a ten-year background in the music industry, he’s based in Southampton and looks ridiculously good in a suit.
Paul opened the Paul Light Hair salon in Romsey, Hampshire, in 1994. He also cuts and styles for magazine shoots, catwalk shows and, of course, weddings.
We had a quick chat with Paul and Nkosana about the best and worst parts of working on weddings. From that we gleaned these six tips for getting the best out of your vendors.
1. Respect your vendor’s craft
You don’t need a PHD to be a florist, photographer, caterer or hairdresser. But that doesn’t mean they’re easy jobs. If you’re paying good money for experienced professionals, you can be pretty sure they know their job inside out. So whatever you do, don’t act like you could do their job better than them.
Paul: I think the biggest misconception about hair stylists is that they’re not intelligent. Whilst hairdressers aren’t always intellectual, we’re generally practical, problem-solving, creative types. It’s a scientific, mathematical job. Measurements, equations, angles and thinking outside the box go hand-in-hand with most aspects of the trade.
Nkosana: Most people think film and photography is a simple job, but it’s art. It’s not a matter of just grabbing a camera then going for a shoot. It takes planning on how you are going to shoot, what type of shots you need for that event and how you are going to edit the shots to get great results.
2. Be proactive and make suggestions
Every wedding’s different. And everyone has different tastes. So the better you understand what you want and communicate it to your vendors, the better your results will be.
Paul: It’s great to have a bride with ideas. We’re finding more and more people using Pinterest for their scrapbook, which helps to give the hair team an idea of what feel the wedding has. A big help is a bride who understands her own hair and knows how it reacts to curling, styling and such. We’re always happy to take control and throw ideas out there but equally we know it’s a very important and stressful time for the bride and she’s the boss on the day.
3. Be punctual and organised
What you see of your vendors is just the tip of the iceberg. For everything you need on the day, there’s a load of planning and prepping going on behind the scenes. So don’t leave them guessing as to where you are and when you’ll show up. Make a plan and stick to it.
Nkosana: Planning, planning, planning. Always work with your photographer and plan before the wedding. This helps you understand your photographer more and vice-versa.
If the wedding or party is planned properly and follows the planned program it makes it easier and good to work on. Poorly planned weddings are very difficult as you may miss great shots simply because you’re unaware of what is happening at that moment in other areas of the event.
Paul: It’s always good if the wedding party’s on time for the the appointment. Another great thing is to meet with the bridesmaids for a chat before the day. Organising a timetable from consultation, onto practice run then the big day is a must.
4. Be relaxed around them and have fun on the day
Your relationship with your vendors is professional in essence, but that shouldn’t make you tense and guarded around them – especially on the morning of the wedding. Most vendors wouldn’t be in the industry if they didn’t enjoy working with wedding parties.
Paul: It’s always nice to get a party atmosphere going on the wedding morning – it starts the day off with a bit of fun and de-stresses the girls. I always think it’s a shame if the morning is too quiet. Some brides can be so nervous they forget to enjoy themselves. We love the whole wedding party coming in together to the salon and having a good time. Keep dad away from this bit though, as he’ll always feel a bit like a spare part.
5. Don’t panic when things go wrong
It’s natural to want everything to go perfectly to plan on your big day. But don’t overreact if something goes a little bit awry. Again, remember you’re working with experienced professionals and trust them to solve problems on the fly.
Nkosana: Once, we were shooting the groom getting ready but his suit came late. I had to take off my trousers and give them to him so that we could continue with the shoot. It saved us just enough time so we could shoot him and rush to church to start filming there. (I had my trousers back on by this point.) The wedding video came out brilliant.
6. And finally…remember your vendors are always on your side
We’ll happily admit we’ve shoe-horned this one in purely as an excuse to share this story of Paul’s, which cracked us up.
Paul: I think my trickiest situation was when I dropped into a wedding reception after I had finished in the salon to re-touch a brides hair and change the look for her evening party. We nipped into the ladies’ room so I could work in front of a mirror and I did a more messy casual evening look. As we left the loo, the bride was adjusting her dress and I was following behind, just as the (slightly drunk) best man walked passed. He clocked us and promptly accused me of having sex with the bride and headed off to find the groom. We had to explain what really went on. Lesson learned!
Tell us your wedding vendor stories
Have you had any remarkably good or bad experiences with vendors? If you’re a vendor yourself, what makes weddings good or bad to work on? Let us know in the comments.
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