The Keys to Great Vendor Communication
So, you’re planning a wedding. Chances are, you are going to be reaching out to many different vendors throughout the planning process. There is a lot that goes into booking vendors, and the type of communication you have with each of them is so important to how well the planning process goes. Having good vendor communication is crucial and there needs to be a good line of communication between yourself and every vendor that is a part of your event, even if just a small part.
Good vendor communication is based on mutual respect. You need to respect their time, expertise, and schedule. While it is very easy to think that you are the only person they are working with at a time, they most likely have many other events that are already scheduled, causing them to be in communication with many other clients at the same time.
Let’s start from the beginning. I recently wrote a post about vendor research and what we do here at Rebecca Rose to do that effectively. It is so important that you are thorough with your research before you begin reaching out to vendors. This process allows you to decide what you like/don’t like about each vendor and will answer some of your questions as well as prompt you with additional questions to ask when you do reach out to them.
Once you have a list of vendors that you are interested in getting more information about, you start to reach out. Email is typically the most effective way to communicate, as it allows there to be a trail of questions/answers for you to refer back to. When you make that initial contact, you will want to give them the basic information about your event so they can see, at a glance, what the details are. You will want to include the type, name, and date of the event, your contact information, the main details (timing, location, etc), and any questions you may have.
If you think about the steps that you must take in order to book a vendor, it requires a lot more than just a couple of emails. First, you inquire about their availability and pricing. If these two things match up with your expectations, you let them know that you are interested in moving on to a contract. More often than not, you are required to put down a deposit before the vendor is officially booked for your event. Next, you may want to meet with the vendor in person to go over all of the details and logistics of the event. This is often the most difficult part of vendor communication. This is also where the mutual respect is most crucial. While you may have a flexible schedule or open availability, they most likely have to work around many other clients in order to schedule your meeting.
When setting up a meeting, it is best to offer a few dates and times that fit your schedule. Doing this tells the vendor that you are willing to work with them on the time that you meet, while you are still being firm with when you can do it. It is a good idea to prepare for your meeting by writing out the questions that you want to ask your vendor. It can also be helpful to take notes during a meeting in order to be able to refer to them later.
There are so many things that go into hiring vendors that most people do not realize when they begin planning their wedding. While it can be done without the help of a professional event coordinator, there is something so refreshing about having someone take care of the more difficult parts of planning your wedding in order to allow you to do the fun things and not worry about the nitty gritty.