Navigating Vendors

Unfortunately, you can’t do everything yourself. You are going to have to rely on someone else at a few points to help you with your wedding or party. I am a firm believer in asking for help, know your strengths and hire people to aid in your weaknesses.

So, you have started to do your research, you have googled and asked your friends. Here are some key bits of information you need before making a decision on your vendor.

  1. What is the going rate for this type of vendor? This is dependent on your area. Your friend from Saskatchewan definitely paid less than what you are going to in Vancouver. Sorry.
  2. What do their services entail/not entail? Is there something not in there that you want? Will that a deal break for you? (i.e. a caterer that doesn’t set up centerpieces)
  3. Is this someone you can trust? Do you get a good feeling from them? Do their reviews seem legit?
  4. How much experience do they have? Can they show you some of their work?
  5. A low price tag doesn’t necessarily mean low quality and a high price doesn’t come with the best service. Be wary of both. Trying to scrimp on something might not be beneficial on your event, yea you saved a few bucks – but at what expense? On the flip don’t blow the budget on  a vendor because they seem high end because are expensive but in reality it is all smoke and mirrors.

Negotiating – this is a tricky situation. You MUST respect the vendor and that this is their livelihood. There has to be give and take. Give them a reason to come down in price, or increase their hours.  However, be prepared for them to say no and that is OK, you won’t know until you ask.

Other key tidbits for dealing with vendors

  1. You catch more bees with honey than vinegar. Always, Always, Always be nice. You can be demanding and get your way on a few things OR you can be a pleasant person to work with and have the vendor WANT to give you everything you want. Think about it, are you more likely to do things for someone who is nice to you or the B*tch who is making your life miserable?
  2. Everybody has to eat. You have decided to have this wedding or party, with that comes costs. You are going to have to pay people fairly, while not spending your own grocery money.
  3. Clear communication – state your wants/needs clearly. Pictures also help. I had more than 1 meeting with my florist for  my wedding. Some people are better with face to face or email. Figure out what they prefer or what is more effective with them ASAP.
  4. The certified best of the best with all the rave reviews are going to cost more. If it is something you value then spend the extra money. I like to get the verified best caterers and am willing to pay a bit more for that service because I value food a bit more than say the music.

Remember that vendors are people, there are always going to be some great ones and some not so great ones it’s your job to decide what is best for you. Have a great time!



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