Let etiquette professional Alana Lenart from Etiquette for Success  guide you through how to avoid the stress of dealing with multiple vendors in the lead up to your big day. The good news is that managing it all doesn’t mean you have to morph into a Bridezilla so take a deep breath and read on!

Building Relationships

Weddings and wedding planning are so much more involved than they used to be. What was once a reasonably straightforward event has evolved into a ‘production’. Planning a modern day wedding takes persistence, stamina, good communication and, most importantly in my opinion, etiquette. The guiding principles of etiquette are Respect, Consideration and Honesty. Remembering these whilst planning your wedding and asking for the same in return will set you on a path to wedding day success. The relationships that you build with your wedding vendors during the planning stages will have a direct influence on the outcome of your day. Attending bridal expo’s like Love Cherish Adore are a perfect way to meet vendors and talk to them personally. Once you have chosen your vendors the relationship building starts.

Communicate

So what do I mean by relationship building? What this essentially boils down to is communicating with respect, consideration and honesty. This then allows a relationship to form with clear understanding of a mutually shared outcome. This is the key to everyone being prepared and on the same page so your wedding is everything you dream it will be.

  • Respect – Everyone wants to be respected. To be respected you have to be respectful. When communicating with your vendors respect that they are professionals. If they offer a suggestion, even if it is not what you had in mind, respect their experience in the industry. Similarly, you don’t have to agree with what they’ve suggested but take the time to consider it. It may avoid a common pitfall that they have had in the past. They’ve been generous enough to offer and are speaking from experience and this shows that they are genuinely invested in your day.

 

  • Consideration – Yes you are paying the vendors for their services (*see footnote if they are doing it for free) but this does not mean that you do not consider their needs. When hosting a wedding the vendors are a part of the day. They will be providing services that will make your day memorable for you and your guests. It is important that you ensure they have what they need to do their job to meet your expectations. This includes meals and drinks for vendors that provide their services throughout the day and evening. Discuss their requirements at the time of booking. What is relatively a small gesture goes a really long way.

 

  • Honesty – Honesty is vitally important in any transaction. Even more so when planning a wedding. Ensure that you are honest and clear with your expectations. Keep your expectations realistic and remember that the vendors will have a number of couples, in the same situation as you, that they are working with. Communicating via email or messenger leaves room for misinterpretation. If possible, have face to face or phone conversations for the essential planning elements. Verbal communication is more effective in ensuring that the message you’re trying to convey is understood. Honesty is not a free pass to say what you think with no regard for other people’s feelings. If a mistake is made on your part then take responsibility for it and be proactive in solving the problem.

 

Be sure to thank your vendors in person on the day and afterwards with a handwritten thank you note. If you are happy with their services then they would be delighted to receive positive feedback in the form of an online review or testimonial. In the event that they have not met your mutually agreed requirements discuss this with them before posting online feedback. It is respectful to give them the opportunity to respond privately first.

 

*In the case of a family member or friend providing wedding day services it is even more important than usual that you approach them with respect, consideration and honesty. If they are providing an essential service, for example photography, food or flowers, then it is appropriate that you discuss payment with them. If they are happy to do it for free then ensure that you give them a gift which is commensurate to their contribution along with a thank you note. In addition to this, depending on the structure of your speeches it may also be appropriate to thank them at that time.

 

Congratulations on your engagement and I wish you a future filled with happiness and love.

 

If you have a specific etiquette question or need help with a wedding planning dilemma I welcome your questions. You can find me on Facebook and Instagram

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