In a perfect world, wedding vendors and wedding planners would mesh well immediately. We all would immediately understand each other’s point of view and have clear and honest communication 100% of the time because, well, we’re all in this together.
But… it doesn’t always work out that way.
Yes, we all in the wedding industry deeply understand how stressful the environment can be (and also how rewarding it can be!), but we’re all still very different human beings with different work ethics.
That means, at some point in your career as a wedding planner, you’re going to run into conflict. Whether that conflict is between you (a wedding planner) and a wedding vendor, two wedding vendors, or the couple and a vendor. (Knock on wood for that last one, though!)
But wait — before you pull out your hair and call it quits, there are sure-fire methods you can use that can help you work well with all your wedding vendors. In fact, with these tips, you’ll work together as one harmonious team more often than not! Read on to learn more.
“Treat others the way you want to be treated.” In other words, don’t underestimate the power of kindness! As wedding pros, we already work in one of the top five most stressful industries, so the last thing vendors need is a planner-zilla on their hands.
A super effective way to show kindness to ask questions vs. directing them on what to do. Ask your wedding vendors things like, “How can I support you and set you up for success?” Also, don’t be afraid to ask for their feedback.
Unfortunately, questions like these that foster collaboration don’t get asked enough because we all (understandably) have our plates full. But don’t forget, you’re all in this together. The benefit to the simple act of kindness? So many! You’re more likely to receive photos so you can use them for your website and social media, referrals (!!!), you’ll have a much more enjoyable experience, and everyone can learn from each other.
This second tip is trusting each wedding vendor’s expertise, and this is very much related to the first tip of being kind and treating them how you would want to be treated.
I know many wedding planners are Type A and perfectionists, which is usually super great for the job because everyone can count on you to get things done efficiently and effectively. But it can also come back to bite you in the butt when you’re trying to micromanage everyone involved at the wedding.
So I can’t stress enough that giving up control is going to do wonders for your wedding vendor relationships. And how wonderful because you don’t have to stress yourself out trying to juggle everything! A way to still get involved but hands-off is to offer help where you can — but let them run the show.
Social media is the primary way we all market our wedding businesses now. It’s the way our clients get to know our services better, how we get our business in front of more potential clients, the way we network, and it’s even become our portfolios. So whenever you have the chance, tag the vendors you work with in your social media posts.
Maybe you have a photo from a wedding you want to share, and it features the florist — tag them and the photographer! Better yet, pose some questions in your caption or provide some content that entices them to engage. Not only are they getting a moment to shine and share their expertise, but your audience can learn from them too. It’s a win-win for everyone!
As important vendors are to a wedding, the sad and honest truth is they usually go unnoticed by guests because of how busy the event can be. Not because their services aren’t noteworthy but just because the guests are busy mingling, dancing, and enjoying themselves.
So surprising them with something very small yet thoughtful, like a thank-you card, snacks, water, or a small gift shows your vendors they aren’t actually going unnoticed and you truly care about the service they’re providing. Our jobs are tough, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do our best to alleviate some of that stress.
You can give all the thoughtful gifts, do all the kind acts, and ask all the right questions but in the end, your wedding vendors aren’t mind-readers. So tell them loud and clear that you’re there for them and that they are a priority for you. After all, if you — as a wedding planner — can’t take care of your vendors and support them, your couple’s wedding can easily become a crap event.
Telling them upfront like this can establish a team-like environment right away, make them feel like they can be honest with you and everyone else, and they can rely on you as a trustworthy source for help.
We all understand too well that this job is hard. You’re undoubtedly going to want to release the major tension you feel by gossiping, venting, or getting caught up in all the juicy drama. But remember that you’re a professional and everything that goes on during the wedding planning process (including the behind-the-scenes conversations) reflects on your reputation.
I know it’s tempting at the moment because you want to relieve that stress you feel, but I promise that once you engage yourself in gossip, you’re going to regret it. That’s why it’s your responsibility as a wedding planner to avoid starting gossip and stopping it when you hear and see it. Drama is good for reality TV, but not for a real-life wedding!
Well, there you have it! Six ways you can build and strengthen your wedding planner to wedding vendor relationships! The biggest takeaways are expressing gratitude, being kind, and showing respect — just like how we would in any important relationship of ours!
I’d love to hear in the comments what tip you found most useful. And if I left a tip out that you feel strongly about, leave it in the comments! I’d love to hear more of your ideas.
And if you’re thinking, “Yep, got that all down. But how do I get clients in the first place?” Look no further, my friend! I’d love to talk to you, so get in touch with me today and let’s take your business to the next level!
I help creative business owners sustainably scale their business so they can create a thriving career and work-life balance.
small biz coach
I have experience speaking at both live and virtual events, educating creative and wedding entrepreneurs how to step into their role as CEO. If you're looking for speakers for your next conference, workshop, event, or the next guest for your podcast, I'd love to see how we can collaborate!
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