Congratulations to all of you who have gotten engaged in the last couple of months. Now comes the planning for the big day. Most couples have wonderful ideas on what their wedding day will look like, so, in order to create this vision they need the expertise of many vendors. And then question is, how do I know who is a quality vendor and who is not. Well, other than following your gut and seeing how you feel in their presence, there are a few concrete things you can do to make sure you are getting what you are paying for.
Firstly, notice how reliable they are. How long does it take them to get back to you whether by email or by phone? My rule of thumb is if you do not hear from them within 48 hours, they are not interested in your business. If I don’t have time to answer a client’s email, I quickly drop them a line that I appreciate their contacting me, that I am very busy at the moment, and that I will answer all their questions as soon as I can. That way they know that I value their business.
Secondly, when you do meet them, notice how you feel in their presence. Do they answer all your questions or do they go around them. Evaluate the vendor’s talent for what you need; for example, if you are hiring a baker, make sure that he/she has experience in creating and baking wedding cakes not just cakes in general. Has the vendor had any certified training and does he/she belong to a professional association. I also strongly suggest that you ask to see references or testimonials; if they are reluctant to give you any then I would definitely question their work.
Thirdly, ALWAYS sign a contract with whomever you hire. Make sure that the contract states time of delivery or arrival (whatever the case may be), the length of their stay (if applicable), payment schedule, expectations and if the product is to be delivered after the wedding, make sure the date of delivery is included.
The best recommendations for vendors are from friends who have used these vendors in the past and were please with their services. I would however, still meet with them, because they may have been great for your friend but you and your fiancée may not feel comfortable with them. Hiring a wedding planner helps alleviate a lot of this stress because most wedding planners only deal with good quality vendors. As a wedding planner, I know that if my couple hire a good quality vendor they will be happy with their services therefore, it will reflect well on my business. Also, many vendors will give discounts to those couples that come in with a wedding planner.
I wish you many happy experience in your planning process and remember, if you feel it is too much, “stay calm and hire a wedding planner“!!!
By Alexandra Slawek, Calgary Wedding Planner