As a bride, you are flooded with tons of opinions, ideas, options, and decisions to be made over the course of planning your wedding. My number one piece of wedding planning advice to every bride is to trust your heart throughout the process. If you connect with a vendor, and love their work – use them! We strongly encourage our brides and grooms to look for the connection with each vendor. While referral lists are great, they are not always required (unless you are talking about catering). No one can tell you “sorry, that photographer or DJ is not on our list”. So what should you do when you come across a “required” vendor? We’ve got you covered!
Let me first start off by saying that referral lists are GREAT tools if you do not know where to start. And if you love and trust the person you are getting it from, chances are you will love and trust the vendors on their list too. At Tara Nicole Weddings, we don’t have a set referral list that we hand to every bride. We understand you have a unique style, and your time is valuable. Therefore, we hand select 3 vendors per category that we feel will best match with you and your fiance’s personality, so you are not running around meeting vendors who, are still amazing at what they do, but may not be a great fit for you.
I strongly believe in loving others well. But what that really means when you break it down for my business, is that I make sure my clients are well taken care of. On wedding days, I do the same thing for my vendors – I make sure we are all on the same page, they have everything they need for their job, and are included in the food count 😉 This stems from our philosophy that our clients and vendors deserve to be treated with love and respect. Many venues and vendors share in this philosophy, and as such, have created referral lists to give you a great wedding experience. When this doesn’t happen, it is our job to mediate between the parties. This year I had to do just that. After months of back and forth, leaving my clients frustrated and overwhelmed, they were required to use a vendor they did not want to. Thankfully, we were were able to remedy the situation and still design and execute a beautiful wedding. But this never something you should have to worry about!
So the moral of the story is this: just because a vendor is on a list, doesn’t mean they are the best fit for you. And vice versa – if a vendor isn’t on the list, it doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be, or that you can’t use them. It is impossible for a referral list to contain every single reputable vendor in the city, state, country, or they would be handing out magazines as thick as the old JC Penny Catalogs… And who has time for that?!?!? Not only that, but not every bride has the same style, and not every vendor has the same strengths – so how realistic is it to only get 5 photography options when there are thousands of photography styles? I mean seriously, this is YOUR wedding day! Make sure you are putting it in the hands of people YOU trust and who you know want the very best for you.
So when you see the words required – ask questions!!! Are they really required; Why are they required; Interview them like you would any other vendor; and most importantly, ask what happens if you do not want to work with this “required” vendor? Having these answers up front will save you a ton of stress and questions in the long haul. Otherwise, you are running the risk of it becoming a huge headache and that’s when you start to think of a city hall wedding or eloping on the beach. It doesn’t have to come to that, my friends! You deserve the absolute best on your wedding day! Just follow your heart!
Photo Credit: SB Childs Photography
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