7 Client Etiquette Tips for Working With Wedding Vendors
It’s essential to treat your wedding vendors with respect in order to get the best results. Don’t miss these wedding vendor etiquette tips!
One of the biggest challenges a person faces when planning their wedding is that, overnight, they become somebody’s boss. Often, they become the boss of more than a dozen different independent contractors who are only united by their shared desire to help this person and their partner get married.
That’s a lot of responsibility and, in my experience as a wedding planner, some couples handle it better than others.
These client etiquette tips will go a long way to making sure you’re a good boss for your team.
Please don’t ghost.
When you reach out to a vendor about potentially hiring them for their services, you start a relationship. If that vendor ends up being a “no,” it’s extremely helpful to them if you tell them as much. You don’t have to go into detail; simply saying something like “Hi. Thanks for your time. We’ve gone in a different direction.” works wonders.
That’s because wedding vendors sell a very specific inventory: We sell days of the week. Knowing that you and your partner are no longer interested in a specific date allows wedding vendors to more confidently sell that date to another couple. Do the right thing and communicate that you’re no longer interested rather than ghosting or leaving them in the dark.
Tip, if it’s at all possible for you to tip.
It’s easy to forget that wedding industry workers are also service industry workers. That means we make a significant part of our income from tips. This resource shares who to tip and how much.
If tips really aren’t in your budget, I hear that, but there are other ways to express your gratitude. I encourage you to 100 percent do the next suggestion on this list.
Write a review (even if it’s only one sentence).
I get it: Writing reviews after a wedding is totally one. more. thing. to. do. before you and your partner can move on with your lives. Reviews are also the lifeblood of a wedding vendor’s business and go a huge way toward compensating vendors for their time and talent.
Reviews are also an excellent way to supplement or, as needed, replace a tip if tipping wasn’t possible for you and your partner. So this client etiquette tip is 100% FREE.
When writing a review, consider these tips to make it as painless as possible:
- You don’t have to write them all yourself. Divide and conquer with your partner.
- A short review isn’t a bad review. Even one sentence helps a lot since really, it’s those shiny five stars we’re looking for.
- Copy and paste is a beautiful thing. It’s totally OK to use the same review (with a few small word changes) on every platform the vendor uses. You also don’t have to tell them you wrote the review; they’ll get an automated email from the review platform.
Respect our pronouns, dietary needs, and general humanity.
Wedding vendors love to serve other people; it’s often what attracted us to this job in the first place. As such, it can be very easy to take advantage of wedding vendors because we’re not always the best at respecting our own boundaries.
Don’t be a jerk. Treat your vendor team like you would treat your coworkers.
Respect our pronouns (and if you mess them up, apologize and move forward).
Ask about our dietary needs, if we’re working your reception and you’re having a plated dinner (vs. a buffet where we can make our own choices more easily).
Understand that we have office hours just like you have office hours so if we don’t respond immediately, it’s not because you don’t matter but because we’re probably working on another project at that exact moment.
Remember that you’re not our only client (even if our goal is to make you feel like you are).
Your wedding is YOUR WEDDING. It’s the main focus of your time, energy, and money. Wedding vendors know and respect that. They also have between one to five dozen more clients just like you who they are also trying to serve.
I don’t say this to make you feel any less special. We wedding vendors often pride ourselves on making a couple feel like The Only Couple in the World (even when it takes huge personal sacrifice on our part to do so).
No, I say this because, as a couple, you can use this knowledge to your advantage. Acknowledge to a vendor that their needs matter to you and your partner and believe me, you will get better service. Not such better service that you can take advantage of said vendor but better service than the client who thinks their wedding is the only wedding happening this year.
Before you ask, check the contract.
A contract is the ultimate boundary-setting tool and an incredibly useful resource for you and your partner. In an ideal world, you’d read the whole thing before you sign it but few of us have that kind of time. That doesn’t mean you can’t revisit the contract before you ask a question.
Does this vendor require a meal? How many hours did you hire them for? Is tip already included? When is your next payment due and how do you pay it? Nearly always, you already have the answer. Check the contract. Fulfilling your contractual obligations is definitely a key part of client etiquette.
Treat us the way you would want your boss to treat you.
Quick question: Who’s the best boss you’ve ever had and how did they treat you?
Because that’s the secret: You are this person’s boss and as such, you have power over them. The clients who wield this power responsibly have better weddings.
So, when in doubt, default to The Golden Rule: Treat your vendors like you would want to be treated. When it comes to wedding vendor client etiquette, it’s really that simple.