Usually, about a month before their wedding day, I give my clients a little cheat sheet – tips on handling important things they may not otherwise think about. Vendor relations is always on that list.
Since a few sweet SRE brides are nearing their exciting “one-month-away” marks, I thought I’d share a few of the tips on that list. Tips on keeping your vendors happy and grateful. Because happy vendors do their best work, after all.
Whether or not you choose to leave your vendors gratuity – and how much you leave – is absolutely your choice, but since a successful wedding day is most definitely the result of great planning and hard working folks behind-the-scenes, it’s important to offer them a little something to show your appreciation.
I ask my clients to decide how much – and to whom – they would like to leave, enclose a quick note and appropriate tip in an envelope for each and seal them up! I collect the envelopes during ceremony rehearsal and distribute to the correct vendors on wedding day. As a rule of thumb, I usually recommend tipping those you would typically tip in everyday situations – hair and makeup stylists, transportation, service staff, etc.
I’ve been witness to many brides, mothers-of-the-bride and other wedding party members second-guessing and working behind decorators and florists as they set up on wedding day. It’s important to remember that you’ve planned for this day with them. The vendors are professionals. They know what they’re doing, and you’re almost certain to love the outcome. Let them worry about whether or not there are enough peonies in the guest book table arrangement and you concentrate on how fantastic you look in that pretty gown of yours.
Don’t forget to include your vendors in your final guest count! For seated/plated affairs, I advise clients to feed all vendors who would otherwise just be standing around during dinnertime – i.e. photographers, videographers, sometimes DJs, etc. For band members and any other vendor who may need to be working during dinnertime, it’s polite to set aside a plate and a designated space for them to enjoy dinner either before the event begins or during one of their breaks.
Send a Note
After you’re Mr. and Mrs., chances are you’ll be quite the busy bee writing thank you notes for all the gifts you received. Since you’ll have the pen and stationery out anyway, why not write a quick “thank you” to your vendors? Everyone loves to hear from happy clients, and there’s nothing like a handwritten note.
Spread the Good Word
Social media is a big driver of new business these days. Be sure to pop over to your favorite vendors’ Facebook pages, Wedding Wire accounts, etc. and leave some sweet words or a nice review. It will make their day, and also help other brides-to-be as they select vendors.
So there you have it – tips for my pretty brides-to-be and for you – to being a gracious Southern bride. (;