Brides & Grooms! Get the behind the scenes on how to send out emails, what vendors are actually thinking and how to make your planning, fun, easy and stress free!
The First Hello
This is the time for vendors to establish trust with you and build a friendship. When you first contact the vendor include your venue, the date of your wedding, the amount of hours you need, and your budget goals. Although some vendor price lists become strict over a period of time or go up in price, most vendors will customize quotes that fit your needs because they understand every wedding is different. Specific information is so important up front and many couples fail to include this in their initial email.
Example Message // Email. This came from a real bride on a community board! (I reworded it a little to sound like an email or message.)
Hello Seattle Community of Vendors!
Before I receive 50+ emails, I would like to outline exactly what I am looking for. Please only email me back if this describes something you can do.
Looking for a wedding photographer who:
-Is available June 20th, 2019 (Thursday)
-Is reasonably priced, we are on a budget and would like to stay in the $2,300 range at the most due to other expenses.
-Who is open to discussing shooting styles
-Includes an engagement session
-6-8 hours the day of
-Willing to meet/consult with my fiancé and I to assure it is a good match
-Has full wedding galleries we can look through prior to meeting
-Shoots meaningful candid photos as well as a large variety of couple’s poses for both engagement and wedding
. -Experience with (List Animal) a super super big BONUS, but not required.
Please email me if this describes you and your business. I know it seems like a lot but this is how people save time and avoid sifting through hundreds of vendors who will not be a good match. I look forward to talking with you!
Pause// GUYS! Did you read the last part?!
This Part// I know it seems like a lot but this is how people save time and avoid sifting through hundreds of vendors who will not be a good match. I look forward to talking with you.
Score!! This Bride is doing her homework and trying to connect, communicate, and being open in what she is looking for. The only critique I would give this Bride is to consider a little more flexibility in the pricing, for everything she wants. If a vendor fits everyone of these but maybe can’t give her an engagement session and the vendor explains to her that it will be x-amount extra. It shouldn’t be the end all factor. Some experience vendors will email you explaining that they aren’t in your budget range. That’s a good sign that they will be an amazing asset to your wedding vendor team, because they value their company and you. It hopefully means they will do a better job than the person you want to hire that costs less and may be inexperienced. Work with those vendors that might cost a little extra, you won’t be disappointed. I’ve probably said it before and I’ll say it again! Check the vendors reviews on YELP, GOOGLE, WEDDING WIRE, THE KNOT. This will give you way better insight on who you are hiring.
Note. As a bride I didn’t know I would have extra funds from family and friends generous contributions at the end of the wedding day. If I would have known this, I would have hired a day of planner to make sure all the details were in place and maybe splurge more on wedding decor and a photographer who I truly loved for their look and style but I thought was possibly out of my budget range.
The two vendors to email first are your venue, to secure your date, and then your planner. Many times though, hiring a planner may not be in the budget or you want to plan things on your own. In that case, consider finding a photographer as your second vendor, who is intuitive to keep you on track with the day and easily direct without overstepping.
Next it is best to inquire with other vendors like your florist, caterer, photographer, rentals, etc. Don’t let your email get lost in translation with your vendors, if you have no date at the ready, wait.
•If you need to set up help with the decor, hire a day of coordinator. Trust me as a bride myself I wish I did.
• If you feel overwhelmed and have tons of ideas for your wedding, a planner can hone in on your vision and take your ideas from start to finish.
• My cousin works full time and long hours, she hired a wedding planner and it was the best thing she ever did. Not only did she not have to worry but she was able to focus on her fiancee and friendships. She enjoyed her personal time instead of sitting for long hours and having to make tons of overwhelming decisions.
• Find a friend that has gone through the whole process of getting married.
• Hire Lauren Ryan Photography! I too can give you amazing advice and referral leads to other vendors that I love. All you have to do is give me a call and reach out! One of my 2018 Brides would definitely vouch. She was considering no flowers for her destination wedding. After we created a Pinterest board and joking I would illegal forage tropical leaves for her if she didn’t. The Bride to be laughed and reconsider looking over the board and was so inspired that now she is planning to have florals at her wedding.
Three things happen if we immediately hand over our price list.
1. You become overwhelmed,and conclude price is the decision factor
2. A humanistic quality is taken away and the numbers game is what it all comes down too.
3. You don’t see what you are looking for and without telling us you move on to the next vendor. Tell us what were missing. Give us feedback.
I get it some of you want to look at the price list before providing any information to us. Maybe it’s in fear we will change the pricing to be higher after initial contact. Which is in fact a practical way to look at it. I guarantee with me though I do it to customize your collection, in a prompt and quick fashion. If something you needed wasn’t presented correctly in the price list and before you conclude we are not a good fit. Price list isn’t necessary the be all end all.
Wedding Couple Challenge
Send an email to vendors asking questions not just for the price lists and leaving the vendor in the dark. Write something up explain what your wedding day is going to be all about. Ask to schedule a phone meeting to go over the price list.
In the end their is no right or wrong way, but as a Bride myself and now photographer I see both sides of the coin. Leave your comment below if you found something helpful in your own journey to find your vendors.