Chelsea and Mark by Renee Brazel

Welcome back to part two of our feature article “W Is For Weddings – Behind “The Wedding” Word!

2) In a television report on the (Choice) article it was suggested that prospective brides and grooms not tell the vendor that they required their services for a wedding, but for a party instead. What effect would this have on you as a vendor?

One wedding planner said that if a ‘couple approached us and described a fairly costly event, without mentioning it was a wedding, we would likely suggest our wedding package, as it is more cost effective to them and guarantees them more service from us’.

Other vendors, such as hire cars and paper goods suppliers said that telling them the event was a party (when it was really a wedding), would cause embarrassment for both the bridal party, and the vendor themselves, at not being able to fulfill their client’s requirements adequately. It might also mean that if the vendor was unable to fulfill ‘project expectations’ it would potentially take time away from other clients (while the problems were rectified) and reflect adversely on their business.

One vendor said that this would this would cause stress and not allow her to ‘make a fair quotation for (her) time and services’. Another vendor expressed that she would realize after lengthy discussion with the couple that the event, was indeed, a wedding!

A florist said she would place special orders to source flowers for a wedding. For a standard party request, the stock flowers in the shop may be used.

A jewellery designer  (as distinct from a jewellery store on the high street – which we did not canvas with these questions) said that ‘the only difference in price would be attributed to any difference in the cost of materials’.

A venue operator said that whilst it wouldn’t affect their pricing structure, they have ‘a dedicated Wedding Team……that know the inside and out of the wedding industry including the best suppliers, ideas on theme (ing) and entertainment and ideas to make your day stand out from the rest’.

An apparel vendor told of a person who rang up their store and said she was attending a wedding as a guest. After being told that there were cocktail and evening dresses that might be suitable for the occasion, she traveled for over an hour to get to their store, only to tell the owners that she was the bride. She had wasted her time as the store had no wedding dresses to show her – they would have been ordered in especially for her – if she had been honest about her needs.

3) Would the couple’s honesty (dishonesty) have an effect on the way you provided your service to them and what would this mean for future couples you supplied?

All vendors expressed that they would not be influenced by the couple’s (dis)honesty and would do everything they could to fulfill their requirements as per the contract they had signed.

They did, however, express feelings of hurt, embarrassment and betrayal if they found couples were not honest with them. They also at the same time asked that couples be honest with them about their budgets and expectations and not undervalue them and the services they provide.

The over-riding theme from all vendors interviewed was that they were transparent with their pricing structures and wanted the chance to provide the best possible service to their brides and grooms. Many expressed pride in the individual touches they could provide and felt it was an honour to participate in some way in making the couple’s day ‘something truly special’.

As one vendor so beautifully put it ,‘I think clients should look at being honest as an advantage, as a starting point of negotiations – what’s wrong with letting the vendor know your budget, and your expectations, before assuming the price will jump? Honesty can work out to be the best tool for both the client and the vendor, as it puts you on the same page. Give the vendor a chance to do their best to make you happy ….’  And as another vendor said, ‘Why not use their expertise to make your planning ….easier?’

As always, ask lots of questions, be honest and upfront in your expectations and communications (and contract) with the vendor, and shop around until you find vendors that you ‘click’ with. Another vendor finished with ‘if a client doesn’t trust their vendor, I would suggest that they haven’t found the right one and should keep looking’.

Our heartfelt thanks go to these vendors who gave us their valuable time and insights in answering our survey:

Natasha at Your Special Day

David at  Cloud 9 Wedding Cars

Matt at Boston Limousines

David at David Frith Jewellery

Lyndsay at It’s A Date Design

Nancy at Nancy Liu Chin Designs

Sara at Bella Notte Wedding Consulting

Aletha at Pearls Events

Autumn at The Paper Couturiere

Erica at Opera Point Events

Suzi at  Alannah Rose Stationery

Dannii at The Kissing Tree

Kathryn at Pink Frosting

Gisella at Exclusively Bridesmaids