Sometimes the most difficult part of the planning process can be the vendor selection. Deciding on which caterer, florist or photographer can be somewhat of a difficult decision. These selections can easily be narrowed by a simple consultation with select wedding vendors. Some brides view these consultations as a chance to interview their potential vendor and others may feel like they are auditioning for the vendor! I like to think of it as a mutual interview to see if styles and personalities match. This will be the determining factor in the selection process.
To help Brides and Grooms have a better idea of what to expect in these crucial appointments, we have put together a few tips when venturing into consultations-
Keeping Time- Wedding vendors are happy to meet with you to discuss your wedding details. This meeting includes ample time to discuss the details, but please remember to consider the professional’s time. Their time is as valuable as your own. Brides should usually plan on spending an hour to hour and a half for consultations. Please remember this when setting the appointment.
Come Prepared- You want to come to the consultation prepared with any information that you feel is pertinent to your wedding. I suggest that’s brides bring any color swatches, magazine pictures or inspiration that reflects your vision and lends to your wedding scheme. Some vendors will have a small questionnaire on their site, or available via email, that will assist you with the information they need to help you make the most informed decisions.
Bring your Budget- This may be the most important factor in the consultation process. Come to the consultation with your allotted budget. Your floral vendor needs to have a figure to work with. Now, we understand that you may not always know the exact amount you alloted for flowers, but a ballpark figure will help tremendously. We need this information to maximize your floral options. We don’t want to give you a false sense of hope that your centerpieces are filled with orchids, when your budget may only allow for tulips.
Now What?– What to do after the Consultation, you ask? In most cases a signed contract and deposit will secure your wedding date with a floral designer. Many florists will create a customized proposal with varying degrees of detail and pricing information for your consideration. When you find a qualified vendor you like and trust, book ‘em! Reputable vendors will usually book dates 4-6 months in advance. You want to make sure that you book your dates quickly after the consultation to ensure their availability.