All your guests have RSVP’d, your wedding party is a well-oiled machine, and you’ve got all the details down to the last flower petal. You've crossed every last thing off of every Pinterest and wedding magazine to-do list you could find and you're feeling like an absolute boss. You are so ready for your wedding.
...but are your vendors?
One of the biggest mistakes I see couples making when planning their wedding they don't even realize they're making? Not making sure their vendors are on the same page.
Here are three easy ways to make sure you're preparing your wedding team for success on your big day.
1. Let your vendors know who they're working with
Unlike traditional teams, wedding teams are often made up of a hodge-podge of super cool professionals who all run their own businesses. So it's easy to forget that your wedding team might not know who they're working with until they walk through the doors of your venue day of!
Letting your vendors know who they're working with in advance is the BEST way to keep everyone on the same page. A simple way to get the ball rolling is shoot an email to all of your vendors letting them know they're your kick-ass wedding team. Something as short as "Hey friends! You'll all be working with us on our wedding day!" will do the trick. Chances are some of your vendors will have worked together before—or better yet, were referred to you by each other—but if they haven't they'll have a chance to connect prior to your wedding, making the experience seamless for everyone.
If you have a wedding planner, more likely than not they'll connect with all the vendors for you and help folks get in touch if need be, but if you don't have that additional help, connecting vendors will help remove you as the middle-man for communication. Because let's be honest: he LAST thing you should be worrying about while planning your wedding is playing email tag for your vendors.
2. Invite vendors to be a part of the planning process together
Speaking of wedding planners, a quick plug: hiring a wedding planner and/or coordinator to help relieve stress prior to and on your wedding day is a fabulous idea. As a wedding photographer, I get very, very excited to work with planners and coordinators simply because they kick butt. They're a phenomenal resource, excellent hype-people, and keep things running smoothly so you can sit back and enjoy your day.
That said, one thing I see all too often is wedding planners and wedding photographers being on different pages when it comes to the timeline*. And typically this isn't something they're aware of until close to your wedding day—or even more stressful, day of. The best way to avoid this? Have it be a team effort coming up with your wedding timeline.
Depending on when you hire your planner and/or coordinator, there are a few options for bringing everyone together for the planning process:
- If you hire a planner or coordinator at the beginning of your planning process, often times they'll either work directly with you to create your timeline and share it with your photographer who will make suggestions for updates, or invite your photographer to be part of the planning meeting.
- If you hire someone a little later in the process to assist with wedding planning and have already created a timeline with your photographer, share your existing timeline so they can connect with your photographer if they have any questions or concerns.
*This is also the case with videographers, so be sure to loop them in too! They often get stuck working with whatever timeline is handed to them, but are a great resource for planning.
3. Make sure your vendors all have the same timeline
Possibly one of the easiest steps that can slip your mind: make sure everyone has the same timeline.
This may seem like a given, but with all the details you're checking off your list, it happens more often than you might think. While vendors like your wedding planner, photographer, and videographer are with you from start to finish on your wedding day, folks like florists, hair and makeup, and DJs are often overlooked simply due to the fact that they don't typically spend the whole day with the wedding party.
The value in sharing your timeline with all your vendors is making sure everyone understand the context of the rest of the day. For example, a florist may want to deliver your flowers closer to the ceremony start time to keep them fresh longer, not realizing that your photographer needs them for detail photos. Or your DJ might want to start speeches earlier to get the party going for your guests, not realizing that your videographer is grabbing some last minute details before things kick off.
One of the easiest ways to make sure all your vendors have the same timeline is—surprise—sharing contact information between vendors! This way whoever is responsible for the timeline can share it with all parties involved without you having to add another thing to your to-do list.