If you didn’t get a chance to dig into what this blog series is all about, I urge you to jump back to part 1: How Wedding Planners Can BEST Help Other Vendors: Photography + DJs to get a bit of the background!
Remember: we want this blog series to open the door to communicating how we, the wedding planners and couples, can set everyone up for success in advance.
Up next is a BIG ONE: Catering! We spoke with All Seasons All Reasons (ASAR) for this one. (FUN FACT: They did Becca’s wedding!)
Photos courtesy of @lumiphotographylife
TOP 2 TIPS ON HOW PLANNERS CAN BEST HELP CATERING:
1. Before the wedding day:
ASAR: “Send over any/all rental & vendor information to us as early as possible. We like to review orders for accuracy before the event to make sure everything we need/expect will be on site. As a full service caterer, we're used to certain info being available to our staff, especially the rental orders. If we have those nice and early we'll review them & put them in our event books for staff to count in at the end of the event.”
NOTE TO WEDDING PLANNERS: This means once they are finalized based off of estimated guest count, and then update them when you get final guest counts closer to the wedding day. Both times are important to loop your catering teams in!
2. Day Of The Wedding:
ASAR: “Make sure all vendors have the same copy of the timeline/floor plan. We've worked weddings where the DJ, Photographer & wedding planner all had different timelines. Even minimal differences in timing can be a big deal day of, so it's always the most helpful when planners bring vendors together and make sure everyone is on the same page timeline wise.”
PROTIP: this can be REALLY hard to control if you’re sending out too many drafts of your timeline. Going back to Part 1 when we talked about timelines, it’s important to make sure you’re sending out final drafts only, with minor exceptions when an update is necessary. Get it locked in solid before you send it to everyone so you don’t have to worry about multiple versions being referenced or other vendors not paying attention to updates, in turn bringing an old version of the timeline to the wedding.
ASAR: “This also feeds into everyone having a specific time for vendor meals. Giving us timing for vendor meals allows us to prepare them ahead of time so vendors can get fed promptly when they need it. Typically the best time for vendors to eat is during dinner... which is the time we're the busiest!”
PROTIP: Schedule your DJ, Photographer, and Videographer to eat at the same time as the couple. It’s the ONLY time they can eat given that as soon as the couple is finished, things like speeches and dances are happening. Which require their services. All other vendors should wait until after the guests are all served.
TOP 2 TIPS ON HOW PLANNERS CAN BEST HELP CAKE DESIGNERS:
1. Before the wedding day:
Palette Cakes: “When clients are on the hunt for vendors and turn to their planners for recommendations, it's so important the planner recommends someone who can work within the client's budget and style preference. This helps save everyone time during the booking/design process. Quite often I get sent clients who are really looking for something that I just don't do. I don't like to send that disappointing email and I'm sure the client's are frustrated when they receive that email! To a planner (especially one just starting and still connecting with vendors) I think understanding what the vendor does/excels at will help both parties immensely- view websites, ask for menus/price guides, ask questions!”
“On the topic of design, when working with a vendor who contributes to the overall wedding design please don't micromanage or come with an exact vision in mind! Clients get the best product when you let us do our thing! Of course provide inspiration and guidance, but please don't hinder our creativity!”
NOTE TO PLANNERS + COUPLES: Trust.Your. Vendors. They are pros for a reason. That’s it, that’s the note.
2. Day Of The Wedding:
Palette Cakes: "Always consider time + temperature when it comes to a dessert or cake display. Our products can't sit in direct sunlight or be out for hours on end. When creating the wedding day timeline/design layout, make sure to coordinate how long things can be out with the baker and consider where you're placing the items to make sure everything lasts by the end of the night.
PROTIP: If you’re doing some sort of floral installation on the cake, you’ll need to loop the florist into this coordination to ensure they will still be onsite when the cake is being delivered! OR if the cake designer is able to do it instead, coordinate with the florist to leave extra blooms behind for the cake designer to use when they arrive. (Make sure to allot time on the timeline for either approach!)
Alrighty, we have ONE more part to this series! Stay tuned for next week when we share the final installment. How Wedding Planners Can BEST Help Other Vendors Part 4: Hair + Makeup
If you're not already following along on Instagram with these 3 incredibly talented and wonderful human beings, please change that and head to their pages now:
WEDDING PLANNER PROTIP: The biggest difference in being able to surround yourself with a solid vendor team, are having solid clients. Clients that understand the importance of booking true professionals and not just looking for the cheapest option available. Not sure how to do that? I GOT YOU. Check out my FREE resource, Booked Out Blueprint, to figure out how book out your calendar with couples you love without paying for a listing on the Knot or Wedding Wire.