Before we dig in, I want to share why I decided to create this blog series, “How Wedding Planners Can BEST Help: ...". It’s a doozy so buckle up.
I'm so deeply tired of the uncomfortable, competitive mindset vendors sometimes unfortunately have day of the wedding. I think often, us vendors, can forget that everyone who is onsite and offsite the day of the wedding, are ON THE SAME TEAM.
It is essential to remember that who you are working with on the day of the wedding, were hired by the same couple, with the same goal of delivering a successful service to that very couple.
I will never understand why sometimes we hear and see vendors throw each other under the bus. And not jump in and help each other out when sh*t hits the fan. We have all already successfully secured the booking. It will bode well for all of us if we all look impressive and deliver on why we were hired.
I’m not saying to not take the time to address any issues later on, there will be times when a vendor or two really are actively not doing their job and that needs to be discussed. But at the wedding? While the couple we all love is getting married? Let’s stop playing the blame game and come together to fix whatever issues anyone on the vendor team is having as quickly and discreetly as possible.
Photo courtesy of @ashbaumgartner
With all that said, in efforts to create that unity, 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. (Because change starts with the person in the mirror.) We want to give couples insight as to how much really goes into getting every element coordinated for their wedding. AKA why it’s important to hire true professionals.
We reached out to a few of our trusted friendors (that’s who we call vendors who are our friends, cute huh?) to tell us directly and specifically the main things wedding planners can do either in the planning process or on the day of the wedding that will dramatically help them succeed at their job.
First up? Let’s hear from the brilliant Ashley Baumgarter on behalf of photographers. Photographers are some of the most intimately involved vendors throughout the entire process, so their success is critical to the entire event's success.
Photos courtesy of @ashbaumgartner
TOP 2 TIPS ON HOW PLANNERS CAN BEST HELP PHOTOGRAPHERS:
1. Before the wedding day: Planning the Timeline Together
Ashley: “We absolutely love when planners check in with us before or during the creation of the first draft of the timeline. Being on the same page for how much time is needed for each portion of portraits, and important details (like how big the wedding party or family is) really helps the day go smoothly! It helps set expectations for the flow of the day and how both parties can work best to keep everything on time.”
2. Day Of The Wedding: Alleviate the Couple's Stress
Ashley: “The most important thing to me as a photographer is having my couples be as relaxed as possible! A lot of that comes from the planning team handling all of the logistics, the minute details, and the small fires that need to be put out on the wedding day. The less stress the couple has to deal with, the more relaxed and present they get to be on the wedding day. And the more present they get to be, the more they'll enjoy it - which will ultimately show through the photos.”
FURTHER (because we can't help ourselves): don't make your photographer become the "planning team" day of because you didn't hire a professional planner! There's a reason pro planners are instrumental in the entire day's success.
Photo courtesy of @meghiblerphotography
TOP 2 TIPS ON HOW PLANNERS CAN BEST HELP DJS:
1. Before the wedding day: something practical
Mat: “Getting us timelines early and also being clear on if/when we will receive the final version. It's not uncommon for me to show up to an event with a timeline that is 2-3 weeks old only to find I was never sent the updated/finalized version the week of the wedding. It's always nice to be on the same page with the planners and all other vendors.”
NOTE TO WEDDING PLANNERS: Seeing a trend? The sooner you can get details of timing out to your vendors the better. Do not leave it for the day before or day of!
PROTIP: *Affiliate Link* We use and LOVE creating timelines via Aisle Planner, our number one recommendation to planners for a client management system. Click this link and use code "Becca25" for 25% off of your first 3 months!! They only gave us this code because we have used them for years!
NOTE TO COUPLES: on that same memo, if your wedding planner is asking for you to confirm/finalize specifics to the timeline please try to get them answers as quickly as possible. And once you make those decisions, don’t change them unless it’s ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY. It affects a lot more than you’d think! (like being able to send your timelines out to those who need it)
Need more reason to provide a timeline well in advance?
Our friend Kelly from Blossom Farm Vintage Rentals agrees that the number 1 way a wedding planner can help rental teams do their job is providing a detailed timeline and layout of the day. This is critical when it comes to communicating expectations and should become part of your standard workflow leading up to the wedding day.
2. Day Of The Wedding:
Mat: “This may sound silly but just having a positive/upbeat attitude. It makes a HUGE difference when it comes to tackling a wedding day. I recently did a wedding during an "atmospheric river" storm and it was literally the most rain I've ever experienced at an event. We were all soaked. But all the vendors looked at each other with an unspoken "this is crazy, but let's pretend like it's not" look and we all just laughed it off. It made the day seem a lot less stressful and we all survived with smiles on our faces.” (HELL YES! We love this. Shout out to this group of vendors, this is exactly what we hope for every wedding day. The attitude, not the rain to be clear ha!)
Stay tuned for next week when we share the best How Wedding Planners Can BEST Help Other Vendors Part 2: Venue + Florist
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. ATTENTION WEDDING PLANNERS (established or aspiring): have you heard about Wedding Planner Roadmap? My signature 90 day group coaching program specifically for wedding planners. CLICK HERE for all the deets. This program is for you if you're SICK and tired of:
Slashing prices just to desperately book any client that crosses your path
Comparing yourself to other planners on social media
No profiting enough to quit your other job
You're just plain STUCK. Not sure how to get off the hamster wheel you're currently on.