A Pro’s Guide to Getting What you want from Wedding Vendors

Posted by on 18 Jul, 2007

Vendorzilla getting you down? Veteran Wedding Photographer and Honorary Bridezilla Lara Hogan shares her insider tips on how to get exactly what you want from your wedding vendors-no settling!
lara.jpg Lara: “It’s the wedding vendor’s job to make your day exactly how you dreamed it. You’ve put thought into how everything should be- the shade of the lavender (not violet) flowers, the height of the elegant but unobtrusive centerpieces, and the flow of the DJ’s rocking but not overwhelming playlist. So how do you make sure your dream comes to life?”


1. Write it down. You already have lists of everything else for your wedding, here’s another: descriptions of how things will look and feel. You’ll show these descriptions to your potential vendors. Rather than thinking about how a vendor should do something, picture your end goal and describe it. It’ll help them better understand what you’re looking for if you share the style you want or emotion to capture rather than, for example, an exact Pantone color scheme.
2. Find examples and pictures of your inspirations. Are your wedding colors based on the state flower? Is “The Portrait” you want based on a competition-winning photograph? Does your wedding style reflect the class of old movies? Your vendors will welcome these as broader definitions of what you’re looking for. Chances are, they’ll even be inspired to suggest new and interesting ideas!
3. Talk with your vendor. The better I know a client, the better photographs I take. When a client knows my dog’s name or that I love peanut butter they’re so much more comfortable in front of the camera. It makes sense; if you’re familiar with someone, you’ll work better with them and everything will come more naturally. Check in with your vendor once in a while leading up to the wedding, especially if you have new ideas or images to share with them.
4. Get everything in writing. A contract is your best defense and it’ll put you at ease on the day-of. Feel free to ask your vendor to amend the contract to be more specific based on what you agreed upon-instead of “condiments,” have it say “ketchup, mustard, and sauerkraut”. It’ll help both you and the vendor. When you sign the contract, also hand them the details that you’ve written down and the pictures you’ve been inspired by (staple them to the contract if you can).
5. Consider the vendor another guest. No, I don’t mean you invite them to participate in the garter toss. But provide them with maps and directions like you do for out-of-town guests, make sure they have all of your contact information (your cell, your fiance’s cell, even your maid of honor’s cell) and definitely make sure they’re aware of the whole day’s timeline, even if they’re only there for part of it.
Lara Hogan is the President and Lead Photographer of a A Softer Image LLC. Her company provides non-traditional wedding photography in the Washington DC area. Shooting Bridezillas is her specialty, hee hee!

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  1. On 18 Jul, 2007, christine said:

    Lara I couldn’t agree with you more! The more you can ‘show’ your vendors the more you can be assured that you are on the same page having the same vision. In fact, put together a storyboard to take to your appointments so your vendor will know how everything fits together.

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