Perhaps you’ve read the wedding planning advice or you’ve heard other recently married couples talk about it. Either way, know this about planning a wedding: it is important that you build a great team of wedding vendors to help you pull off your wedding day. From the wedding fashion to the officiant, to the catered meal and that very last dance, it can take around 40 different wedding businesses just to make one wedding happen. Here in the Washington DC area couples planning a wedding are very fortunate, because there are so many wedding vendors to choose from.

I was at a wedding planning session hosted at DC area wedding stationery boutique, The Dandelion Patch in Georgetown. There were several wedding vendors there and they were all discussing the importance of building a great vendor team. They said that the key to executing a great wedding is having a great team of vendors all working towards the same goal: making you happy!

So, you know you need to have a great wedding vendor team, but, how do you actually go about building that dream team? How do you ensure that all of your wedding vendors will work hard together for you and provide you with incredible service? I’m here for you today, my DC area wedding planning lovelies! Here are my tips for building a great wedding vendor team…

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Photo Credit: k. thompson photography  from this pink and purple wedding inspiration

1 – A Good Fit For You
One of the keys to building a great wedding vendor team starts at the very beginning of the process. Once you find one vendor that you like, say a photographer or a venue, ask their opinion. What vendors do they like? Who do they prefer to work with? And, more importantly who do they think would be a good fit for you and your wedding? Wedding vendors in the Washington DC area can be a great resource for you and they can help to point you towards not just a great wedding vendor, but a great vendor who will be a good fit for you. A good fit could be that they are within your price point, or it could be that they match up with your wedding day style. Ask your wedding vendors who they trust and you’ll be one step closer to building a great team of vendors for your day.

2 – Be Honest About Your Budget
Be honest with your vendors about your total budget. Honest allocation of the budget contributes to happy vendors, which makes for a great team. Believe it or not, vendors can help you save money here and make wise financial choices for your wedding. For example, if you tell them that your total budget is $30,000, a wedding caterer will probably advise you not to spend $20,000 on the rental of the venue. However, these kind of mistakes happen all the time with couples overspending in certain areas and then tying the hands of other vendors down the road, because they didn’t know otherwise. Wedding planning comes down to priorities and percentages. After you define your priorities, you can make sure that you are spending the proper percent of the total on the things that matter to you. Being honest and up-front about your budget is a tough point for some couples to swallow. Maybe you feel like you will be taken advantage of if you reveal your whole budget. If I tell them the budget, they will just look for ways to spend it all! Or, sometimes you just don’t know how much things cost. How can you provide a budget for something when you don’t even know how much it should cost? Believe me, I get these points and so do most wedding vendors. If you tell your wedding vendors the total package of what you are dealing with, then they can help you to make sure that you are spending wisely in all of the right places and aren’t making costly mistakes. Allocating your funds wisely helps every vendor do their job better, which contributes to a great team.

3 – Be Realistic About Your Schedule
One thing that can really ruin a wedding day is cramming the schedule. Trying to do too much on the day of your wedding not only messes with your day, but it stresses out all of your other wedding vendors. Stressed wedding vendors does not make for good team! When you jam-pack the wedding schedule and don’t give your vendors enough time to do their job for you, you will not get the most out of them. When you are doing your wedding day timeline, seek the advise of your wedding professionals and they will love you forever. How much time would your photographer like to do a first-look? How long will it really take to get down to the Mall and back for wedding party portraits? How much time does my rental company really need to set up that tent? What will it really take to flip this room from ceremony to reception? Your wedding vendors need time to make the magic happen. When they are rushed or not given enough time to do their job, mistakes can happen and you won’t get the most out of them.

4 – Be Clear About What You Like
It is important that you are very clear with all of your wedding vendors about your style and the mood that you are hoping to achieve on your wedding day. I recently heard of a couple who, in addition to photos, went so far as writing out a wedding day mission statement. This isn’t a bad idea! Make sure that you are crystal clear with all of your vendors about what you like, and in turn, they will be able to deliver on what you want. If all of your vendors are on your same page and working towards the same goal (you), then it will be easier for them to work together as a team. It is your job to convey your vision. With sites like Pinterest, there really is no excuse for not being clear about what you like and what you don’t like. You can use Pinterest to easily define your wedding day style and then quickly share this with all of your wedding vendors. If all of your vendors see the same wedding style board or inspiration, they will all be on the same page and have a better understanding of your wedding day expectations. A clear understanding of your wedding day expectations is the first step in a vendor’s ability to meet your expectations. And, it greatly contributes to all of your vendors working together.

5 – Kindness Counts
This is true for most parts of life, but in wedding planning kindness really does count. If you are mean and stressed out, your wedding vendors really won’t like you very much and the won’t want to work together for you. When you are kind and appreciative, your vendors will not just work for you, they will want to work for you. Yes, you’ve paid them a lot of money. Yes, you are stressed out in dealing with working full time and wedding planning on the side and the family drama. Yes, yes, yes. Everyone is stressed out and everyone has drama, even wedding vendors. Be kind and your wedding vendors will work together to go above and beyond for you and make sure that you have the best wedding day possible. Kindness breeds more kindness!

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So, those are my five tips to building a great wedding vendor team for your wedding. What are your tips? What has worked for you? Let me know! In the meantime, be sure to check out all of the other DC area wedding advice that we have put together for you or look through our list of the best Washington DC area wedding vendors!

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