- There are things couples should and shouldn’t do when planning a wedding, according to vendors.
- Ghosting your vendors is rude and micromanaging them can come off as untrusting.
- Make sure you clearly communicate with everyone working your event.
Planning a wedding can be expensive, so many couples will do anything to keep costs down. But some of those choices can upset vendors.
Insider asked a number of wedding vendors to share what they wish couples would stop doing, as well as the things they should do more often.
Don’t ghost vendors during the inquiry process
Too often, couples ghost their potential wedding providers during the inquiry process.
Vendors understand that planning a wedding is stressful and time-consuming. But couples should still let businesses know whether they’ve chosen them for the event, according to Anji Martin, wedding photographer and co-owner of Potok’s World Photography.
“It doesn’t just keep us from wasting our time — it also benefits the couple,” she told Insider. “We take them off our list of folks to contact, and they don’t get any more unwanted emails or calls from us.”
Stop micromanaging your vendors
Couples often give constant feedback to their vendors over every aspect of their big day, but wedding planner Andrew Roby said vendors dislike being micromanaged.
“If you are hiring wedding professionals, I believe you booked them because you trust they can do what you need them to accomplish,” he told Insider. “If so, there is no need to micromanage a wedding vendor, as it restricts what attracted you to them in the first place.”
Spending hours going back and forth over chairs isn’t conducive to anyone’s schedule, so trust your vendors and give them the space to do their jobs.
Don’t haggle or ask for price matches
It’s encouraged to speak to multiple vendors when looking for a specific wedding service, but Jesse Williams, owner and videographer of Visual Event Films, said not to haggle or ask them to match quotes.
“Vendors determine their prices based on quality and competition,” he told Insider. “While there are a few who overcharge or undercharge for their services, most vendors dictate prices based on market value.”
Vendors work hard to charge big money for their services, and it can come off as insulting when asked if they can price match or discount their work, Williams explained.
Refrain from relying on DIY decor
Making your decorations may be a fun way to save money, but more often than not, they’ll end up looking cheap, according to Lindsey Nickel, wedding planner and owner at Lovely Day Events.
A budget-friendly alternative to DIY decor is to shop online for second-hand items like signs, stands, and other reusable pieces.
Don’t ask friends to take on vendor roles
Even though it may save money, hiring friends as your vendors is not the way to go, according to John Alden, owner of California wedding venue Mountain House Estate.
He said friends will often do what they think is best instead of what they’re instructed. Additionally, Nickel said it can be difficult for friends to be good vendors and also enjoy the wedding as a guest.
“In the end, it’s best to let friends and family help with other wedding events such as the welcome event and bridal shower,” Nickel told Insider.
Stop participating in traditions that don’t resonate with you
Loren Petrowski, owner of Marry You in Hawaii, told Insider that weddings are about celebrating the couple’s love story and future together — not sticking to the rules and traditions of the past.
Sandy Brooks, wedding planner and owner of Timeless Event Planning, echoed this sentiment, saying couples should adapt traditions to reflect what and who they value.
If you don’t want to do a cake cutting or incorporate parent dances, then nix them.
You’re wasting money on wedding favors
Jennifer Bennour, wedding planner and owner of Fete du Jour Events, said favors are popular but also a waste of money.
They can often be left behind and go to waste after the wedding since many guests forget to grab them.
“If you really have something special you want your guests to take away from the weekend, incorporate this element into the escort cards,” Bennour suggested.
That way, they have to take something with crucial info, such as what table they are sitting at.
Clearly communicate with your vendors
Communication is key. Your vendors know that you’ve likely never planned a wedding before, and they want to guide you through the process, according to wedding photographer Kari Bjorn.
Additionally, Roby added that good communication can keep the vendor and client in sync throughout the planning process, leaving less room for surprises and disappointment.
“I love couples who can get on a call at least once a month to discuss updates and next steps,” Roby told Insider. “This just makes for a beautiful friendship when planning.”
Provide food for your vendors
For vendors that are at your wedding all day, Williams said, it’s greatly appreciated and expected for you to provide food.
“They do not need nor expect to eat filet mignon like your guests, but they are working through mealtimes and need the energy to continue through the day,” he told Insider.
Hire a professional day-of wedding coordinator
Weddings have many moving parts that need to come together at the right time. Tatiana Valerie, wedding photographer and founder of Artvesta Studio, said it’s not the couple’s job to coordinate transportation, set up tables, and keep track of vendors and schedules.
Additionally, Williams said venues will often provide a wedding coordinator, but if not, it’s worth hiring one to smooth out all of these details.
“You want to enjoy the day and not be bothered by your vendors or problems that arise,” he told Insider. “We don’t like bothering you just as much as you like not being bothered.”
Tip vendors who do an exceptional job
Nickel said tipping is very personal to each couple and varies based on the particular vendor you booked. She advised that gratuity is not expected but always appreciated for a job well done.
“Tipping for wedding services has become quite common, however, it isn’t expected by most wedding pros, with a few exceptions,” she told Insider.
Tips are considered a pleasant surprise and token of appreciation for your vendors.
Be more thoughtful of your guests
Maureen Cotton, wedding coach and officiate of The Soulful Wedding, said when you’ve invited 200 people to your wedding, you can’t really call it “your day” anymore.
“As soon as you start to invite others, the day is about the guests as well, so adopt that mindset,” she told Insider.
The wedding coach said couples who want everything to go their own way every minute of the day should elope. That way, they can focus on their own preferences.
Leave a review for your favorite vendors
If you loved the work of a specific vendor, planner, or venue, write a review about your experience.
“This will help other couples see the hard work and excellent product they put together,” Williams told Insider.
He added that the wedding industry heavily relies on referrals, so a few nice words can go a long way.