Usually Thursdays are dedicated to posts about etiquette or helpful tips, but an experience this week forced me to write about something else: a lack of respect for wedding vendors.
We fill our lives with so much mass-produced mediocrity that it’s easy to forget what true service and quality really are. I want couples to know that their wedding vendors work exceptionally hard to help you plan and execute a perfect day. This is what we do as a job, because we love it, and because we need to pay the bills and feed our families. Just like everyone else. Treating your wedding vendors with the same dignity and respect you’d expect should go without saying but, sadly, that doesn’t always happen.
When you hire me, and most professionals, you’re doing so because you want the benefit of our expertise, experience and creative imagination. You trust that we will do a good job for you and that we’ll usually bend over backward to get you whatever you require — within reason, of course. It’s that’s last bit where things go off the rails sometimes.
Expecting your vendors to deal with bad behavior because “I’m a bride/groom and I should get whatever I want,” is — pardon my language — a load of bullshit. Saying yes to your intended and slipping that ring onto your freshly manicured finger is no reason to transform from rational human into a spoiled brat. Please get over yourself.
I’m married and I totally get that your wedding is (ideally) an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime event. You want every last detail to be perfect. But, if you think about it, your wedding is a few hours out of your whole life. Making everyone around you miserable in the lead up to the main event is not a good look and doesn’t make anyone feel good about celebrating with you. Here are a few ideas to help, hopefully, keep things in perspective.
- Educate yourself about what you want vs. what you need for your wedding day.
- Make sure you know what your budget will allow and what is off limits. Falling in love with a dress, flowers or venue you can’t afford only leads to heartbreak.
- Instead of shopping price, work with vendors you click with, who “get” you and who can create exactly what you want within your budget.
- Respect that your wedding vendors have lives and families. Just because you think about your wedding 24 hours a day doesn’t mean we do. We take days off and don’t answer calls or emails in the middle of the night. We shouldn’t have to apologize for that.
- Understand that yours isn’t the only event on our calendar. If you’re getting married in December, don’t expect that I’m going to forget about my June couples just to make you happy.
- Before getting too wound up over a wedding detail ask yourself, “Will I care about it this much the day after the wedding?” If the answer is no, you should probably let it go. Trust me: no one is going to notice (or deem your wedding the worst ever) if the flower girl’s sash doesn’t exactly match the escort card ribbons.
- Respect our time. If you’re “just looking,” please say so. If you can’t articulate what you want, rip pages out of magazines or link to images from Pinterest to help your vendors understand your vision. We maybe very good at what we do but are not mind readers.
This bit is specific to stationery and what set off this post: A wedding invitation is not a neon sign à la Times Square. Anything too gaudy, big, or showy is going to distract people from the beauty of your actual invitations. You’re inviting them to your wedding not a Las Vegas nightclub (unless your venue really is a Vegas club). It is important that you consider the style, theme, level of formality, and the message you want to send as you choose the invitation to your wedding. If you want an invitation suite emblazoned on to a disco ball to be as “bling-y” as possible, à deux isn’t the studio for that. Sure, a custom stationer can do whatever the client asks but there’s comes a point where what’s being asked isn’t at a taste level I feel comfortable with.
Even though I don’t brand our wedding stationery with my company logo (more on that later), I will not produce a product that I am not 100% proud to have my name associated with. That’s a core part of my mission statement and non-negotiable.
Most of the couples I work with respect my time and my creative judgement. While you’re looking at completely custom design concepts and judging them as “plain,” in the background, we’re trying to juggle the order’s creative requirements, the budget, what’s available from the paper manufacturers, and a reasonable production timeline. I’m constantly managing the project management triangle.
Please know that we are working very hard for you. Respect what we do and we’ll break our backs to make your wedding unforgettable.
P.S. If you don’t mind a bit of a rant, please come back next week for help with your stationery timeline.