When it comes to Indian wedding planning, most brides dive right in. You probably got some recommendations from friends or family about who to use, but nobody actually says anything about HOW to work with your Indian wedding vendors.
If you want to get ahead and get on the good side of your vendors, check out these 10 tricks to get you on the right foot.
1. Not getting a good feeling from working with your Indian wedding vendors
You’ll be working with your vendors for at least the next six to twelve months depending on when you wedding is. Your vendor doesn’t need to be your BFF, but get that good gut feeling after your initial meeting or conversation. It doesn’t matter if the vendor is a reference from a friend, you should still get that good feeling!
2. Over negotiating
Yes, you’re Indian and all Indians like to negotiate anything and everything. It’s ok to negotiate a little but don’t overdo it. If your parents are helping you pay for the wedding (or paying for all of your wedding), encourage them NOT to be “Guju” about over negotiating.
At the end of the day, you want to be on your vendors’ good side no matter how much you’re paying for their services. Over negotiating can be seen as insulting to your vendor, and it’ll probably put a bad taste in their mouth.
3. Not doing your own research if you’re using references from friends and family
Everyone loves a good reference, whether it’s Indian wedding vendors or real estate agents. Getting references works well, but do your own research too.
Check out your vendor’s website, look for reviews there and on sites like theknot.com and Maharani Weddings. Ask around if anyone else you know used that vendor to confirm consistent experiences with that vendor.
4. Not reading contracts carefully and not asking questions
Don’t sign any contract until you’ve read the ENTIRE contract! Yes, it’s tedious and I know it’s easy to make your fiancee read the contracts on your behalf. But trust me, read your contracts!
Check out the post on what you need to look for in wedding contracts for your Indian wedding – it’ll give you all of the details you need to know before you sign any contract.
5. Not communicating properly with your Indian wedding vendors
Vendors can’t read your mind, they’re human too. Maximize the relationship with your vendors by communicating effectively.
Check out the Bonus Tip in the post, 11 Things You Didn’t Know about Wedding Planning (after #6) on sending meeting recaps after every vendor meeting. Recording notes and getting on the same page as your vendors is the key to organized Indian wedding planning.
6. Not pushing vendors outside the box
Vendors are in business for a reason. They’re good at what they do. They’ve seen good ideas and not so great ideas and will make suggestions based on that experience.
That doesn’t mean you can’t bring something new into the mix. Trust that your vendors know what they’re talking about, but also make suggestions to push them outside the box.
For example, many decorators default the Indian wedding mandap location to a far wall of the venue. Why is that? Sometimes there is no reason.
Ask about setting up your mandap in the middle of your venue to create a different look (not to mention more opportunities for guests to view the ceremony).
7. Not using venue-approved vendors
After you secure an Indian wedding venue, your venue coordinator might suggest working with certain bakeries or caterers. Don’t assume it’s because they get a cutback from these vendors. They may get a cutback, but who cares.
Most times they’re suggesting the vendors since the vendors are familiar with the venue, how to work with the venue staff, venue rules, in and outs of the venue – entrances/exits, etc.
I found that working with recommended vendors worked to my advantage. Not only did the venue staff already know the vendors but they were more inclined to going the extra mile with the services they were providing for our wedding.
8. Not asking for timelines
Vendors always work with their own timelines but sometimes they’re not so great about communicating what those timelines are.
Yes, they know your wedding date but when do you need to make selections and when is the last date to decide on certain parts of the wedding? Ask your vendor to lay out dates or milestones to help you organize your time.
For example, with your florist, work with your vendor to write out all of the big decisions that need to be made, then work through the list to write down rough deadline milestones.
Items could include, Bridal party flowers, mandap flowers, mock up of the final centerpiece, final decision, etc.
9. Not being consistent with feedback and ideas
It’s ok to change your mind about what you want, but try to keep it to a minimum. Use Pinterest and the internet to help you with your ideas, and once you’ve decided on an idea, stick with it.
Check out the post: Get Off to the Right Start: 3 Indian Wedding Planning Steps on being confident with your decisions (aka not flip-flopping!).
10. Being a Bridezilla
It’s the opposite of a Bridechilla. Yes, you can be a Bridechilla! Vendors don’t want to work with Bridezillas anyway. Think about it, if you’re a Bridezilla, do you think your vendor will go above and beyond for you?
Probably not. It doesn’t matter how much you pay for their services, they may just meet expectations instead of exceeding expectations. What’s the incentive to them? Not much!
For our wedding, our decorator worked so well with us. We picked our main decor elements and then I told her to run with the rest. We didn’t negotiate much and we didn’t push back much. She was great.
When it came to our wedding weekend, she ended up adding at least $500 worth of extra decor to our wedding. She said she did it because we were easy to work with and didn’t give her any hassles.
I’m not telling this story to gloat, but instead to show you that vendors will go the extra mile if you let them.
Don’t bring a group to your vendor meetings. Bring a parent or two to your initial meetings, then try to handle subsequent meetings with your significant other or on your own. You can collect feedback from your parents and then discuss it with your vendor.
If your parents are insistent on coming to the meetings, set up an agenda in advance with your vendor. Be sure to share the agenda with your parents to help drive the conversation.
It’s so easy to go off track at vendor meetings and a simple agenda can help guide the way.
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