So, you just got engaged and you have no idea where to start or when to reach out to potential wedding vendors?! Read on & let me help you!

As a professional wedding photographer, I have my fair share of communicating with other vendors as well as communicating with couples. The first contact you have with vendors can be so important for each side. It gives us a chance to get a feel of how well you might get along and work together! I am here to give you the best tips and advice to communicating with a professional wedding vendor.

How to communicate with wedding vendors

As a wedding photographer, I have specific preferred ways of learning about you and your wedding. Most vendors also have a preferred way of communication. Make sure to read a little about the process of working with a vendor before reaching out! If you are reaching out to me, I prefer to have you fill out a contact form on my website here. This gives me all of the information necessary to respond in a timely manner and with accuracy about availability and if we are a good fit. When filling out a contact form for a wedding vendor, make sure you answer the questions fully (no this isn’t english class, but it does help us get to know you better)! Here is a screen grab of the top of my contact form, and many vendors will have something similar.

Wedding inquiry form screen grab from Bailey Alex Photography. Wedding Vendors inquiry form.

Building a Successful Relationship with Wedding Vendors

One of the most important parts of the initial inquiry is building an instant relationship with the vendor. I know you are likely reaching out to many different vendors and even multiple of each vendor you will need. It still remains important to invest time in each inquiry. Your vendors are choosing you as much as you are choosing your vendors.

Another point I want to address is budget questions. If you are price shopping, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. But there are some ways to approach the question that won’t be off-putting to a potential vendor. First of all, please please check a vendor’s pricing page if they have one and their FAQs before inquiring. This will give you the information necessary to make sure you don’t waste yours or the vendor’s time.

If after viewing those two things, you still have questions, please ask. Just make sure you answer all of the other questions on the form as well to show that you are invested in working with that vendor. If a vendor can clearly tell that you don’t value their work and that you are price shopping, they will be more likely to not respond. Even if they do respond, they won’t be as invested in the relationship.

Timeline for Pre-Booking Communication with Vendors

It is never too early to start sending feelers out to potential vendors, especially those with high demand and higher price tags. There are a few reasons to reach out early, so let’s dive right in!

  1. Reaching out early will help you find a vendor who is still available. Many vendors book 12-24 months in advance, and many times our calendars will fill up really fast for open dates. As soon as you are ready to start the hiring process, reach out. If you are not ready to hire, wait to make contact until you are ready to avoid confusion about availability.
  2. Once you reach out, expect a response within 24-48 hours during the work week, unless otherwise stated. I always try to respond in 24 hours. If I can’t do that, I will reach out on social media to let you know at least if I am available or not for your date. In the initial email response, you can expect to receive all the information about pricing and packages.
  3. The next step for many vendors may vary. For me, the next step includes scheduling a Facetime to chat more about your wedding day. We will also pinpoint a package that will work best for you. For other vendors, you may be able to go straight to booking and put a deposit down.
  4. If a vendor offers you an opportunity to Facetime or call before booking, it’s in your best interest to do that to help you build trust with that vendor. Personally, I love getting to know a little more about your vision and what kind of photos you are drawn to. It also gives you a chance to ask any and all questions and get a quick answer.

Time line for Post-Booking Communication with Vendors

  1. After booking, which consists of signing a contract and paying a deposit, there are likely a few different times you will communicate with each vendor. For me, the first point of contact after booking is scheduling your engagement session. For other vendors, there are likely other questions you may need to answer or you may need to schedule a tasting, vision meeting, or trial run.
  2. After your engagement session, you are welcome to keep an open line of communication with me to ask any wedding related questions. I love getting to be a part of planning and helping you optimize your wedding day plans to get the most out of me being there.
  3. Once we are about 4-6 weeks out from your wedding, I will be in touch with a questionnaire to learn the final details about your day including logistics and a little more precise vision for photos you desire.
  4. Finally, we will do a wedding consult to go over any last minute questions you have as well as plan your day of timeline. You should expect to do this with all of your vendors to make sure that everyone is on the same page for delivery of items, photo times, and any other large details. If you wish for your wedding planner to be a part of each of these meetings, make sure to invite them along with you!

Final Thoughts

Communication is such a huge part of working with a wedding vendor. If you and your chosen vendors don’t have open communication it will hinder your wedding experience. On the other hand, keeping an open line of communication and responding quickly to your wedding vendors can set you up for a very smooth-running, successful wedding day!

Vendor Communication: When & How to Talk to Vendors

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