Posts tagged coordinator
The Secrets behind Vendor Selection (that no one talks about)
After, what I would consider, a substantial amount of time in the industry, I think I have some advice on vendor selection that may be helpful to brides.  This may or may not be information that you would have previously considered or even thought about.  While I am not trying to say that it is typical of vendors to be untruthful about their abilities, in the day and age of "anyone can be anything with a good website", you need to be more careful.

1- ASSOCIATIONS: If your vendor belongs to an association, that is wonderful!  First thing you need to do is find out what it takes to become a Member of the association, in order to understand how "wonderful" that really makes your vendor.  Some associations just require a payment.  Yes, that is it.  Your DJ can be "certified by the "Amazing Wonderful Awesome DJ Association of America", and all he had to do was pay them $100.  While other associations have a lengthy review process and even referral requirements.  Find out which one your vendor participates in.

2- REFERRALS: Another thing that usually helps with choosing a vendor is referrals.  Some vendors just have "quotes" on their website, while others will offer you the numbers of several clients to contact.  Keep in mind, NO ONE, is going to give you the phone number to an unhappy client.  You'll need to know what matters most to you before you call, so that you have specific questions for the client.  "Were they on time?"  "How long did setup take?"  "How do you know the vendor or how did you find the vendor?"  "What type of attire did they wear?"  Sometimes even a simple "When did you last work with the vendor?" may bring up surprising information, such as "Eight years ago" and in that case, you might want to find someone who can offer useful, up to date, referrals. 

3- PHOTOGRAPHY: I am not referring to photographers.  I am referring to the photos that some vendors use on their site that have been provided by photographers.  A florist can do "okay" designs but when working with an "amazing" photographer, those designs/centerpieces/arrangements come out looking spectacular.  I'll be kicked out of the Wedding Planner Club for this one, but even some wedding planners can provide pictures of events that they worked, but that doesn't mean what you see has anything to do with what they did, sometimes they didn't even coordinate the vendors OR their work.  A Wedding Planner can work with great vendors to create a great day, that you CAN tell from a photo.  A Wedding Planner may not be able to create the design, color, creativity, layout and themes that you see, that you CAN'T tell from a photo.  Sometimes, if you are inclined, it is okay to ask Planners what part they had in the design of certain photos.  Don't count on your Planner to be able to create 6-story high centerpieces OR to even be able to setup place cards JUST because they show photos of those things.

I know, I know no one wants to hear this awful truth but it must be told.  I have researched many "Wedding Planner" sites and some of them, after investing time and energy to review, are nothing more than someone who has seen Jennifer Lopez in The Wedding Planner, one too many times.  You can't tell JUST from someone's website, so do your research.  Don't be fooled by the pretty pictures and the "I love you" quotes from clients.

I'll continue to expose the secrets of vendor selections (that no one wants to talk about) as the months go on, eventually you'll be able to sift through the Flash Sites and fancy blogs and find what matters!
The first week of Business
So, I've got the company up and running. Got the site going but it is absolutely a constant work in progress. I always find things that could be better, and the we change them and find something else. It is definitely an issue of knowing that 90% of my potential clients are going to judge me based solely on my website. I do the same thing as I'm going through looking for local vendors to work with. I know that isn't fair because some of the best people have the worst sites, but how else can you make that call when you don't know someone? With that thought process I am constantly trying to improve my site. If anyone ever has suggestions, I am always open to them. Since I know how important the site is and I also know that I am good at what I do, I need to make sure it all gets relayed to any potential clients as they click their way through my site.

Business cards have been designed and after a very long wait they have arrived. Might I say, they are pretty amazing. Once again, I believe what you present to your clients has to say everything about you, so the cards were also very important to me. They are very sleek and orderly, like I wanted them to be. I think the colors that I chose (for the site and for the cards) represent the "fun" that I want people to know they will have when working with me.

The biggest news is that I got my first client! That's right after a week in business I signed a contract with a client! It was the best feeling I've had in a long time and a really great way to get the ball rolling. Her wedding is July 11th and to be honest, she's quite possibly, the best 1st client I could have asked for. I feel like getting my first piece of business deserves more than just 3 lines but words just don't quite cut it.

I am now working on developing relationships with local vendors. Getting to know everyone that is out there and in the industry. I think it is SO important to really KNOW and TRUST the people that you refer. I am really big on having a real relationship with people so that I can depend on them. I can't just refer anyone I find in a listing, I need to see and know their work before I'll even consider it. I might be a little overly cautious but I will definitely stick with the mantra that it is "better to be safe than to be sorry." I've already come across some really amazing people that I look forward to having the opportunity to work with in these coming years.

Have a happy 4th of July! If you've got a party planned today, you should have hired me to coordinate it!