Wedding management is a tough job. I know a lot of wedding planners who actually dislike wedding management so much they won’t even entertain the idea of doing it. Why? Because oftentimes when it comes to wedding management, you are at the mercy of your vendor team. Since you did not handpick your vendor team, you can end up with an unprofessional vendor every now and then. And, in turn, your reputation may be questioned as a result of their bad actions.
Wedding Management Clients
As someone who specializes in wedding management, I’ve been a victim of this exact situation. I will never forget the time a guest chewed me out for serving raw chicken… when in fact it was the catering company who served the chicken. A vendor’s mistake is always reflected on the wedding planner. I do love a challenge, though. And maybe that makes me good at what I do. I have come to the conclusion that the more organized you are ahead of time, the better prepared you will be for the unexpected.
Preferred Vendor List
Though I leave it up to the couple to decide who they want to hire, I always send them a preferred vendor list. I pride myself on the fact that I can get along with any vendor. So if they don’t choose one from my list, I don’t sweat it. If I get a feeling they are a “friendor” and not a professional, I will mention this in an email. Keeping a written record is extremely important. I will say something like this:
Hi XXX, I just spoke with XXX and I have a feeling there is a lack of wedding experience there. This is not a problem and I will help them as much as humanly possible; however, I’m not a magician. I wanted to prepare you in advance and warn you that there might be a hiccup or two with this vendor. They seem like great people who are dedicated to their craft, but weddings are a different kind of beast. Again, I will help in any way they need so long as they ask, but I just wanted to give you a heads-up. I’m all about working as a team for a magical wedding day experience.
I don’t like pointing fingers or playing the blame game, but I have been around the block and I know from personal experience that a bad vendor can ruin a wedding day.
Policies and Procedures
If you’re offering wedding management services, it’s important to have a set of policies and procedures in place. I like to include them in my welcome sequence. By doing this, you are creating rules and boundaries everyone can follow. Wedding management clients sometimes don’t understand the full scope of your service, and you might randomly get requests for calling vendors, going to vendor meetings, or designing their wedding. Remember, if they need extra help, you can always send a contract amendment and an updated invoice.
I send a client worksheet 60 days before the wedding. This worksheet asks a lot of detailed questions about the reception and about the ceremony. It is due 30 days before the wedding. I take all of the information from this questionnaire and create a detailed picture of the wedding events. You can find this questionnaire in our Wedding Management Planner Kit.
I also ask all wedding management clients to complete our vendor worksheet. This worksheet has all the necessary contact information for me to 1) call to confirm all the vendors and 2) add the vendors to my future blog post. This is due at the 30-day mark too. I use HoneyBook to send questionnaires to clients.
At the 30-day mark we do a site visit. This is where I walk the venue grounds with my client and we discuss their vision. Usually, the venue coordinator is with us, but not always. At this time, I go over the client worksheet and vendor worksheet.
After the site visit and once I understand the ceremony a little better, I send the ceremony details to my client. This is a document confirming the order of the wedding party. If you are confused about organizing a ceremony, the Wedding Ceremony Planner Kit will walk you through the entire planning process to help you feel confident and in control.
Weekly Phone Meetings
Once we have our site visit, we start our weekly phone meetings. I have a list of questions I go through to make sure the client isn’t missing any necessary pieces of the puzzle. After our call, I will write a summary of what stills needs to be done. As a wedding manager, I’m not responsible for completing these tasks; I just make my client aware of what needs to be done. If you’re not sure what to ask during this call, check out our Wedding Management Planner Kit.
The week of the wedding, I request their Inventory List. I want to know what they are bringing in and where it all goes. In our last and final call, we discuss this worksheet in detail. I tell them how I want boxes labeled and let them know that everything needs to pre-assembled.
Four days before the wedding, I send out my master timeline. By this point, I have confirmed all the vendors and their arrival times. Having an accurate timeline is one of the most important jobs you have.
Working with wedding management clients can be difficult. Sometimes they expect too much but pay too little. The best way to make them happy is to set expectations right from the beginning. Let them know what they can expect for their money. If you would like to understand wedding management better, check out our Wedding Management Planner Kit.