Tag Archives: vendors

February 16

Bride’s Diary: Managing Your Vendors

Wedding Paper Divas is bursting with staff grooms and brides-to-be who are currently planning their weddings. We’re happy to share their stories with you as a part of this fun feature!

The day is getting closer and closer and it is starting to sink in that in just 72 days I will be married! With the major items booked and ordered, the planning process is starting to feel much more relaxed. The calm before the storm!

With the details coming into place I have been emailing with my vendors a lot more. This is where being organized is very helpful and also having a fabulous day-of coordinator who has helped me start constructing the day-of details.

Here are some tips with vendor management before the big day:

  1. Keep a spreadsheet of your vendors with their contact information as well as payment information. In my wedding binder I have copies of the contracts, checks deposited and invoices for each vendor. In the front section I have a calendar with payment dates so I don’t forget. I would also recommend putting this information in your phone or whatever calendar you like to use.
  2. It’s important to email vendors with any restrictions, timing changes, etc. as soon as you get the information. This will save a lot of headaches as the big day gets closer or on the day itself.
  3. Confirm the arrival and departure time of every vendor and put that in your spreadsheet to reference.
  4. Never feel like you are annoying them. If you have questions or concerns let them know. They want your day to be just as perfect as you do.

Do you have any tips on how you’re managing your vendors or how you managed them during your wedding planning?

Meet Ashley

Ashley and Adam met a little over three years ago when they were both out with friends at a bar. They spent the night talking about sports and dealing with other friends’ drama. A few days later they went on their first date and have been inseparable since. Three years later, Adam popped the question to a very surprised Ashley!

Ashley and Adam are getting married April 28, 2012 at Villa Montalvo in Saratoga, California.

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December 20

Bride’s Diary: Don’t Panic!

Wedding Paper Divas is bursting with staff grooms and brides-to-be who are currently planning their weddings. We’re happy to share their stories with you as a part of this fun feature!

You know when life is cruising along, things are somewhat perfect and bam! It stops you right in your track and reminds you that you are not as in control as you think? Well this happened to me in a major way last week.

I had gotten a voicemail from my venue that said, “Please call us back as soon as possible, it’s regarding your wedding date.” I knew it was not good. And it wasn’t. The venue, Ralston Hall, is an old mansion built in the 1800’s and when you live in California (earthquake zone) old buildings like this are inspected annually. These inspections lead to the closure of Ralston Hall due to seismic issues with the building. Once my coordinator said informed me of that, I bawled.  So many things were running through my head and I felt like I was having a panic attack. There are only four months until my wedding… what am I going to do? If this happens to you, DON’T PANIC!

It stinks, I know, but it’s a lot more common than you think. I found out that a lot of my friends went through the same thing—some with just three months until the big day. Thankfully the staff there was wonderful and called around to see what venues were still available on our date. Even the ones I called that weren’t on that list knew what was going on and offered their assistance.

So what should you do if you find yourself in this situation?

  1. Don’t panic!
  2. It’s okay to cry and freak out, but once you have calmed down you need to move on and find an alternative venue.
  3. Check with your venue to see if they can assist in finding you other venues that are still open on your date.
  4. Notify your vendors of the situation. They might know of great places to look for a new venue—especially your caterer.
  5. Notify your guests ASAP, especially if the invites have already gone out (you can choose to do this after you have booked a new venue if you want).
  6. When you are looking for another venue, make sure to let them know your situation and also let them know you have booked all of your vendors (if you have). They hopefully will waive any fees associated with bringing in a vendor that is not on their list (hotels will be the hardest to do this with since they usually have their own catering).
  7. Start setting up appointments to look at places right away.
  8. Once you have found something, notify your vendors so they can adjust their schedule if needed.

You will find something, I promise! The wedding will go on and you must remember that the most important thing is you are marrying your best friend.

Thankfully, we ended up finding a venue much closer to home which is great! It’s called Villa Montalvo in Saratoga, California and I cannot wait to host our wedding there!

Meet Ashley

Ashley and Adam met a little over three years ago when they were both out with friends at a bar. They spent the night talking about sports and dealing with other friends’ drama. A few days later they went on their first date and have been inseparable since. Three years later, Adam popped the question to a very surprised Ashley!

Ashley and Adam are getting married April 28, 2012 at Villa Montalvo in Saratoga, California.

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July 14

Feed your vendors, too!

One of the often-ignored topics in wedding planning is how to treat your vendors the day of the wedding, namely your DJ, Band, Wedding Planner, Photographer, Videographer or anyone that is present throughout the day of the event.  Although these people may not be on your guest list, it’s often common courtesy to at least assume they’ll want to eat a meal.  It’s something to think about as you make your guest list and submit your final head count for food.  You’ll also want to consider where the vendors will eat.  Will you have a table set aside for them that is part of the guest floor plan?  Will you have a table in a separate, private room?  Chances are good they’re only going to take a short break to eat, so choose accordingly.

There is one exception: when it comes to the officiant of your wedding, you should always count him/her and their significant other as an invited guest.  Send them an invitation like you would to any of your other guests. They’re the only vendor allowed to even go near the bar as well!  You definitely don’t want a drunk photographer taking your wedding photos.

meal

Personally, I spoke to each of my vendors individually about their preferences.  I offered them the opportunity for one of the menu items and a seating arrangement.  In the end, all of my vendors preferred having a sandwich/condiments/hour d’oeuvres tray that they could quickly grab a bite from in a private section of the reception hall.  Whatever you choose, know that they’re all bound to be appreciative of your thoughtfulness (and maybe even do an extra-excellent job!).  Happy planning!

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February 3

Diva Dish: Tipping Your Vendors

Dear Divas,

My wedding is coming up in two short weeks and someone just told me that I am expected to tip all of my vendors…including the band and the baker that’s making our cake!  I’m already paying so much for each vendor, the expense of having to tip them in addition to everything else really hurts my budget.  So, do I really have to tip them? If so, how much?!  And which vendors?!  Please help, this is all news to me!

Busted Budgeter

money

Dear Busted Budgeter,

First off, remember:  to receive a tip is a privilege, not a right.  Regardless, it is a pretty regular practice to tip your vendors on the day of the wedding.  There are certain vendors where a tip is more expected than others, including the hair stylist/makeup artist, officiant of your ceremony, delivery and setup staff, reception staff, and the person in charge of transportation (such as a limo or bus driver).  For all the other vendors, a tip is optional, however, if they do a great job or go above and beyond, the right thing to do would be to give them a tip.

Tips don’t have to be astronomically large.  Also, remember:  if your vendor owns the company, you do not have to give them a tip.  If they are an employee of a company, it’s nice to give them a tip.  Use the list below as a guideline:

*Please note:  Tips should not exceed $150 in any case except for the officiant.  For example, let’s say your limo was $2500.  10% of $2500 is $250–well over the $150 limit.  Therefore, you’d only give them $150.

Banquet or Catering Manager:$50-100, but this is not common.

Bartenders:  10% of your total liquor bill, divided between all bartenders.

Ceremony Musician: $15-20 per person

DJ/Band:  $20-25 per musician, $50-$150 for DJs

Florist:  $10-20 per staff member for delivery and setup.

Limo/Bus Driver: 10-15%

Makeup Artist/Hairstylist:  15%

Officiant:  If you paid to use a church or synagogue and they are associated with it, $100-200.  If you did not, a donation of $500+ is normal.  If it is a non-denominational officiant, $50-$100 if they are already charging you for their services.

Photographers: Do not tip if they own the company.  If they don’t, $50 per photographer.

Valet Parking Attendants:  $0.50 to $1.00 per car.

Wait Staff:  15% of the total catering bill (make sure it’s not already included!)

Wedding Cake Baker: $10 for delivery, if you’re there at the time of delivery only.

Wedding Coordinator: $50

Wedding Planner:  If they helped plan the wedding from start to finish, 10% of total bill.

Remember to tip all of your vendors in cash.  To save time and confusion, assign someone that is helping with your wedding to be in charge of tips at the end of the night.  Prior to the wedding day, divide all of your tips in cash in to envelopes and label them.  This way, you won’t get confused about what goes to who.  You can always adjust your tips later if you think someone deserves more or less than what you originally decided on.  Good luck and congratulations on your upcoming wedding!

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