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  • Writer's pictureAmanda Borerro

The DON'Ts of Wedding Vendor Relationships

Updated: Apr 25

As wedding professionals, one of our largest referral sources are from other vendors we work with! Maintaining great relationships with them is important, so what happens when we don’t form the best relationship with each vendor we come across? Not clicking with someone professionally because of their attitude or work ethic can happen, we can’t be best friends with everyone.  No matter the way we feel towards a vendor, there are a few “DON'Ts” that we should abide by: 1) don’t put a vendor down to your peers,  2) don’t bad-mouth your “blacklisted” vendors to clients, and 3) definitely don’t treat a vendor negatively. 

Imagine you’re working a wedding, and you are just SO fed up with the DJ because they keep missing your cues and not paying attention to your direction whatsoever. You’re ready to walk over to another vendor and  vent because you’re annoyed — stop, and consider the repercussions that come with doing just that. By bad mouthing another vendor, especially during an event, you can cause disharmony between the rest of the vendors, and that is the last thing you want. To have a successful event, we need the vendors working as a team, and breaking that unity just sets yourself up for failure. Not to mention, speaking badly about another vendor is distasteful, and you will not be seen in a positive light after that small, yet lasting mistake. Always choose to be kind and exemplify professionalism. 

Now, let’s talk about our blacklist. We all have one — the list of vendors we do not work with. It is important to find out who our potential clients have already hired, or are considering hiring. One thing you need to ask in your inquiry response email is, “what vendors have you hired?” By posing this question at the beginning of the inquiry process, we can determine whether we're in a position to accept the couple as clients. As Certified Wedding Planners, we maintain an Approved Vendor List, comprising a diverse range of wedding professionals who have undergone our vetting process. This list serves as a resource for engaged couples, facilitating their search for the ideal wedding professional. We prioritize working with credible, responsible, and professional individuals who enhance the overall experience. This policy not only safeguards our clients but also upholds our reputation within the industry. Each wedding professional we collaborate with reflects our reputation in the industry, making it imperative to maintain standards of excellence.

If the potential client mentions a vendor who is on our blacklist, the only way we should proceed is with professionalism. It’s so easy to recount a bad wedding day, or terrible encounter with that vendor that is blacklisted, but our response to the client matters. It's one of the first impressions a potential client is getting from you and you want every conversation to be positive. You can simply state that this particular vendor isn’t on your “Approved Vendor List” but you can recommend other incredible vendors in that category. You can also back up your statement by reassuring the client that they are hiring you to help make the best possible decisions for their wedding day, and with that, you’re helping curate the best vendor team that you have personally vetted. It's important to build trust with your client rather than a bad rep. 

We’ve learned not to talk bad about vendors to others, but how about the way we treat these vendors ourselves? I can recall a photographer trying to pick a fight with me when discussing sunset photos. The photographer was adamant that they emailed us regarding this timeline addition (which was not at the client's request, nor did it make sense with the current flow). Unfortunately, they did not and instead of trying to resolve the issue in front of the client and treating the photographer harshly back, I requested they step aside with me so we can make the next call accordingly. The photographer was quite stunned at my reaction and it is all because I stood my ground in the kindest way. When we get pushed into a tough spot, we have to constantly remind ourselves about the golden rule: treat others how you want to be treated. It’s as simple as that! We all want respect at the end of the day, so treat others with a positive attitude and a resolving spirit.

Content provided by Amanda Ferreira-Borrero, Owner of For the Love of Events and Certified Educator for the CWP Society. She holds the following certifications: CWP Society Certified Educator and Certified Wedding Planner.  Her educator specialty is cultivating vendor relationships.

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