Are you a Vendor…or a Wedding Professional?

vendorThe end of a busy wedding season always brings reflection. I thought about a conversation I had with a good entertainer friend who said that he didn’t like to be called a “vendor”; that made him sound like a machine that dispenses music. I took that to heart because everyone involved with a successful wedding works so hard, so I have been trying to change my reference to “wedding professionals.” Our “Best of the Best Wedding Professionals,” are, in my opinion, the finest in the industry and I love working with each of them and always encourage our new couples to check them out. After 130+ weddings this year I don’t always see our preferred professionals and I am compelled to ask…”ARE YOU A VENDOR…OR A WEDDING PROFESSIONAL?”

I always talk to our professionals to see what we can do to make their experience here more efficient or what we can do to help them work better. And I have some notes about things I’ve seen, none from our professionals, that would make a much more positive impact on the wedding and each of our experiences with each other.

  • I would not come to your house and move the furniture around and I expect the same consideration in mine. We really want you to get the most perfect pictures you can and almost always give the ok, but sometimes certain pieces are antiques or have some special conditions to be addressed before pushing them out of the way. Also, move everything back to where you found it. We do not have time to follow you around and straighten up after you made a mess of our setting. And this particular pet peeve of mine involves standing on my chairs to take pictures. Buy a $25 step stool from K-Mart for gosh sakes. Can’t tell you how many times a guest sees the photographer just get off their chair and recoil that they have to sit in their good clothes on the seat you stood on with your dirty shoes or smelly socks.
  • Setting up and breaking down is hard work, but if you are in view of guests, professionals should be dressed. I faced this problem myself so we got black crew tee shirts for the staff and now they look good serving or setting up. It really sets a cheesy tone when, as the last song is played, everyone rushes and changes into the most ragged tee shirts, ripped jeans, and torn dirty sneakers. When we are “on stage” we should remain “on stage” until all the guests have left. Work attire is a dicey topic, but I feel that if you want the title of professional, you should dress the part. Again, I see the best of the best rolling around on the ground or standing out on a dock in dress slacks, shoes and looking decent the entire night. Jeans, torn clothes, worn sneakers, and unkempt hair are just unacceptable attire for me.
  • During the ceremony it’s not only about getting “The Shot.” I view my preferred professionals, out of the way, at the end of the aisle filming or taking shots with cameras with the appropriate lenses, and I work with the best. Then there the ones that stand with their camera in the couples face, blocking parents and a majority of guests view of a special part of the celebration, pushing them out of the way to get “The Shot”. There should be consideration for the parents especially, and the friends and family to be able to see the ceremony, dances, and toasts.
  • Leave your workspace the way you found it. It astounds me how much trash like batteries, water bottles, coffee cups, tape, ink cartridges, photo clippings, etc. is left on tables or floors. Recently after a band left, it took one half a large trash bag to clean their area.
  • One of the most offensive things I see is that some vendors feel that they are allowed to drink. I don’t know many jobs where you are allowed to drink, unless you are a beer or liquor taster! I don’t drink when I am at work and neither should wedding professionals. We should always strive to be at our best, sharp looking and sharp thinking. Pilots, doctors, train conductors all have strict provisions about drinking and I believe what we do for our couples is as important to them as that.
  • In return, We try to treat our professionals as guests. I will amend my schedule to accommodate a sunset, or photo request. We serve a meal the same quality as a guest would get. I will always let a band or dee jay, play that extra song or two. I invite you to join the cocktail hour if time permits.

I am so looking forward to an exciting 2017 and working with all the wonderful people in the wedding industry. Let’s all continue to make magic.

~Don

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We’d love to hear from you!

If you are one of our Best Of The Best Wedding Professionals, who has advice for other professionals we left out… we’d love to hear from you. Just comment below!