Weigh your options, then decide

When planning your wedding, you will encounter more details, deadlines and deposits than you probably ever have. You may have budget restrictions, a strong desire to apply your own skills in many aspects of your wedding, such as decorations, invitations, etc., or simply to have fun with a bunch of your friends who want to help. At some point, however, you will have to make decisions, and you want to make the most informed decisions. When you are organized and have clearly in your mind what you want and can afford, you aren’t much better prepared to deal with all vendors.

1. Weigh all your options. No two vendors on the same. Prices vary, quality varies, and personalities can be extremely different. It will always pay you to talk to two or three vendors who do the same thing, whether it is wedding cakes, decorations, music, officiants, or whatever. When you learn three of anything you can make an honest comparison.

2. Let every decision sit overnight. I’ve taught marketing and selling for 32 years and I know what every salesperson is taught: if you say “I’ll think about it,” and they let you do that, you will walk out the door and never be heard from again. We know this is not true, but that’s what most sales training teaches. Tell every vendor up front that you are comparing the value offered by three vendors, so when you say “I’ll think about it,” they will know that is probably what you are doing. Never let yourself be pressured into making a decision now.

3. When you do make up your mind, think about how you are going to tell the vendors you choose and the vendors you do not choose. When you know what you are going to say to the vendor you choose, it will come across with the excitement and enthusiasm that should make the vendor enthusiastic as well.

4. If you will not have money to make a deposit, but you know it will come on a payday, or when you receive your parents check, tell the vendor you want to work with. This is upfront honesty. Most vendors I know will work with you to make it happen if they know that you are enthusiastic about working with them.

You are planning your special day and you want to do the best you can to make sure it turns out to be your special way. Unless you want other people to control the outcome, participate in the decision-making that goes into all aspects of your wedding. Your special day is a once-in-a-lifetime event. Make sure your forever day is happily memorable.