Do you want all of your vendors to dread your wedding and be counting the days until it's over? To be universally referred to as a "Bridezilla" is not a compliment. And let's face it, we've all had to work with, or for, somebody we didn't like in the past. Remember how you felt about it? What if your wedding vendors like you about as much as you liked working for that other person? Start your wedding events off on the best possible foot by following these five very basic tips:
1. Sign and return contracts within 48 hours of receiving them from your vendors. Read the directions. If they only accept Visa and MasterCard, don't send an Amex number for your deposit.
2. Take note (as in put reminders in your calendar) of final deadlines for head counts and final payments. These are not suggestions — they are the terms of a legally-binding contract. If you miss them, it puts the vendor in the awkward position of having to wait and take a chance you won't pay, or to keep your deposit and cancel their services, risking a nasty review online.
3. Don't ask to have a bid revised more than twice. Sure, it's okay to look at an initial proposal and ask for changes. And then tweak it a bit more if you're not still where you want to be on the budget. But be aware, you have to give something up to spend less money. If you can't make a decision after three bids, you probably have trouble making decisions in general. That isn't the vendor's problem.
4. Be aware of minimum numbers for your guest count when you sign contracts and don't whine about having to pay for that number even if you end up with fewer guests. You were the one who "guestimated" the size of your group and you signed the contract with that minimum in it, so now you are obligated.
5. Do not put off everything until the last minute and then expect your vendors to drop everything to take care of you. Just because you have free time on a holiday weekend and want to work on wedding plans doesn't mean event vendors are available. Even if they don't have another wedding, they don't want to spend their holiday working. Expect to make time during normal business hours to deal with your vendors, even if you have to take time off from work or do it on your lunch hour.
Owner of Weddings in Vieques, a destination-wedding planning company off the coast of Puerto Rico, Sandy Malone has helped countless couples plan their big day since 2007.