I recently participated in a panel discussion in front of 200+ Boston-area wedding vendors

The conversation centered completely on YOU BRIDES: how vendors can understand you brides better, so they can serve you better.

I was impressed with the vendors I met, and thought it would be helpful to offer my perspective on the vendors you are hiring.

Wedding vendors are professionals:

    • whose reputations and livelihoods live and die on your satisfaction.
    • who are single-mindedly service-focused.
    • who are expert problem-solvers.
    • who know what information they need from you; they’ll ask the right questions.
    • whose job is to execute your wedding

They do it every day. Every weekend, month after month, year after year. They’ve seen it all and learned from their mistakes.

This isn’t their first wedding, like it is yours.

My advice to you? Hire vendors you click with, then let them do their jobs.

Because you have enough going on as a bride-to-be.

Gorgeous flowers by New Leaf flores. Image: johnsonphotography.com

You’ve just taken on another full-time job. Planning one of today’s elaborate weddings, you’ve taken on another demanding, detail-focused, fulltime job, in addition to your career.

If it were your wedding – and your wedding alone – planning would be a piece of cake. Tons of decisions, yes, but you basically know the answers from the get-go: you have a vision (your bridesmaids will absolutely wear black dresses), you know how much you want to spend, and you trust your own ability to get things done.

This guy you love has his own opinions. This isn’t just your show, however. You’re constantly negotiating with him on what the wedding will be like, and by doing so, building the foundation of your marriage, sometimes through conflict.

Your family has their vision, too. Often very firm ideas about what your wedding should (and more often should not) be like. Emotions run high and hot, since you instinctively know your mom is having a fit over the black bridesmaids dresses.

Speaking at the High-End Bride “The Difficult Client” Breakfast with Carolyn Croisier, The Charles Hotel, and Shelley Hall of Catalytic Management. Thank you Arlene Cronk of Invitations & Co. for including me!
Image: johnsonphotography.com

And then there’s his family, who are basically complete strangers. They have a different family culture – different definitions of what’s tasteful vs. tacky, how much is “too much” to spend, even what a wedding looks like.

Face it: Do you really know what you’re mother-in-law-to-be is saying about the black bridesmaid dresses behind your back?

Plus the Pinterest-perfect wedding pressure. Endless options, infinite ideas, all exquisitely executed. I often limit my Pinterest-obsessed brides to 5-minute time blocks.

Yowsa, that’s A LOT.

Cool industrial setting at Artists for Humanity Epicenter, with students fine art displayed.
Image: johnsonphotography.com

This doesn’t even include the emotional heavy-lifting you’re doing.

Grieving the end your single life and identity, changing family dynamics, ending the simple dating days, all while planning your wedding.

My advice?

    • Let the wedding professionals do their jobs for you.
    • Let them guide you.
    • Answer their questions.
    • Then trust them to do their work. They do this every day.

So you can focus on what’s really important: your own psychological transition from single woman to married woman and your new marriage.

P.S. Practical fact: Never call a vendor on a Friday and expect to hear back: they’re focused on that weekend’s wedding – as they should be. You’ll want their undivided attention when it’s your turn.

Boston view from Artists for Humanity Epicenter.
Image: johnsonphotography.com

Thank you to:

Arlene Cronk, Invitations & Co.

Theresa Johnson, Johnson Photography

Alexis Orellana, Artists of Humanity Epicenter

Gabrielle Stone, Stone Event Planning

Carolyn Croisier, The Charles Hotel

Noel Velez, Neil Cerbone Associates

Shelley Hall, Catalytic Management

Amy Porchenick, Gourmet Caterers

Larry Green, Rentals Unlimited

Mike Amado, Entertainment Specialists

Anthony D’Elia, Revelation Productions

Daniel Ospina-Lopez, Jeb Taylor, New Leaf flores

I don’t usually get excited about table cloths, but this wedding-dress-like one blew me away. Flawless event design by Stone Event Planning.
Image: johnsonphotography.com