Singaporebrides | Weddings 101

September 2017

6 Approach Techniques Wedding Vendors Wish You Knew

Now that your wedding date is set, it’s time to form your very own dream team to bring your creative vision to life. But what’s the proper etiquette to reach out to the wedding vendors on your wishlist? SingaporeBrides reveals the best methods to get the ball rolling.

You’re all prepared to suss out the crème de la crème of gown designers, florists, photographers and videographers, make-up artists and more to pull off that dream wedding. But there’s a hitch – you are absolutely clueless at how to start doing so. Tread carefully, because not knowing how to approach potential wedding vendors mean that you may end up not being able to secure your top choices.

For legal executive Amelia Tan, not getting immediate responses from the wedding vendors she contacted really puzzled her. The 29-year-old, who got married last year, said: “My biggest problem was that no one really got back to me at a timely fashion. Those who eventually replied weren’t my top choices either. It felt like I was being side-lined, and I just didn’t know what I was doing wrong.”

It is not uncommon for first-time brides to face such issues. In fact, most do. And what they don’t realise is that there are ways to get noticed – and get the answers you want. Check out these tips and tricks that will make your initial wedding planning a breeze.

Runaway Flowers X Winifred Kristé Cake Wedding Packages by The Analog Co.

1. DO YOUR RESEARCH FIRST

This may seem basic, but many potential brides actually fail to do adequate research before approaching wedding vendors. Our vendor partners actually say that it’s extremely common to receive emails like “Hi, any wedding packages?” and “Hello, show me your portfolio.”

The problem with this is that you may end up waiting and waiting… for answers that are already available online in the first place. All wedding vendors now have some type of portfolio on their website to showcase their styles and previous works. Then, there are Facebook and Instagram. So, contacting a make-up artist asking to see photographs of previous looks is just wasting both of your time (which means you may not get an immediate reply!). Also, most wedding vendors have pricing and package options listed on their website as well – look before you ask.

2. MAKE A SHORTLIST

While you may think that sending that mass email to all the wedding photographers on the island is time-efficient, it is actually not so. For one, it can appear thoughtless to approach every single wedding photographer you’ve heard of because they are likely to have very different styles. One may be known for quirky, fun shots while another can be celebrated for his extravagant overseas photo sessions. So you end up casting your net too wide.

And when a self-respecting creative receives such an email, you can guarantee that your email will get pushed to the bottom of his or her priority list – because you don’t seem to know whom you’d really like to hire. Instead, try shortlisting three vendors for each category of wedding services or products you need. Then, write targeted emails to each of them. Be real and specific. Start by saying hello before mentioning one of their works that you admire (“Love the photos of Ben & Joan’s wedding on your Gallery!”). This appeals to the creative pride of wedding vendors, and will most certainly make you stand out from the dozens of enquiries they receive in a week.

HOT TIP: It is easy to lose track of those wedding-related emails if you are using a personal or work account. For the former, those emails may get mixed up with the dozens of mailing lists you signed up for. For the latter, company firewalls may either block your emails or misdirect them to the spam folder. Consider setting up a separate wedding email account to stay organised.

Winifred Kriste Cake; Wedding Cake; SingaporeWedding Tablescapes at Lewin Terrace: Rustic Romantic by Multifolds Photography

3. KNOW YOUR TIMELINE

If your wedding is in two years, there is simply no point in contacting the wedding vendors you’re keen on now. Sure, you may want to get the conversation started but the fact is that no wedding vendor will be able to get back to you as frequently as you’ll like if your wedding date is far away. They definitely have other clients whose wedding dates are looming – it is only natural for them to handle their needs first.

One way is to check directly with the wedding vendors you are targeting. Ask them when you should be contacting them based on your wedding date. Some popular vendors may be booked up way in advance and might require a year’s notice to be able to slot you in. Others may only open bookings for weddings in the same year.

4. GET YOUR DETAILS READY

This may seem like common sense, but our wedding vendors have revealed that a good 30 per cent of enquiries they receive read like this: “Getting married. Need flowers. Please suggest something simple and elegant. What are your prices? Thanks.” The problem with such a brief email is that the wedding vendor may end up replying it with more questions than the answers you need.

The number one detail that your wedding vendor needs is your wedding date. Most wedding vendors will not want to waste your time by discussing further if they are already booked on your big day. Then, share more about the kind of wedding that you’d like to have, what type of services or products you need, and your estimated budget. Putting this much effort into your initial email will help the wedding vendor understand your needs immediately – and make more effective suggestions.

HOT TIP: Get rid of the word “simple” from your vocabulary. Wedding vendors are allergic to this word because it reveals nothing about what you like or dislike creatively. What’s worse is that “simple” is often euphemism for “cheap” – are you really asking for a cheap bouquet?

Wheeler’s Estate’s Elegant English Garden Wedding Styled Shoot by Andri Tei Photography

5. BE KIND AND UNDERSTANDING

One of the most common gripes we’ve heard from our wedding vendor partners is that brides are constantly “chasing” them. With modern technology, you may be so used to instant feedback that you forget that most wedding vendors are owners of small, craft-based businesses. If you sent out an email at 2am on a Saturday, don’t expect a reply the very next day. The thing is, most wedding vendors are not always in front of the computer. The gown designer could be sewing sequins on a bespoke gown, and the florist could still be tearing down a wedding after the last dance.

So, be respectful and ask the wedding vendors about their preferred mode of communication. We know that some prefer email to phone, because they want to be able to share inspiration links and reference photos. Then, there are others – such as wedding planners – who prefer to text because they’re always on the go. Then, be realistic with your expectations. Always give it a week or so before you check back with them again. When you do, don’t be confrontational, sarcastic or mean (“Did you miss out on my email?!!!”). When you’re polite and understanding, it is likelier that you will receive a faster and favourable reply.

6. HAVE TRUST

So, take the right steps to foster a successful vendor-client relationship. Ultimately, wedding vendors are there to help you create the wedding of your dreams (yes, they want that opportunity to showcase your wedding in their portfolios too!). Once you’ve learnt to trust them, it will make it easier for them to do their best for your big day.


Credits: Featured Image from A Springtime Botanical Styled Shoot at Botanico at The Garage by Synchronal Photography