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June 16, 2021

Vendor Communication

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In this episode, co-hosts Kristina, Mike & Sharon talk about communication between the engaged couple and their vendor team and why the respect for each other’s time and money has to go both ways.

Stay tuned! Co-hosts Kristina, Mike & Sharon are talking about all the wedding postponements that have occurred due to Covid… and as inconvenient as that may be for an engaged couple and their event, the vendors are dealing with large numbers of postponements. Communication is critical with your vendor team, now more than ever!

Listen to this episode for some vendor communication etiquette tips that will ensure you and your vendor team stay on the same page all the way through the I do’s!

Good communication = money = accuracy = your dream wedding day! Give your wedding the value it deserves & CYA when communicating with your vendor team. This episode covers all the ways you can ensure the respect goes both ways.

BY THE TIME YOU FINISH LISTENING, YOU’LL UNDERSTANDthat timely and respectful communication with your vendor team will go a long way in ensuring your BIG day happens the way it was planned.



Sharon Rumsey  0:00  

Call me. Call me. No like, really call me or email me or send us singing telegram or something. Just communicate with me.


Michael Gaddie  0:11  

All kidding aside, good communication with your vendor team is essential.


Kristina Stubblefield  0:16  

Check out this episode to understand how consistent open communication with your wedding professionals can save you money, mistakes, and most of all stress. You got engaged. Congratulations. Happy. Yes, joyful time. Of course. Now what timelines to do lists and checklists. 100% Don't worry, you're in the right place. Welcome to the ring, the bling, and all the things. Hi, I'm Kristina Stubblefield, one of your hosts, along with my two good friends, Michael Gaddie and Sharon Rumsey. We have over 50 years of wedding industry experience between us. We have seen it, heard it, done it and found a way around it. We are here to get you from down on one knee to down the aisle. Our podcast will cover everything from you saying yes to the I do's and all that happens in between. So buckle up and enjoy the journey. Now let's get started with this episode.


Okay, so I'm sure you've heard us talk about communication being so important. But today's topic is a vendor communication. Sharon, I know you're going to let Mike in here at some point in time. But this is such an important topic, whether you have rescheduled your event for any reason. Or if your wedding is coming around the corner, or down the road. Communication is important no matter when that event is. So Sharon, where do we start with this topic, I


Sharon Rumsey  2:08  

know it's so important. It's actually probably the most important thing. And you know, you can plan for months and months. But if you don't communicate in those last few weeks with your vendor team, and all your planning can go to waste, the ball can get dropped things, things can happen that you weren't planning on, super, super important to communicate with your vendor team. I know that we've seen that. Even more so become important with people having to postpone maybe for COVID. But actually maybe you know, for another reason I have a bride right now whose husband's getting deployed, you know. So, Mike, talk to us a little bit about what you've experienced with postponements and communication or the lack thereof.


Michael Gaddie  2:55  

Well, sometimes when the wedding is postponed and saying for an example, they were getting married last year, and then they postponed to spring of this year, we'll say they just kind of decided that no, they weren't going to get married in spring, and they decided to move it to fall. Communicating with your vendors, to let them know that the date has changed or moved for the second time, or the first time it is so important to count, contact your vendors, because you would not believe how many times or what the vendor puts into time and money to plan and make sure all the product is there. And then you call and say, oh, two weeks out, they call and say, Oh, I'm sorry, we've decided to postpone it again to the fall. So it's so important that you let your vendors know ASAP, when that is transferred to another day.


Sharon Rumsey  3:56  

And not only is that the respectful and proper thing to do, not letting that vendor know is going to cost you some money. Because if if the florist has already ordered flowers, the caterers already ordered food, maybe the suits have already been ordered, that vendors not going to eat that cost because you neglected to let them know so it's going to cost


Michael Gaddie  4:18  

you some money. Well, I want to say along with the suits, because you know, we do suits also in the florist, and all the suits came in for a wedding that we did, we're planning on doing two weeks ago, and the suits were shipped to us. And we started calling the groom's and the guys to come in to, you know, to set appointment to come in to try them on. And no one was calling us back and we thought, hmm, what's going on here? Well, finally one of the groomsmen called us and says, I think they've postponed that to fall but I'm not real sure. Now, originally we had it in the fall of last year, then they've moved it to spring of this year and then it kind of slipped away and This is what the groom told us. I'm sorry, there was so much going on, we've decided to postpone it till fall. And we forgot to call you. Well, that cost him about 15 $100.


Kristina Stubblefield  5:11  

Okay, I'm gonna chime in here, because something that just popped in my mind, we're not just talking about dates and times moving. You as a florist, if you're moving from fall to spring, wouldn't you maybe want different flowers? Yes. And as far as that goes, decor, your color palette, you know, Sharon, some of our listeners do not have a wedding planner. And I think this goes back to something we talked about in a previous episode about having that list of who you're using who you signed contracts with. So you have that readily available to contact. But Mike, so that's additional meetings that have to happen. If you're changing seasons, I guess to word that correctly,


Michael Gaddie  5:55  

it is additional meetings. But the thing too, that I have been finding out that is some of the people that had their weddings planned for last year, they went ahead with their ceremony. And this is very important. They went ahead with their ceremony last year. And they didn't have a reception, they didn't have a party they just gathered in a park, or they did get married in a church. And then they postponed their reception to this year, or next year. And then they decide during that they've been married for almost a year. And they decided, you know what, let's not spend that money on that reception. Let's keep it and put it into the house or whatever it may be. But the problem with that is, if you don't tell your vendor, that's a problem, because what's going to happen is they're going to be out that money anyway, because they did not communicate with their vendor,


Sharon Rumsey  6:48  

what I actually do for my clients if they decide to postpone for any reason, and what actually anyone could do, if you don't have a wedding planner, is like Christina said, You know, I recommend you have a list of all of your vendors, I recommend you have their email, their phone number and what they're providing. And any payments that have been paid to them. I, the bare minimum I would recommend you do is to write an email, do a group email to all of your vendors, send it where you get back a Read Receipt, so that you at least know they got that notification and you can prove that you did let them know, this is not something I would do over the phone. I think it's something that needs to be done in writing. I actually wrote a postponement agreement that I send to each vendor and I asked them to sign it electronically. And then I keep it in my clients file. But you know, bare minimum, an email would work as well. But you need something in writing.


Kristina Stubblefield  7:46  

Okay, Sharon, what else comes to mind when you talked about having that list of vendors, if you're going to have that contact information, you might as well go ahead and start your binder or have this as part of it, your contracts where you have that information together, where you can review that if you need to, for any reason to postpone move dates. The other thing too, is people I don't think realize the importance of a paper trail. And I like how you mentioned the fact that there are some different free programs out there. And I'll make sure I put a copy in the show notes that you can use to get read receipts. It's not necessarily a paid service you have to use. And why is that important, Sharon for them to get that Read Receipt?


Sharon Rumsey  8:31  

Well, that way? Should there be a question and the vendor says, you know, you didn't let me know. So we're going to charge you you can say, Well, I'm sorry, I


Kristina Stubblefield  8:39  

did let you know, I sent this email which was opened by so and so and such and such time on such and such a date. And I know you as the detailed wedding planner, because your other step would be I'm sure you would have a checkbox that says, I got a message back from them. They agreed they acknowledged it. Because if not, there's a follow up step that happens in there. You know, that's absolutely I've heard you talk about that several times. So those out there that don't have wedding planners. Although it's an extra step, you really want to do that. To really make sure you're secure in that person take that step to come community I


Sharon Rumsey  9:22  

really and it's it's mostly for my own protection, but I don't do a lot in my business that's not in writing. You know, it's great to have a conversation and have a meeting but follow that up with an email with something in writing so that there's no confusion and everybody knows what's going on.


Michael Gaddie  9:41  

Well, I want to say this too, is out of respect for each other, as maybe in a vendor of tuxedos and flowers. We respect the bride and groom. We aim to plays we aim to deliver our product in 100% satisfaction guaranteed way But if you decide to postpone your engagement or wedding or whatever it may be, and you don't follow up with us, that's not very respectable, respectful to your vendor, because they're planning on being there for you. And we could have booked another wedding, over the top of your wedding, if you if we knew in advance that you did cancel your wedding.


Kristina Stubblefield  10:28  

And I think that's something really to point out. If you're not in the wedding industry, you don't see the blood, sweat tears, the heart and soul that wedding professionals put into each and every event as if it was their own event. And I think for someone out there, that's just booking a vendor. That respect issue is so important, because they're really putting so much into your event. And there's so much with a timetable. Sharon, I know you have follow ups that happen on certain time periods in the planning process. Yeah, I


Sharon Rumsey  11:08  

totally agree with what Mike just said, Because weddings are relational. It's a relational business. And like he, you know, just totally what he just said is so true. You know, it's like any other relationship in your life respect has to go both ways. So you need to respect that vendors time, and you need to respect that their business is how they take care of their family. Well, so don't just bail out and not tell them,


Michael Gaddie  11:33  

it's not okay. And the other thing you got to look at too, is, yes, we know that you are going through trauma. Because if your post your wedding was postponed or canceled, or whatever it may be, that it's one wedding that you're dealing with the vendor. For example, myself, we had over 135 weddings postponed or rescheduled from last year. So I'm dealing with 135, and you are dealing with one and we're doing our best we can to make sure that everyone has the day they wanted to.


Kristina Stubblefield  12:06  

You know when you say that, too, I think of things that I've heard people say about other vendors, people, they may not even realize that vendors do multiple weddings in a weekend. And might, you know, even though you do multiple weddings in a weekend, every one of those weddings are treated as if it's the only wedding on the planet. exactly when it comes down to that respect issue.


Sharon Rumsey  12:27  

Yes. And in a business like mine, I you know, I'm one person, I am the wedding planner, that's going to be with you on your wedding day. So I can only do one wedding a weekend. So you if you don't let me know that you're postponing, I can't book another wedding, you have literally shut me down for that weekend, I cannot make the money, I need to take care of my family, you have made it impossible for me to work that weekend. So it's a big, big deal. There's also a lot of other things with communication too. You know, even if you're not postponing, even if everything is all systems go, I really like to take those what I call major players, those key vendors, and I like to have a month out meeting with them. Where we actually, even though we've already met, and we've already chosen everything, we actually sat down with that vendor one more time. And we go over everything again. And 99% of the time, something has changed.


Michael Gaddie  13:29  

Well, it's funny you say that because I mean, specially on the topic that we're talking about, we met with these brides almost a year and a half to two years ago. So and actually I've got a wedding coming up this weekend or the towards the end of the month. And I was looking at the contract. And I talked to her in 2019. And it was like, Oh my gosh, I don't really remember that. So I called her yesterday, matter of fact and said can we meet again, just so we can go over everything and make sure we do exactly what you want.


Sharon Rumsey  13:59  

So she was so appreciative. She really well, I mean, I have a wedding coming up the end of May. It's on schedule, we're going to get married as planned. But since we started planning, there's a bridesmaid that lives out of the country. And right now she's not able to travel into the United States. So that's going to change her floral order because now I don't need a bouquet for her. But we've added a flower girl, we've added another boot near for our officiant like, those seem like really, really small things. But if you don't take care of them before wedding day, the force is going to show up and he's going to have what's on that contract because you didn't let him know. And


Michael Gaddie  14:36  

the thing about it is just like what you just said, what's on my contract is what's going to be at the wedding. And that little booth near or that bouquet for that flower girl that you added on and you didn't call and tell me that's going to be a big upset for the day and it's gonna, it's gonna actually look like it's my fault. But that again going back to respect, make sure you follow through and tell People, you know what the vendors what they want,


Kristina Stubblefield  15:02  

the best way to summarize what you have just been talking about is the best communication allows you all to do your job 110%. That's it, you're not asking for anything spectacular other than just communication can really let you perform your job, 100 and temporal. And


Sharon Rumsey  15:25  

once again, good communication equals money. You know what, if you originally told your caterer your guest count was 250. And now it's 190? How many extra meals are you going to pay for? Because you didn't call the cater and update that guest well,


Michael Gaddie  15:39  

and on that same note,


you're going to have five less centerpieces, you're going to have five less tablecloths, you're going to have 50 less plates. I mean, it's so important how what how big of a little detail to see big Yeah,


Kristina Stubblefield  15:53  

that's a really good point, it affects basically everything,


Michael Gaddie  15:56  

everything. And it's money in your pocket, money in the bride and groom's pocket, if they follow


Sharon Rumsey  16:02  

us, you're gonna not only the money, but you're going to show up. And you're going to have like Mike just said, five tables that nobody's sitting at these fancy decorated tables that are empty, and that lay look odd. So I just kind of call my month out meetings, I tell my couples, yes, we've already done this, but we're going to wrap it up with a bow, we're going to wrap this wedding up with a bow two weeks out, a month out, and then we're going to be ready to get married. And we're not going to worry about all this little stuff.


Kristina Stubblefield  16:30  

And I know that we're talking about communication, and yes, that equals money. But it also equals peace of mind. That way, you know, you've touched base with everyone, you can go, you can enjoy your wedding day, and just try to take it all in. Because as Sharon mentioned, when we started this, you put so much into the planning, being able to enjoy it, it goes by so quickly, that communication plays such a big role in wedding planning.


Sharon Rumsey  16:55  

Well, and one more thing I would like to touch on as a planner is being responsive to your vendors. You know, people pay me, I don't take it lightly. When somebody hires me to plan their wedding, people work very hard for their money. And the fact that they have chose to invest in their wedding by hiring me is important to me. But you would be shocked how many people I have that hire me and they pay me to plan their wedding. But I might wait a week, two weeks be three malzahn? Before I get the answer to a question. So you have to be responsive to those vendors when they do reach out to you to you know, maybe to get updated numbers or you know, to ask a question. We know that everyone is busy, but we can't plan your wedding without you.


Kristina Stubblefield  17:43  

Well, and I think one of the best tips when you get engaged, especially if you're going to go to wedding shows, but also to keep all your wedding communication in one place is setting up a wedding email, that maybe the engaged couples are staying


Sharon Rumsey  18:01  

on my checklist.


Kristina Stubblefield  18:03  

Because that way, you know, and I'm not even saying it's something you've got to check every minute of the day, or it's something you have to have notifications turned on for. But you know, you're checking that a few times a week. If there was an email in there, it has to do with your wedding. Because that is such a big part of communication getting back with people because you're maybe holding up them from moving on to the next step.


Michael Gaddie  18:28  

Well, and that goes back to not just the bride communicating, that goes back to the vendor to make sure that they communicate promptly with the bride and groom also,


Kristina Stubblefield  18:37  

well, let's go ahead and say if you email a vendor, and you don't hear back in what time frame, would


Michael Gaddie  18:43  

you all recommend 24 hours, I would say reach out to them sooner than that?


Sharon Rumsey  18:51  

It depends. And my welcome packet, I addressed this. I decided just a few months into my business, that I needed a welcome plant packet that explained things. If you email someone in the wedding business through the week, I think 24 hours is more than enough time for them to respond. If you're emailing someone in the wedding business on a Friday, a Saturday, you're not going to hear from them or a Sunday, because you know where I am on Friday and Saturday. I'm at someone's wedding. If you email me on a Sunday, you know where I am. I'm on my couch, or I'm with my family because what do you have Sharon? I have Lifetime movie day.


Kristina Stubblefield  19:29  

No, you have wedding hangover. What you call it,


Sharon Rumsey  19:32  

so most wedding vendors try very hard to take Sundays off. So I think monday through thursday 24 hours is very reasonable.


Kristina Stubblefield  19:41  

But take it upon yourself if you haven't gotten an answer in 24 ish hours to pick up the phone and reach out just to make sure they got your email. Again, we're back to that respect issue. Maybe they're busy and they just hadn't haven't gotten to it yet. But We're all human. Maybe they accidentally overlooked it. So just taking that initiative to keep that line of communication open, I think is really important.


Sharon Rumsey  20:09  

Another thing that I say in my welcome packet, and you guys might feel differently, maybe I'm just old. But text messaging is the communication of young people. And I love text messaging, I do it all the time. I think it's quick, I think it's easy. However, I have a huge fear that I'm going to be at, I don't know, the grocery store. And a bride is going to text me something important. And by the time I get home, I put my groceries away. I'm going to forget about that. So I prefer if anything is important that you email me, because when I check my email, I'm in my office, I'm working, I'm ready to work, and


Kristina Stubblefield  20:54  

I'm ready to deal with whatever you have sent to me, you're 100% focused on providing them an answer if they need it, or additional information. It's


Sharon Rumsey  21:02  

not that I, you know, I don't want them to text me, I don't, I'm totally fine with that. It's just for so that I know, I'm not missing something, I would prefer


Michael Gaddie  21:11  

email, and I understand what you're saying. But you know what, sometimes people are laying the bed laying in bed in the middle of the night. And they think, Oh, I need to text Mike and remind him to do this, or add or add this or add that button here. And they text it to you. At one or two o'clock in the morning. I agree with you on the text. Yeah, I'm not a texture when it comes to business like that. Because I'm afraid I'm gonna miss it. Because after you read your text messages, it just blends in with everybody else.


Sharon Rumsey  21:44  

Well, and you know, it's my biggest fear that I'm going to be at a wedding and a bride is going to say, What do you mean, I texted you that, and I'm gonna be like, Holy moly, she did, you know, I forgot. So I think just to protect both people email is a really good way of, you know, if it's the week of your wedding, and something major is happening, for sure, text me and tell me to call you or, you know, tell me to check my email. But I do. Once again, I want that email so that I can focus on your need at the time that I can I can help rather than at the groceries,


Michael Gaddie  22:16  

I think that's a good


Sharon Rumsey  22:17  

looking for my debit card.


Kristina Stubblefield  22:18  

That's a really good point. Because we always just think of how convenient it is for us to text. But it's your wedding, it is your wedding, you're not texting about items, you left off your grocery list, you know, so give it the value it deserves. And really put it in an email where like Sharon said, most people will sit down and be focused on that response. Well, and


Sharon Rumsey  22:43  

once again, it's it's what we were talking about with that mutual communication. When I meet with my clients, when they book me, I say, how would you like me to communicate with you? Do you prefer a call? Do you prefer an email? Would you like me to text if I need to talk to you and schedule a call. So just show your vendor that same respect and communicate use their preferred method of communication?


Kristina Stubblefield  23:06  

So to wrap this up, here's what I've just got from this whole summary. Communication equals money equals relationship, your relationships you're establishing. What else does it equal? Sharon?


Sharon Rumsey  23:24  

Let equals time, definitely time. And it equals good wedding day. And accuracy to make


Michael Gaddie  23:32  

sure that everything is done promptly and correctly. So


Kristina Stubblefield  23:38  

I don't think there's any other way to close it out. So we hope that you found this informational. And, Mike, I'm so glad that you brought this topic to the forefront. Good job, Mikey. Because that's exactly what we're about


Michael Gaddie  23:52  

wanting everybody to learn. I want everybody and people get caught up in their own world. And they forget about things but just by forgetting something very simple could cost money, their money.


Kristina Stubblefield  24:04  

You know, what I love most about some of the feedback we've gotten from the podcast is people will say, I never thought of it that way, or that had never crossed my mind. Most people are getting married for the very first time. This is not something they eat, breathe, sleep, everything. So that's why I love talking about these topics. It's to help them that's what we're doing is providing information resources, tips, all that good stuff, where they can make their wedding planning, their wedding day, their wedding relationships, all of that. It's a bigger benefit for them. So thank you all for listening. We can't wait to hear your feedback. Make sure you connect with us on social media. And if you like what you heard, make sure you go and click the subscribe button on your favorite podcast platform and write us a glowing five star review as Sharon says so until next It's time see ya.


Thank you for tuning in to this episode of the ring, doubling and all the things. If you like what you heard, make sure to hit the subscribe button to get notified of upcoming episodes. You can also visit our website, the ring, the bling and all the for past episodes, and make sure to connect with us on social media. If you would like to help us get the word out about this podcast, make sure to share with your family, your friends and anyone you know in the wedding business


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