Whether you are planning a destination wedding from afar, or amidst a global crisis and you can't leave your house, chances are high that getting together with your wedding vendors might be hard. You might not be able to meet with them in person, so you are left with virtual or online wedding planning. In today’s wedding planning advice post, I’m going to share some tips for how to work online with your wedding vendors from cake designer to your caterer to your wedding planner to your florist and so much more.
If you need it, make sure that you check out this post that I wrote on what to do if you need to change or postpone your wedding date.
There are so many businesses and vendors that come together for your wedding and meeting with all of them in person can be difficult. These tips will show you how to work with your vendors virtually so that when the wedding day arrives, everything is smooth sailing IRL.
You can meet virtually with all of your wedding vendors. Most times they will have a preferred method that they use and pay for, but they will most likely have all of the options to make it easiest for you and whatever platform that you like to use.
There are lots of ways to have a video conference call with your wedding pros, from FaceTime to Zoom to Google Hangouts, but the most important is to simply make the time. Find a time that works for you and your fiance, as well as the vendor and then stick to it.
Get the video platform downloaded prior to start time and check to make sure that it is working. Don’t wait until the start of the call to open the application and make sure that everything is set up and you are successfully logged in, if necessary.
If you were supposed to do any prep work or homework before the video call, be sure to take care of it. You want to make the most of the video call, so don’t waste it by not completing items prior to the call.
If you were supposed to make decisions or do research, or check something out, make a decision, talk to your fiance, make a choice, talk about money or budget or finances - do it. And, do it before the call.
The last thing you want to do is get on a wedding planning call and not make any progress. Your time, and their time, is precious, so do the prep work or the homework and your virtual wedding planning call will be successful for everyone.
For those of you who like to watch your wedding tips rather than read them, I made this same blog post in a video for you on The Garter Girl's YouTube channel. This is an article about wedding planning video calls, so I needed to make a video for you, right!?
If the video doesn't play, click here.
Think about the agenda of your video call, before the call starts. Here are some questions to think about to help you make an agenda:
You can write your agenda down and send it to your vendors in advance, or you can simply jot it down on a notebook before the video call starts. Either way, it’s important to think about some of the logistics prior to the start of the call.
If you have a wedding planner or a super organized wedding vendor, they might even send you an agenda for the call in advance. If they send you an agenda in advance, that’s how you know you’ve hired a true pro for your wedding!
I know it is hard when you get on the virtual wedding planning call, because you want to talk about the news or socialize with your wedding vendors, especially if you really like them or they are friends. But, really try to limit the chit chatting about things other than the wedding business.
If your wedding planner is your friend or you two really hit it off, I completely understand why you want to hang out virtually and be friends, but you need to limit the socializing for the video calls. This is wedding planning time, not socializing time.
You have a job to do on this call and so do they. You need to get it done. You need to focus and so do your vendors. Most times, you will be “on the clock” for this call with your wedding vendors, meaning you are paying for it. Either they are charging you a fee for the call, or it is included in your overall price, but you are most likely paying for the call in some way.
Don’t waste time and money catching up and gabbing about the news or fashion or whatever else you like to talk about.
Say “hi,” be kind and then get down to business.
Same as with the socializing, you are on the video call with your wedding vendors to make some progress. It is important that you turn off your notifications, turn off the social media, and turn off all other distractions.
You are paying for the call in some way, and you don’t want to waste money by spending time on Instagram or texting with another friend, when you should be wedding planning.
Yes, you will have your questions and things that are on your mind and your concerns about your wedding. You can and should take the time to ask your vendors your questions. But, at the end of the call, always ask this very important question:
Asking this important question is great for any service or business that you are hiring, but especially for a wedding planning. You are working with experts who have done this thousands of times before, but this is most likely your first time planning a wedding and getting married. You don’t know what you don’t know. You don’t always know the right questions to ask.
By asking them what you should be asking, it puts the ball in their court and makes them tell you things that you haven’t thought of, or that they would have otherwise forgotten to tell you. They will be forced to think back through the conversation(s) and make sure that they have gone over everything with you.
How to plan your wedding online and virtually is a whole other blog post for another day. This post is mostly about how specifically to work with your vendors virtually when you can't meet with them in person face-to-face. I wrote this post on how to plan your wedding on Pinterest that you might like and it might be helpful to you.
I will say that you need to let your vendors guide you in how to plan your wedding virtually. What do they suggest? Where do they think you should do research? What are their suggestions?
You've hired professionals for a reason and they will know best. Let your vendors be your virtual wedding planning guides.
Before the call is over, make sure that everyone has their action items.
Make sure that you talk about what’s coming and what is next and what you can expect. Don’t get off the call unless you know what is to come for the next few weeks.
You have to have your to-do's and your homework so that you are prepped for the next call.
In a perfect world, it would be great to pre-schedule all of your calls with your wedding vendors in advance. But, that might not be possible or even necessary.
With your wedding planner, maybe it makes sense to have routine check in calls prescheduled. Maybe you talk with them every 2 weeks or once a month, but then when the wedding gets closer maybe the calls get more frequent. Your wedding planner will have a better sense of how many video calls are worth it to put you at ease and coordinate a successful event.
With some of your other vendors like your DJ, florist, wedding cake designer, hair and make up artist, hair stylist, and caterer, you might only have one to three calls with them throughout your entire engagement and planning process.
You might have one call with them when you are “interviewing” and deciding which vendor to hire for your wedding. You might have a second call to talk details specific to your event, to talk designs and preferences. Then you might have a third call in the week or two before your wedding to finalize details and make sure everyone is on the same page.
At the very least, before you get off the call, try to schedule the next call or understand when you’ll be talking next. Get it on the calendar, so you have a to-do end date that everyone is working towards.
So what are you dealing with right now in your wedding planning? Are you being forced to work virtually with your wedding vendors?
Remember, you can shop for blue, vintage, classic and modern garter heirlooms anytime in my garter shop or get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org for information on custom designing a garter just for you!
If you have any more garter questions, check out my garter 101 blog series or find all of my wedding planning advice here on my blog.