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Imagine this: a lovely, expert floral designer opens up her shop at 8:00 p.m. to accommodate a bride’s schedule, brews some coffee, brings out some samples of the bouquets she’s working on (even though she has eight weddings on Saturday!) and in breezes the bride and groom who are on a mission: They want discounts and lots of free stuff.
You’ve likely heard that wedding vendors live or die by referrals made to other engaged couples, and you might think, “Hey, if I tell her that I have four sisters and more than 20 friends who aren’t engaged yet, she’ll see me as a goldmine of referrals to future business. Twenty-four $5,000 wedding orders is $120,000 in business, so she should really give me all of my bouquets for free, and a huge break on our centerpieces. And free boutonnieres…they’re small, you know.” Yeah, that’s not going to work.
Vendors know you have friends, sisters, cousins, co-workers, sorority sisters and other ladies in your inner circle, and they know your family knows lots of people, too. Everyone who’s at your wedding is going to see their spectacular centerpieces dripping with orchids and crystals, marvel at the lush, beautiful bouquets, be wowed by the most unique boutonnieres ever.
Aisle Files tip: It’s the work of the vendor, as experienced in real life, that really wins lots of future business. Yes, your referrals are important to pros, and they appreciate your kindness. But top-quality vendors will put extra-special care to the orders for the brides and grooms they love working with, who didn’t walk in the door and try to stick them with the costs of all the flowers, greenery and other materials. You catch more discounts with honey… I know you’re not the scammy type…I just wanted to warn you away from turning off your wedding vendors at minute one, so that you can create a fabulous friendship and working relationship with them.
And part of a fabulous friendship and working relationship is honesty: Just tell your floral designer, for instance, that you’re working on a budget (isn’t everyone these days?), and you would appreciate any guidance in helping your dollars work magic for your wedding day dreams. Your vendors will always want to help, and will very likely delight you with their money-saving, impression-making “tricks of the trade.”