Carrie Swails is a kick-ass wedding photographer with a career-load of wedding knowledge. (Trust me, photographers pick up on ALL KINDS of industry insider tips.) So here's her advice for getting a more traditional vendor to understand your offbeat wedding plans…
One of the biggest ways the wedding industry has changed in modern years is offbeat weddings. There are so many people out there doing less-traditional things. However, the wedding industry can still be new to many of the less traditional ideas and you may have encountered a vendor or who who thinks your Dungeons and Dragons inspired wedding is well… a little weird.
Your wedding can be a thousand times more amazing if all of your wedding vendors get on board with your less-traditional plans. It can be really tough for wedding vendors to shake off their traditional ideas of what a wedding should be and embrace your wedding's uniqueness instead. I've been to many weddings where a vendor or two force their ideas on the clients. (It's not fun being forced to do a first dance or parent dance by your DJ when you don't want to.)
Getting your wedding vendors on board with your offbeat wedding can definitely help your day be happier and smoother. There is already enough pressure coming from family and friends to do things a certain way — the last thing you need are the people you are paying forcing their plans down your throat too. Here are a few ideas to help you get those wedding vendors jiving with your offbeat wedding…
Include your vendors in the planning process
As a photographer I can tell you that when clients include me on their mailing list for Save the Dates and invitations it always makes me more excited about what the wedding will be like. It also gives vendors a better idea of who you are. Many times if you've picked an obscure wedding theme or are doing something different you educate your guests about it in your invites, so why not your vendors too?
Be open and communicate details about how your wedding is going to be different
Don't be ashamed of doing things a little differently from the rest of the world, no matter what aspects are different (big or small). The best way to get your vendors on board is to have a conversation about what you are doing and why.
The why is the most important part
It's pretty safe to say that most people who work in the wedding industry do it because they love the love. As cliche as that is, it's true. That means we appreciate love of all different types and want to celebrate each client's unique relationship. Tell us why you've decided to incorporate an unusual tradition. The why tells us that it's important to you.
Create a Pinterest board about your wedding
I know it may be tempting to pin photos and poses you want your photographer to take, but just remember some of the most famous photos on Pinterest happened when the photographer had lots of wiggle room to be creative and didn't have every image mapped out. Instead of focusing on the images you want a photographer to take, focus on images of what your wedding vibe will be.
For example, if your wedding is Legend of Zelda themed, make a board filled with Zelda inspiration, links to what Zelda is and then send it out to all of your wedding vendors. DJs, photographers, planners, and the venue so they know what to expect visually. Pin some articles about why you don't want to throw the bouquet or why you love colored wedding dresses. These are great subtle visual hints that can help your team be your biggest fans.
Make emails and meetings your best friend
Ask your planner out for drinks, and tell them all about how you met and why you've chosen to have a 10 guest wedding instead of the usual 400 guests your planner is used to seeing. Own that shit! If you are sharing your excitement and seem enthusiastic for them to be a part of your day, it can definitely shift and help them want to understand more of what you're up to.
Book a vendor who specializes in less traditional affairs
Unfortunately sometimes we end up with a vendor and can't prevent who we work with for one reason or another, but if at all possible spend the extra time searching for a vendor who is authentic and will “get” you. Vendors listed here on Offbeat Bride and at the Lovesick Expo are an amazing place to start that search.
It's one of my hopes that the wedding industry becomes more open and understanding to the less traditional shindigs happening these days. Hopefully a few of these tips will help you get your vendors on board?
Is there anything you want to add to the list? Leave it in the comments!
photography: Carrie Swails Photography