“How do I know which one is the best? There are just so many of them these days”
This concern is raised by more wedding planners and couples than you know. Planning a Nigerian wedding no matter how small, is no child’s play and that’s an established fact. One of the biggest challenges besides working with a fixed budget, is finding the vendors to work with that budget while delivering your desires.
What most people fail to fail to realise is that it’s all in their hands. Yes, your hands. Once you have been able to filter the vendors that work with the budget you have in mind, the next thing is to have a sit down with them and ask the following questions
Cost: You would have definitely figured this out in the filtering of numerous vendors but it is important to go over things such as discounts, packages, mode of charge and so on. Although the ‘How do you charge’ question is the first question asked, it is not the most vital.
Method of payment: It is important to ensure you have the funds available for your vendors preferred payment method as well as a receipt for every installment.
Security: Ask how you can secure them for your wedding day? Deposit or contract? Since it is an obvious fact that a vendor isn’t only working for you and could be providing services for other weddings as well, it is salient to make sure you have a space on the schedule for your D-day in order to avoid stories that touch. Some may take deposits of 25–50% (varies). Be sure to record your conclusions. There must also be provisions made for any unexpected occurrences which would lead to cancellation of the contract. You would then have a way of recovering your funds if such happens.
Explication: The vendor who you are having the sit down with and discussing the details of your desires and wishes is whom you would want to deliver on that day, yes? It is important to confirm that on your D-day, someone else would not show up in his/her place and even if that is the case, it is better you are informed than surprised or disappointed.
Experience: Ask how many weddings they have done in the past and the budget they worked with. Some vendors are just event vendors. They may have provided services for birthday parties, anniversaries, launches and so on but not a wedding. You might prefer someone who has worked with a bride or you may not care. Just ask.
A portfolio: Ask to see a record of their past work. It might be a hand-held copy or on their website/blog. This would help conceptualise their style. Also it would contribute to the ideas you already have and you might help them understand more.
References: Ask if you may call previous clients. A lot of people do not do this. I’m not sure if it is because they do not want to seem too pushy or they just outrightly forget; but it is a point that can never be over emphasized. Talk is cheap. You want to know if their past clients were truly satisfied or if they had many complaints -some of which you may or may not be able to bear.
Assistance: Last but not the least, if you’re positive about this vendor, ask if there’s anything they need you to do to make their work easier for them and eventually, YOU. For instance, a makeup artist might tell a bride to ensure she keeps a healthy diet so as to avoid breakouts that would prevent your makeup from looking flawless. A photographer might also ask that you ensure your event hall has good lighting in order to deliver the results you desire. Remember, it’s your day.
Once you have has these answered satisfactorily, you know you are ready to move on and make your wedding rock! If some of the vendors do not convince you well enough, you look for another, rinse and repeat. I first-hand know that the Lush Plans App makes the process of finding vendors that suit your budget zero-task for you, so that should not be a problem at all. The important thing is that you feel fulfilled.