This post is going to be a little heavy today, compared to my usual I LOVE everyone typical blog post, but with wedding season officially upon us, I thought it a good time to share something that weighs heavily on my heart...

Friends, Brides, Grooms, Parents, everyone and anyone, I cannot stress to you all enough the importance of hiring trusted, respected and experienced vendors to hand over responsibility of one of the most important days of your life. 

We've all heard the horror stories of Brides and Grooms burned by their hired professionals. I've been here myself and am almost embarrassed to say how many times over. But with every negative experience comes an opportunity to learn and grow for the future, which is exactly the purpose of this post today. 

Your wedding day is no small feat. You and your Fiancee will likely spend hours, researching, communicating with and meeting your wedding dream team. It's heartbreaking to think that anyone you put so much faith in could potentially burn you before, on or after the big day, but it's a harsh reality and something we need to talk more openly about. 

The following outlines my personal top 3 must haves for anyone and everyone hired for my clients weddings...

1. A contract. Please, I am begging you, put something in writing with regards to what your service providers are offering you, even if it's just a pointed email. I understand that many wedding related tasks can be taken care of by family friends or other sourced help, but at the very least have in writing, clear communication and set expectations from both sides. What the vendor is providing and what is expected of the bride and groom in advance on the day-of and following the wedding. Payment terms, delivery deadlines, cancellation clauses. All so very necassary. 

2. Ask, ask, ask and then ask somemore! What is this persons experience? How did you hear about this person? Has a friend or family recommended them to you, what was their experience? Has another industry provider recommended them to you? Are they an active member in the wedding industry? Does their wedding and / or social media speak to you for a specific reason? Experienced wedding professionals have a very clear understanding of what makes up a wedding day. The in's and out's. The good the bad and everything in between, we've seen it all. That's not to say that someone newer or just getting started isn't a good hire either. Someone just getting started should at the very least disclose this information to you from the get-go. This way, you know your wedding may be a portfolio builder for them and can set appropriate expectations. I'm all for supporting new businesses (and very much encourage this where appropriate), however when something is of my clients utmost importance (such as catering, photography or design) I tend to lead them in the direction of professionals who I feel confident can meet and exceed our expectations, because they have a reputation of doing so many times over in the past. 

3. Trust your gut. My gut instincts have time and time again got me out of a sticky situation and also have come back to haunt me with the dreaded "I told you so..." after it's already too late. Surround yourself with a team you feel 100% comfertable with. I recommend putting as much time and thought into choosing your wedding professionals as you do in choosing your Bridal Party. These are the people who will surround you all day on your wedding day. Who will interact with your family, friends and guests. Who will leave a lasting impression and who will ensure this day goes exactly as you have so carefully planned. Trust your instincts from the get-go. If something feels off from the initial meeting or first point of contact, it likely feels that way for a reason. Or perhaps you had an amazing connection from the get go.. if so, that's is typically the person for you!  

There are too many stories out there of a vendor running off on a couple sadly before or after their wedding day without fulfilling their contractual duties. While I may not be able to eliminate this completely from our industry, I am happy to share the tips and tricks that have lead us to success over the past five years. 

Your wedding day is your opportunity to create memories to last a lifetime for both yourselves and your guests. The last thing you need to be worried about come go-time is your support team. I want you soaking up every last minute of your wedding, acting as a guest at your own wedding and truly celebrating what is sure to be the best day ever!

Set yourself up for success early on in your planning friends and your are on the guaranteed path to success. 

Let's make it a great wedding season!! 

Katelyn