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In a perfect world, you'd never need to think twice about whether your wedding vendors mesh well—after all, they're industry professionals focused on the same goal: your happiness. Well, most of the time. "Sometimes, people just don't get along," says planner Michelle Rago of Michelle Rago Destinations. "There is an advantage when a team is harmonious and they get along well and they are supporting each other in the outcome of your day. If somebody likes somebody, and they see something is wrong but it's not their lane, they're more likely to jump in and be a team player." Incorporate these three tips into your wedding vendor selection process to create a team that works for you—literally.
Ask your venue consultant for tips.
Many wedding venues keep a detailed list of recommended vendors whose work they can vouch for, and hiring people from this list has several benefits: Not only do they know the space's benefits and limitations, but they likely already know each other from collaborating on other weddings. "If there's a recommended vendor list from a property, the good news is, they've been vetted," says Rago. "You know that they're a serious player, and they respect the property. But sometimes you may not be excited by the creative approach of the recommended vendors—maybe it doesn't fit your style." If you choose not to use a vendor from the venue's go-to lineup, avoid ruffling feathers by clearly stating your reasons to the venue—and giving your preferred vendor a heads-up, too. "If you sit down with the property and express why you want to work with someone else, then it's important to make sure the vendor takes seriously that they're coming in over a recommended list, and to make sure they understand the importance of that," says Rago.
Meet them in person.
Don't underestimate the importance of following your instincts; Rago recommends meeting with vendors in person whenever possible. "It's important when you're interviewing people to not only get a sense of them creatively, but to get a sense of how they work and what matters to them," she says. "Ask people, what have been some of your greatest successes? How do you feel about working as a team? Have you ever worked with these other people? What's it like for you when you're under pressure on a job? People tell you a lot about themselves when you give them the floor."
Get them together.
Ward off wedding-day friction by getting your vendors together for a walk-through at the venue in advance of your event date. This will give them a chance to get to know each other, and offer you an opportunity to see how smoothly they work together—while also letting them straighten out any potential logistical issues in advance. "At some point it's great to get your key vendors together and encourage the opportunity to have a sit down with the project manager at the venue," says Rago. "If you don't have a planning team, you want to make sure people get in front of each other and can be comfortable with how things are supposed to go. It is important to put in time for people to get to know each other if possible."