Career Magazine

Wedding Planner Q&A – 4 Tips for Growing Your Wedding Vendor Network

By Sharonhill @sharonhill

Starting and Growing a Wedding Vendor Network for Wedding Planners

You can’t plan weddings alone, you need a network of wedding vendors. If you don’t have a great vendor network in place yet, or need to grow the one you have, this Q&A can help you.

 Question

I don’t have any wedding vendors at all to work with, I’m ready to start networking. What do I need to do?

Answer

Hopefully, you’ve planned a few weddings before you decided to start your wedding planning business, even if they were for family and friends and you did them without being paid. If so, this means you’ve worked with some vendors and have a start on a network. Now you need to grow that network so you have a variety of high-quality vendors to work with to satisfy the needs of different brides.

Here are 4 tips that will help you grow your wedding vendor network:

 1) Start with the people you know

Reconnect with the vendors you’ve worked with whom you believe would be the right professionals for your future brides. Let them know you now have a business and set up short meetings so you can get to know each other better. They’ll have contacts and may introduce you to other wedding vendors.

Also, think about people you’ve used or use today in your personal life, for example, caterers, florists and hair stylists. Since you already know their work, they might be great additions to your vendor network.

2) Visit and join business groups

Go to meetings of local chapters of wedding and event planner associations and attend small business networking events. If you’re a bit shy, or not used to talking to people you don’t know, start with small events and let greeters know you’re new and what you do. Groups very often have ambassadors who introduce new attendees to others in similar industries and help them start conversations.

 3) Always be prepared

If you’re going to grow your vendor network, you need to be prepared to give them a good first impression. Know what you’re going to say when wedding vendors ask you about the type of brides you want, the services you offer and how you’re different from other wedding planners. Be ready to share a story about a wedding you’ve planned and what you did to make it run smoothly. And, take business cards with you everywhere you go. You’ll not only give them to vendors and others who can refer you, but also to potential clients you may meet.

 4) Plan to build relationships

Don’t just collect a bunch of business cards of all the wedding vendors you meet and never contact them again until you need them. When you meet, listen to what the other person does, think about whether or not they would be a good fit for your brides and, if they are, take the time to build a relationship. A great relationship will help you work better together on weddings and may bring you referrals to new clients.

And if you have a pressing question about starting or running your wedding planning business, you can send me an email at [email protected] I’ll answer them on this blog or in my ezine, “Wedding Planner Tips,” which you can subscribe to here.


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