How do I pick great wedding vendors? That is a great question. Last time we talked about choosing a date and the importance of finding your venue before you make a firm commitment to any date. Now that the date is set it is time to book your other vendors. The list is long and you might not need all of them but they could include Planner, Photographer, DJ, Florist, Cake Person, Caterer, Rentals, Officiant, Decorator, Transportation, Hair/make-up, Entertainment .
One of the many advantages of hiring a planner is their ability to guide you to a reputable vendor who shares your style and personality match. That is their job and what they do best. Building a great wedding team is the most important thing you can do. For those couples who cannot afford a planner or who enjoy planning the whole thing themselves it would be wise to invest even a few hours in private consultation with a planner to direct you to reputable vendors. This is a very cost effective way to avoid ‘vendor mishaps”
DECIDE WHO YOU ARE AS A COUPLE: You want this day to be a wonderful reflection of you as a couple. Sit down with your intended and ask yourselves a few questions. Note your responses on separate pieces of paper, then when you are finished compare notes. The things that you both love will express you as a couple. The questions could be…
- Where did you meet?
- What made you fall in love with each other?
- What do love to do most in your spare time?
- What things really irritate you?
- Do you have a “dream wedding” pictured in your head?
These are the elements that you need to incorporate into your wedding celebration. For example if you met out on the ranch riding horses then maybe an outdoor wedding in the country would be perfect. When choosing your vendors you need to pick ones that can help your vision become a reality.
WHAT ELEMENTS ARE MOST IMPORTANT TO YOU: Decide what element of the wedding is most important to you . This will help you know where to allocate you budget. If pictures are super important then put more of the budget into photography, if food is important than make that your priority. Prioritize each vendor. Set a ballpark budget in advance so you are able to let each vendor know how much of the wedding budget is allocated to them. Stay within your budget.
SIGNS OF A GOOD VENDOR:
- Were they referred by other vendors who are not getting kick backs
- Will they give you client referrals….check them out
- Have you seen their work before – be careful…if a vendor invites you to attend a wedding they are working on that is a huge red flag. If they invite you to someone else’s wedding they might invite a stranger to your wedding
- Is their pricing comparable or are they super cheap – because you get what you pay for
- Do they have a detailed contract – everything in writing down to the last detail
THEY ARE A GREAT VENDOR BUT ARE THEY THE ONE FOR YOU?
- Style – do you like the look of their pictures…do you like their style
- Personal chemistry – will they help you develop your theme and guide you to what is important within their realm of expertise
- Budget – what service can they provide for your budget. Hire only people who will accept and work within your budget
- Creative – Can they do more than one “style” – you want your vendor to be perfect for you NOT the other way around
- Talk to your venue – have they worked with this particular vendor before, they will often have good information.
- Team Player – look for someone who can work well with all the vendors
- Don’t be afraid to negotiate
- Don’t be afraid to walk away
To quote Stefania Sainato of Bridalguide.com, “Once you have your dream team of vendors in place, give them clear directions and let them do their jobs while you enjoy your loved ones, and more importantly, the beginning of your new life with your partner. “
Next time we will look at each individual vendor and determine how to choose the one that is right for you.