Planning a wedding requires tons of decisions, checklists, to-do lists, and for some, lots of stress. You can pin a million inspirational ideas for what you hope will be a perfect day, but without a dream wedding vendor team, it won’t happen. As every newlywed couple attests, a village is needed to prepare a wedding! And it can be a challenge to find your dream wedding vendor team. But with this handy guide, it should be easier.
Finding wedding vendors that complement your aesthetic tastes and personality is key to maintaining successful vendor relationships. So today, we’re covering the best sources to find vendors who will deliver as promised on your “Big Day,” from browsing web listings to contacting planning experts.
Planning your big day can seem daunting, but you don’t have to do it alone. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of 9 easy steps for finding and booking the perfect wedding vendors.
9 Tips For Finding Your Wedding Vendors
Before you reach out to vendors for your wedding, you’ll need a few key details. Your wedding date and venue are vital in determining availability and price. Let’s say you’re ready to start planning but need to know when you’ll be getting married or where the ceremony will occur. You could still get started by doing your preliminary research on Budget and Date, then reaching out to a short list of vendors with those details once everything is finalized.
Start By Hiring A Wedding Planner
If you want to breeze through planning your wedding with little to no stress, we suggest hiring a wedding planner. Having a wedding planner in your corner provides many benefits. First, they’re experts in planning events and will have a Rolodex (old-school contact list) full of other vendors they can recommend. This alone is priceless because they can tell you the real deal about each vendor because they’ve worked with them.
A wedding planner can also help you choose your decor, understand contracts, know when to book each vendor, and so much more. So while they may be an additional expense, they’re well worth the investment.
Visit Online Wedding Vendor Marketplaces
After you set the date and budget and have hired your wedding planner, you’re ready to begin the search. The best way to do this is online. You can use a directory such as Central Coast Bride to look up vendors within your area, read reviews, find galleries of previous weddings they’ve taken part in, and more.
To find the perfect vendor, you should do some research. An internet search is a great place to start, but remember what you can find in real life. You can meet vendors at wedding shows or ask your recent friends and family members for suggestions. Check out their social media profiles on Instagram or Facebook to learn more about them.
It’s essential to read reviews of wedding vendors before hiring them. There are plenty of places where you can find them, including Google, Facebook, and Wedding Vendor Directories. You should also check reviews in multiple locations for accuracy. But remember to take them with a grain of salt. Weddings are emotional experiences, and because of this, many couples can over-exaggerate situations that arise.
Positive reviews of wedding vendors offer valuable information you might not find elsewhere. You should pay attention to them but also how they handle a negative review.
Check Them Out On Social Media
If you need help finding vendors whose style aligns with yours, scroll through their Instagram accounts. Most wedding vendors will share their real weddings on social media, so it’s a great way to see their work in action.
But scrolling through their Instagram feed isn’t just about looking at the photos. You should also read their captions and how they respond to people’s comments. Doing this will give you incite into “who” they really are and how they treat people.
Make A Short List
There’s a good chance that you’ll have many wedding vendors in each category in your local area. And it may seem like a good idea to interview them all. But we suggest you keep it simple and start with a shortlist.
You can quickly become confused and overwhelmed by a sea of endless vendors. Then, after speaking with several wedding caterers, you’ll start to forget which one does what because everything will blend together.
We suggest you begin with 3-4 vendors in each category (florists, photographers, etc.) for the initial contact. Interviewing too many at once will confuse and overwhelm you.
You can always reach out to more if you don’t find the perfect one.
Planning a wedding typically takes one year, so the wedding vendors you hire should be people you like because you’ll interact with them for a long time. Meeting with them in person is best to get a good feel for their personality. But if that’s not possible virtual meetings and phone calls will do.
Weddings are expensive, so you must “know” who you spend your money with. At each meeting, you should be prepared with a list of questions. Your wedding planner can go with you or help you prepare your questions.
Before signing your name on the dotted line, you must have enough information to feel confident in your judgment and don’t be scared to voice concerns. For example, if the vendor’s pricing worries you, this is the time to be upfront about your budget limits and (politely) ask if the vendor would consider adjusting their price for you.
Read & Understand The Contract
Once you get through all your research and interviews, it’s time to hire your wedding vendor team. But don’t do it blindly. Each vendor will have a contract, and it’s up to you to ensure that you read and understand each one. But, again, this is where your wedding planner can help.
Legal contracts may be confusing, but it’s worth reading them through to understand what you’re signing up for. Ask us questions if there are any parts that you need help understanding. And make sure that any contingencies you discussed are included in the contract.
Here are some points you should consider: What payment schedule is in place? What are the added costs? What is the cancellation policy? Be bold and inquire if there’s anything else that you need help understanding or need more information on. Knowing what you’re getting into before proceeding with the wedding vendor is essential.
Once you’ve dotted all your I’s, crossed your T’s, and asked all your questions, it’s time to book them! Signing a wedding vendor contract is a big step because it marks the beginning of your official working relationship.
And don’t forget you can always get recommendations from friends, family, coworkers, and wedding vendors.