Picking the Best Team for Your Big Day
The vendors you choose for your big day could make or break your wedding. A top-notch vendor will spend all the time necessary to solidify your vision and create a plan to make your vision a reality. They’ll jump in on your big day to smooth out problems before you or your guests even realize a problem exists. When choosing your vendors, look for professionals that will work within your budget and keep your style and personality in mind.
Know What Your Priorities Are
The first thing you need to do is sit down with your fiance and decide what your wedding priorities are. Are the flowers super important to you, or the location? What about food, photography, or music? Once you’ve prioritized everything, you can begin to set a budget, which is crucial before you start talking to vendors.
Choose Your Wedding Planner First
Many couples think they can’t afford to hire a wedding planner, but the truth is, the right planner can save you quite a bit of money and time. They have a lot of connections and they will be able to recommend the best venues and vendors that will work within your budget and style. Look for a planner that you’re comfortable talking to. You’ll be spending a lot of time with her over the next several months so easy communication is key.
Don’t Be Shy About Asking for Referrals
Once you’ve found a vendor you like and trust, don’t be shy about asking them for referrals to help you choose the rest of your team. They’ll be happy to make recommendations based on the experiences they’ve had in the past at other events. If you’ve been to any weddings lately, be sure to ask the newlyweds if they worked with a vendor they loved (or didn’t love!). Their experience might help point you in the right direction.
Choose Your Venue Carefully
When you start looking for your venue, make sure they will allow you to hire whichever vendors you choose. Some venues may only let you work with specific vendors. You’ll want to choose a venue that flexible so that you can work within your own budget and style. You don’t want to be prohibited from bringing in your own band, florist, or photographer.
Take Advantage of Social Media
Social media can be an extremely valuable tool when it comes to choosing your vendors. Look at the comments and reviews on their pages to see how other couples felt about their services. Once you have found a few vendors that you like in a certain category, interview each one to see who has the best value for the money. They should also be open to your requests and be easy to communicate with.
Look for Vendors That Share Your Vision
Don’t try to make your vendors fit into your vision. Instead, look for vendors who already do what you love. For example, a florist who naturally creates tight, circular floral arrangements isn’t the florist for you if you’re going for a big, bold, overgrown look.
Stay Within Your Budget
You created your budget for a reason, so don’t allow your vendors to talk you into overspending. There are lots of vendors out there, so shop around until you find the one that suits your needs and budget. Be upfront with them about how much you can spend and look for a vendor that’s transparent about costs. Ask to see photos of weddings they’ve done that are within your price range. Chances are, there will be some unexpected expenses along the way, so don’t start out by going over budget with your vendors.
Be Cautious of “Too Good to be True” Packages/Prices
Just like with anything else, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Be sure to consider the value of what you’re getting for the money. For example, if a vendor is only charging $600 while everyone else is charging $1,200, there’s probably a good reason why. They may not have much experience, their equipment could be subpar, or maybe their package only includes the basics and you’ll have to add on a lot of extras to get what you want. Look for vendors at a fair market price and consider the whole picture before you commit.
Consider a Small Town Venue
If you’re really looking to save some dollars, look into a small town venue. Everything is more expensive in big cities and you could save as much as 20% just by going to the small town next door.
Be Sure to Spend Some Time on Their Website
A wedding vendor’s website is their chance to make a good first impression on prospective clients, so don’t dismiss it. An outdated website is not a good sign. Look for an up to date, easy to use website with great photography and solid branding. This is a competitive, creative industry and any vendor you’re considering should show that on their website.
See Them in Action
Before you book a live wedding band, take the time to see them play live or ask for video online to get a feel for what their performances are like. Observe how the crowd reacts to them and how comfortable they are on stage. If they meet your vision, book them right away because good bands can get booked 12 to even 15 months in advance.
Don’t Micromanage Your Vendors
Once you’ve chosen your vendors and you’re all on the same page, you’ve got to sit back, relax, and trust them to do their job. Trying to micromanage them is just going to make your day more stressful. Let your professionals take charge so you can enjoy your big day.
Never Assume Anything
This is probably the most important tip we can give you. Never assume a vendor knows what you want or expect. They don’t know what you’re thinking or envisioning, so be clear and thorough in your communication. Get everything in writing before you sign on the dotted line and put down a deposit to seal the deal. The last thing you want are surprises on your wedding day.
As you can see, finding the perfect vendors is going to take time. The best thing you can do is start planning early, anywhere from 12 to 24 months in advance is best. You don’t want to have to make compromises just because you’re running out of time. We hope this information on how to choose the best wedding vendors for your big day proves helpful in your wedding plans!
Editor's note: Due to the pandemic, some of the general wedding planning advice we share may not be applicable or possible due to restrictions on events. Please adhere to all current regulations and stay safe and healthy! Get more resources for planning a pandemic wedding here.