Choosing wedding vendors is often the most challenging part of the wedding planning process. The vendors you choose greatly affect how smoothly your wedding goes and how well your vision is executed. It is an important series of decisions.
LONDON, ONTARIO — Start by streamlining and reducing the number of wedding suppliers as much as possible. The fewer vendors you have to choose, the easier it is. Look out for experienced vendors that specialize in multiple things or can accommodate various things on your wishlist. For instance, look for caterers that also supply the bar, dessert, and table linens. Or florists that also do decor.
Once you establish your venue and your date, make a list of vendors you need to choose and start the search. To recognize which vendors are best for you and which you should steer away from, check out these tips for choosing wedding vendors.
Reading wedding suppliers’ reviews can be time-consuming, but it is the best way to begin building a list of potential vendors. Look for high ratings and a high number of reviews. A five-star rating with ten reviews has less weight than a four and a half star rating with a thousand reviews. A large number of reviewers can also indicate the vendor’s experience.
Check for tagged photos online and photos in reviews to see more realistic images of their work versus their website.
If you are unfamiliar with the vendor, they are a new business, or you just want to be sure of who you hire, check that they are a registered business. Scams are more common than people think. Before sending your deposit money or signing a contract, verify the company is legitimate.
You can verify through reviews, wedding boards, and word of mouth. Or you can check on business verification websites like the Better Business Bureau and your state’s government business records website.
The ideal way to know that a vendor is trustworthy and excellent at what they do is to know someone who has hired them. Ask around to friends and family for their wedding vendor recommendations. Or maybe you know of someone who works in the wedding industry that you can ask for help with recommendations.
Ask other vendors for referrals as well. A perfect place to start is with your venue. Request a preferred vendor list from your venue. You can also check out your venue’s social media and see what vendors have worked at your venue.
Choosing vendors that have worked together before is an excellent way to help your day run efficiently.
Once you start reaching out to potential wedding vendors, take notice of how quickly they get back to you. You will want the people you work with to be attentive and responsive to communication throughout the planning process. And if they do not get back to potential clients quickly, chances are that behavior continues once you are a client.
Give them a couple of business days, and if you are really interested in their services, follow up once. Consider reaching out a different way than you did the first time, just in case the first method was incorrect. If you do not hear back from them after that or after a couple more days, they probably are not the best match for you.
Don’t assume anything. It is recommended to interview your vendors before deciding to use their services. Write down a list of questions you have and your expectations for this vendor. It is best to have this conversation in person or via phone rather than over email or text. You will want to have a full discussion to learn if they can accomplish what you need.
A few important questions to ask all potential wedding vendors are:
While communicating with potential vendors, note the tone of the communication. Is it professional and friendly? Or short and patronizing? You will want to choose people you get along with and who are easy to work with.
The vendor should be guiding and supporting you through planning. Choose vendors who set you at ease and reassure you, not pressure you into choosing them.
This is a common mistake couples make during planning. It feels so good to check tasks off your list that you rush to choose wedding vendors.
Make the time to shop around and speak to at least two vendors in each category. This will help you keep your wedding cost within the budget by comparing the price and value. And it will help prevent you from regretting vendor decisions in the future.
When it comes to planning your perfect wedding day, think of the Goldilocks story. Cheaper is not always better, but you don’t want to overpay. The wedding cost has to be just right.
A quality wedding vendor will know what they are worth. And if you come across a very low price, you likely get what you pay for. Research the average cost of that service in your area and look for the best value vendors.
If you have made it far enough to receive a contract, you may want to sign it and check this vendor off your list. But slow down; you have one more important step to take. Read every word of the contact. Yes, all of it. This is a good task to delegate to your spouse, friend, or family member.
Read it defensively and keep in mind how this contract could protect you or be used against you. Make sure the contract states exactly what you are paying for. Not comfortable with certain wording? Discuss it with the vendor. Many wedding suppliers use generic contracts online and are willing to modify them for specific situations.
After you shop around and narrow down potential vendors, try and make a decision quickly. Many excellent wedding vendors get booked up quickly.
Follow your gut and pick what feels right. It may not be the best price or the exact product you were looking for, but it may be a feeling. If you trust the vendor to execute your requests and have your best interest at heart, they are the one for you.
Once you have established your dream team of vendors, your planning process is largely completed. Keep up clear and open communication regarding your expectations and any updates to the wedding cost. As the date approaches, you will need to confirm the final details and timeline with them, then let them do their jobs.
Choosing trusted and experienced wedding vendors that you love and meet your budget is no simple task. Stay positive and patient. Everything will fall into place with the right wedding suppliers on your side.