Your wedding day is one of the most memorable days of your life. You (and your wedding planner) make all the planning decisions about the experience you want your guests to have. But it’s your wedding vendors that turn all those ideas and dreams into a reality.
It’s important that you choose the right vendors to bring your vision to life. You need to trust that they understand your vision and are able to execute your plans flawlessly. But how do you know how to choose the perfect wedding vendors?
How to approach wedding vendors
The most important thing to remember when choosing your wedding vendors is that there’s no one perfect vendor for everyone. Each couple is different and wants different things for their wedding day. What works for one couple, may not be right for another.
No matter what kind of wedding you want, there are a few things you can do to ensure you select the perfect wedding vendors. As you begin approaching and choosing your wedding vendors, here are five important things you need to know.
01. Determine your priorities before talking to any vendors
The ultimate goal of your wedding day is for you and your groom to get married. But it’s important to take time to decide what your other wedding day priorities are before you begin choosing your wedding vendors. Knowing what’s important to you helps narrow down the vendor choices and makes the budgeting process easier.
If you want to have a bubbly bar at your reception, you probably don’t need the full bar package from your caterer. Maybe you decide you want a full band. As you select your venue, you want to make sure a full band would fit comfortably into the space.
Being aware of your budget is an important part of knowing how to approach vendors. You don’t need to meet with a invitation designer if it’s not important for you to have custom invitations. If having gorgeous florals is a priority, you want to make sure the vendors you meet with have experience designing those installs.
Brides Tip: Write out your top two or three priorities and have your groom do the same. Compare your lists and decide together what’s most important for your wedding day.
02. Do your research ahead of time
Before you meet with a vendor, you want to make sure their work matches your style and vision. This is your wedding day and you want to work with vendors who will work with your style. It’s important to choose wedding vendors that understand what experience you want to create, not just want the vendor wants. Designing beautiful pieces is one thing, but when it’s not what you’re looking for you’re going to be disappointed.
Brides Tip: Talk to at least two or three vendors, even if you think the first one is the one.
03. Ask for recommendations and testimonials
Previous brides are one of your most valuable sources of information. They’ve been through the process and know what it’s like. They understand first-hand how crucial it is to select the right wedding vendors. They’ll tell it like it is, which is especially helpful if they didn’t have a wonderful experience. They want your wedding day to be a success and for you to avoid the mistakes they made.
Another great source of vendor information is from other vendors. If you’ve started working with a vendor you trust, don’t be afraid to ask them for recommendations. They work with closely with other vendors. They see the good, the bad, and the ugly. Other vendors can provide insight into how a vendor cope with the things that don’t go according to plan.
Brides Tip: When you meet with vendors, ask for previous client testimonials and ask if you can contact them. Talking to them can help alleviate any concerns or fears or confirm that they’re the best fit for you.
04. Ask to see the vendor’s portfolio
A complete portfolio gives you an idea of what a wedding day with the vendor looks like from start to finish. Browsing their portfolio is a great way for you to see what creative ideas they have. You might see something you didn’t know they could do. But if what they show you isn’t your style, try not to let that discourage you. If you’re impressed with their work, just imagine what they can do with your vision!
Especially for wedding photographers, it’s normal for them to only post their best work or part of their portfolio on their website. Seeing the whole project allows you to see what their photos look like inside, outside, in natural light and in dark reception halls. If you love their light airy style, but are getting married in a dark reception hall, your photos will look different. You want to be sure you love what they can do in an environment that’s similar to where you’ll be having your wedding.
Brides Tip: When you set up your first meeting, be sure to ask them to bring their portfolio to the meeting. That way if you have any questions or concerns you can ask them about it during the meeting.
05. Find vendors who are willing to be a part of your team
You want to make sure you get along with your wedding vendors. You’ll be meeting and communicating with them a lot. You don’t want to dread interacting with them. You want to feel confident in the knowledge and expertise they have.
If something won’t work with your budget or isn’t in season, you want them to suggest alternatives or other options. You want them to be honest and open with you. That helps set clear expectations for what you expect from them and what they can create for you. It’s crucial that if you hear or see a red flag, you don’t ignore it!
Clear and specific communication is essential to creating your wedding vendor dream team. It may seem odd for wedding vendors to lay out the smallest details on their proposals or contracts, but it’s actually beneficial! It ensures everyone is on the same page and can help safeguard you if unforeseen issues come up.
Brides Tip: Meeting a vendor in person is the best way to get a feel for who they are. I recommend you meet them for the first time in person. If you’re unable to meet or are doing a destination wedding, schedule a video meeting.
Choosing the Right Wedding Vendors
Being clear about your wedding day expectations makes it easier to find vendors who will get on board with you. Taking time to research their work and make sure you get along with them helps ensures everyone is on the same page. Testimonials and recommendations are a great way to learn about their skills, knowledge, and expertise. Choosing the right wedding vendors means you can be confident about letting them do what they’re best without worrying about the outcome. And it gives you the opportunity to spend your time with your enjoying your engagement.
Photos by Jennifer Baryn Photography