When you’re planning your wedding, choosing the perfect wedding vendors is one of the most difficult and important decisions you’ll make. Ultimately, these are the people who are responsible for making sure your wedding runs as smoothly as possible, from the time you begin getting ready in the morning until the last song finishes at the reception. When Dave and I first got engaged, most of my wedding-planning energy was focused on research local vendors to make sure we would have the absolutely best for us. Because of the time I spent and the steps I took, I’m confident our wedding day will run as smoothly and as stress-free as possible. Here are a few tips to follow for choosing the perfect wedding vendors for you.
1. Budget and Prioritize
Before you begin booking anything for your wedding, you should sit down with your fiance and decide upon a firm budget. To do this, you’ll need to figure out generally what costs are in your area for vendors, food etc. When you’re decided on a budget for each vendor, decide which are most important to you.
Are you into scrapbooking and plan to cover your walls in wedding pictures? You might decide to allocate extra money toward a photographer.
Planning to DIY your bouquets? You won’t have to budget for a florist then.
What I recommend, and what Dave and I did, is sit down together and choose three priorities. We each chose one, and then had one that was a priority for both of us. My priority was the photographer, and Dave’s was catering. Together we chose the honeymoon. That meant anything that wasn’t on that short list was going to have a smaller budget. We were able to find a fantastic DJ running a deal to fit into our budget, but I did DIY flowers and we’re setting up our own camera in lieu of a videographer.
You Might Also Like: Breaking Down Your Wedding Budget
2. Do Your Research
I ultimately spent hours online researching vendors and reading reviews on just about any site I could find them one. If there was a vendor I was interested in, I read reviews on Yelp, Google, The Knot, Wedding Wire, etc. I left no stone un-turned.
3. First Impressions
When you contact a vendor for the first time, take note of the exchange goes. If they take a week to return a message, they might not be as reliable as you’d like. If they seem rude or annoyed, they probably aren’t going to be very pleasant to work with.
4. Meet In Person
It is 10000x easier to know how you feel about a vendor if you meet them in person. This will help leaps and bounds in knowing if their personality and style mesh well with yours.
5. Trust Your Gut
Going along with #4, trust your initial gut impression about them. This was definitely how we made a final decision on our vendors. All of them have an awesome personality that we immediately knew would mesh well with ours. We continue to notice this every time we meet with our vendors. Every time we see our officiant for premarital counseling, we note that we would totally be friends with him in real life if he were local. When we did our engagement session with our photographer, we had an absolute blast and laughed so much.
Having vendors that are a good personality fit is going to dramatically improve your experience on the big day.
6. Don’t Be Afraid to Negotiate
Vendors know that couples have budgets and quite often, they’re willing to negotiate their prices or packages to fit within that budget. Obviously, you shouldn’t expect a $10,000 photographer to negotiate within your $2,000 photography budget but certainly try within reason. I was able to negotiate both our caterer, photographer, and DJ to a lower price!
7. What’s Right for One Isn’t Right for All
Obviously, some vendors are just better than others. But that doesn’t mean the perfect wedding vendors for someone else are going to be right for you. Each vendor you find is going to have a different personal style and it’s important to find one that can share your vision. Just because your best friend loved the photographer she used for her wedding does not mean you’ll have the same experience! When you find the right vendor, you’ll know!
What are your tips for choosing the perfect wedding vendors?
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