The vendors that you choose are a very important part of your dream wedding. We thought we would share a few tips to keep in mind when selecting your vendors.
Understand Your Budget
Set your budget and the number of guests first so that you don’t fall in love with a venue or vendors that are out of your price range. Even if you do end up spending a little more than you had anticipated; it’s better to lay out your expectations with you and your fiancé, in private. As you comparison shop, you’ll get a much clearer picture of how much this is all going to cost you. Whether your budget is $10,000 or $10 million, find a vendor that will creatively rise to the occasion. The best will be able to suggest creative swaps that can keep you within your budget
Once you’ve edited the list of potential vendors, ask them to see reviews or testimonials from the last year. You can even ask them if you can contact a few of the couples they’ve worked with recently. Since many vendors work closely together in the area, you could also ask other vendors, your catering manager or wedding planner if they’ve worked with this particular person before and if they would recommend them.
The Right Fit
Be aware of how potential vendors deal with your initial contact: How do they react, how quickly do they respond, and how do they conduct themselves? Follow your gut. It’s usually right and should be a good guide to follow. First impressions mean a lot, and so does interacting with your vendor. If you don’t feel comfortable with them now, why would you on your wedding day?
Remember, you’ll be interacting with them on what will likely be the most emotional day of your life, so you want someone who will be able to put you at ease, not stress you out. Not every vendor is the right fit for you and not every wedding couple is a good fit for the vendor. It’s ok when this happens. No hard feelings, just move on.
Familiarity with Your Venue
In some cases, a vendor having an existing relationship with a venue can be a big plus. They’ll already know about any shortcomings — like if the space needs a generator or is challenging to load into — and how to work around them. Alternatively, if you’re having doubts about your vendor, you can ask the venue manager about her experience with them. Questions about how they treat people behind the scenes and if they handle stress well can tell you a lot.
Being familiar with the venue is especially important when selecting a photographer; they already know the best places to take photos, how to get around the property quickly and the best alternate locations if you encounter inclement weather. They will also be able to show you photos from past weddings at your actual location.
Understanding Your Uniqueness
You want to collaborate with someone who will listen and create an event that isn’t just beautiful but reflects you two as a couple. Your wedding theme, décor and special touches should reflect your unique personalities. The right vendor will create moments where your guests think, “This is SO you!”
All Packages are NOT Created Equal
Just remember that each vendor prices their packages differently, they include vastly different services in their packages and add value because of their specific experience. It would be like trying to compare apples to oranges, it’s not a fair comparison. As a consumer, you are looking to find the service that best matches your needs. Remember to objectively consider each vendors services for the cost. A florist that is cheaper may not always be better. Consider your budget, but also consider the vendors experience and quality of service when making your decisions.
When you are chatting with a potential vendor, communicate what you need and who you are. The more information the vendor has, the better they can figure out how to best help you. When vendors ask you questions, it’s usually for a reason other than being nosey. Honesty is the best policy here.
Get Everything in Writing
In order to truly understand what’s included in a quoted price; the vendor should itemize everything for you. For example, if you know that you want pink roses and white hydrangea in your centerpieces, then all of that should be listed. Although this might sound too much, this information will safeguard you in the event of a dispute or in case the items you requested aren’t available during that time because of unforeseen issues.
When reviewing the contract, look out for any hidden costs (wording such as “additional costs may be incurred” and “plus setup and delivery”). Ask for clarification if anything is unclear. For some vendors, you’ll also need to know their policy on fees in case the ceremony or reception runs over the original ending time.
Know When It’s Time to Walk Away
When you’re not happy with a vendor, wait until you can articulate your concerns in a non-emotional way. Express the problem, and then ask for a solution. Depending on how they react, it may make sense to part ways. If you have a contract, you’ll likely have to pay a fee, but it may be worth it to move on to someone who’s a better fit.
Remember that We Are Here for You!
If you keep these things in mind when looking to hire your wedding vendors, we think you’ll be able to assemble the perfect team to carry out the wedding of your dreams. At the end of the day, we are in the wedding business because we LOVE it. We want your wedding to be better than you every expected it to be! On the big day, relax and remember to leave the rest up to us!