Your wedding is your own personal Super Bowl, so you want to be sure you will have the best team possible on hand to back you up on your big day! Wedding vendors will provide everything that goes into creating the environment and experience you are dreaming of, so make sure you select professionals who have the right experience and passion.
Set Your Priorities First
It’s hard to find “just the right professional” if you aren’t clear about what you are looking for! The first thing you should do is sit down with your fiancé and decide together what your wedding priorities are. What elements are the most important to you? Is it the location, the flowers, the food, or the music? How many photos do you want and do you want to video the day as well as capture it in stills? Once you have prioritized everything, you can then assign a budget for your key items. Only after you get yourself organized are you ready to start calling vendors.
Choose Your Wedding Planner
A wedding planner isn’t for everyone, but they are more affordable than you might think. The right planner can save you considerable time and money as they have events down to a science, know tons of vendors and resources, and are familiar with venues and caterers. If you are considering hiring a professional wedding planner, finalize that right away. Be sure anyone you work with makes you feel listened to, and that communication is straightforward and easy. You will be working with this person for several months, through some challenging decisions and issues, so you want to feel very comfortable with your wedding planner.
Your Wedding Venue is Critical
If you have dreamed your whole life of getting married on the grounds of your favorite Inn, get on booking the location right away. Often times, venues dictate wedding dates based on their availability. So if your venue location is a must-have, book it immediately. Some venues also work only with specific vendors for certain things, another reason to finalize this detail right away before you start talking with other wedding vendors. You probably want to work with certain favorite vendors such as your florist or photographer, so make sure your venue is flexible so you can work with your own choices and budget.
Ask for Referrals
If you have certain vendors you already know and trust, ask them for referrals for your other wedding needs. They are around other wedding vendors all the time, have observed who is organized and even-tempered, what vendors go the extra mile to make an event special, and who the best local professionals are in a variety of wedding roles.
Ask any newlyweds you know for referrals to the vendors that they loved (or didn’t!). They likely have some excellent advice for you! Post a request for recommendations on your social media and ask around the office – most everyone has recent experience at a wedding or other big event and will be happy to share.
When you have identified a potential wedding vendor, get online and check out their social media and their website. A professional should have a decent website that makes a good first impression. It doesn’t have to be extravagant, but they should have an online presence that includes a portfolio or samples of their work, customer testimonials, and other helpful information for visitors. Go to their social media pages and read through the comments and reviews to see what other couples have had to say. Watch for reference to things that are important to you, such as that the vendor adapted to the desired wedding theme, that they went above and beyond in their duties, etc.
Interview & Check References
Even if you have a great recommendation for someone, take the time to meet and interview them. Ask them open-ended questions (not ones with yes or no answers) to get a feel for their personality, work style, and what kind of connection you have with them. Any wedding professional should be open to your special requests, and listen to you and answer your questions thoughtfully. You should feel they are easy to communicate with, as communication during a wedding event is crucial. If you are talking with this person cold, ask for 3-4 references you may speak with. Take the time to make these calls!
Stay within Your Budget
It’s very easy once the excitement of planning begins and you start speaking with people, to suddenly find yourself throwing your budget out the window. Don’t let vendors talk you into spending more than you planned. They should be able to work within your budget, or perhaps this is not the right vendor for you. Professional wedding vendors should be able to clearly outline their costs, any additional upcharges, and any restrictions over specific cost packages. Wedding notoriously have unexpected expenses along the way, so don’t start out over budget.
Your wedding vendor team is there to make sure your special day goes off without a hitch, jumping in to handle issues so you don’t have to, with a passion to help make your day as special as it can be. If a vendor makes you feel uncomfortable or is pushing their ideas onto you, find another vendor who better understands and supports your style and budget.
Featured Image Credits: Val Bozzi – Val Bozzi Photography: valbozziphotography.com