One of the most stressful and challenging things about getting married is finding and hiring the perfect wedding vendors for your big day. Regardless of the wedding vendor’s role in your day, regardless of their contributions will be small or large, all your wedding vendors will make a significant impact on the overall outcome of your wedding day. Because of this, it is imperative to take your time and follow some simple steps to ensure you are hiring quality and reputable wedding vendors that will ensure the success of your big day.
When you enter the world of wedding vendors you are often entering a world that seems foreign and strange. As you will soon discover, there is really no shortage of wedding vendors in each of the traditional wedding segments. However, gaining information from them can be difficult, challenging, and time-consuming. The overall goal is to find professional that are right for you, not only with product, service and price but with personality as well. Remember some vendors like wedding photographers will play an integral part leading up to and on your day. They literally are coming on your journey with you, do you want to make such an important decision based on price alone? The search for wedding day vendors can begin in a number of places. Knowing where to look and what to look for will assist you in your search. Online resources like TheWeddingDistrict.com, The Knot, WeddingWire, and Martha Stewart Weddings are a great place to start and continually engage with during your journey. The following are suggestions as to where you may begin the search for your wedding vendors.
The greatest value in bridal shows is the opportunity to meet with a large number of wedding vendors and view many vendors, products, and services at one time, in one location. There are many categories of vendors represented at the shows, making it a great tool for doing local market research and for gathering a large amount of wedding-related information. If you find vendors you particularly connect with, book a personal one-on-one appointment as most wedding vendors offer many specials and discounts during their Bridal Shows.
Ceremony and Reception Venues
Venues are a great place to get some insight into your wedding vendor prospects. The venues you are touring for your wedding day are quite familiar with most of the local wedding vendors, and often have a preferred wedding vendor list. The wedding vendors on the venues list have worked at that site many times before and are familiar with the logistics, challenges, and rules of the venue.
Friends and Family
Enlist your outspoken and candid friends and family members (even co-workers) who historically usually give you honest no-nonsense answers and opinions about their own weddings. Inquire about their vendors, what they liked and didn’t like, would they hire them again, etc.? Check their online ratings and reviews and ensure alignment with the feedback you personally received.
Local Bridal Magazines
Using local wedding magazines and directories can be confusing and overwhelming, as there are a large number of advertisements in these publications. Remember, most of these local resources are in the advertising business and they are in the business of selling ads. You can, however, find excellent vendors in your local magazines, but it will take some effort to qualify these vendors.
Wedding planners have established relationships with most local venues and vendors. If you are going to work with a wedding planner, she will be able to provide you with her preferred vendor list. However, if you are not working with a planner, you can still benefit from their knowledge, as most planners will share their preferred vendor list with you for a fee. One great reason to work with wedding planners is that they send a lot of business to local wedding vendors and these vendors cannot afford to make a mistake or no show your event as they not only risk your event, they risk all future events with your wedding planner. Another advantage of using wedding planners is they are very familiar with the terms and conditions of contracts and once you have selected your vendors, you must get a written contract with each. A contract is the best way of ensuring you and your vendor understand what is expected and is your ONLY legal protection should things go wrong. The contract should outline specifics such as dates, times, names, and types of services/products provided. It will also spell out payment plans, refund, and cancellation policies. Ensure you read and understand the contract.
Important Tip: You have not secured a wedding vendor for your wedding day until you have a contract that is executed by both you and the vendor.