Choosing the correct vendors is an essential component to ensuring that your big day runs as smooth as possible. Prior to meeting with your vendors, we encourage you to take a look at these tips so you know what to expect during vendor meetings.
What order should we book our vendors? You’ll want to book based on their availability (or lack there of) to take multiple events. So start with the vendors that can most likely only do one event a day, and then move on from there. Here’s a list of the typical booking order:
Priority– Venue(s), photographer, DJ/Band, planner, videographer (vendors who only have one spot open per day are going to be the first ones to book up!)
Next up – Caterer, Officiant, rentals, florist, hair & makeup
Less urgent – Transportation, photo booth, lighting, stationer, baker (I put these in the “less urgent” category because these vendors generally have the ability to book multiple events in a day)
1.) Know, Embrace, and Stick to Your Budget
As we discussed in the Budget Bundle, your budget is a huge factor when determining what services you will need from your vendors. By prioritizing your budget based upon your wants and needs from your vendors can allow you to narrow down which services you may need more of or less of. If you haven’t done this yet, stop now and go back and complete the Budget Breakdown before doing anything else!
2.) What is Your Style?
Before getting too far into securing your wedding vendors, we encourage you to begin choosing your color scheme and style for your big day. This component of planning becomes essential when selecting which vendors will help convey your vision of your wedding day. In order to portray the vision you ideally would like to create on your wedding day, it may be helpful for you to bring examples of what you would like your vendor to provide including color scheme, Pinterest links, and any other forms of inspiration.
If you do not have examples of what you specifically want, it is always helpful when portraying your vision to your vendors to know your likes and dislikes. This can help the vendors create exactly what you are looking for. Most often this refers to the visuals like linens, florals, and design, but don’t forget it’s equally important for your non-design vendors like the musicians and photographers to fit into the personality of the event you are creating.
3.) Do Your Research
When they say that preparation is key, they are not kidding. Doing your research about a potential wedding vendor prior to meeting with them is important. This will give you a general idea of what services the vendor provides, and what you can expect from them. Research prior to meeting with your vendor allows you to see the possible package offers that the vendor provides (and the prices!). Take time to review these services to come up with questions specific to your needs.
4.) Come with Questions Ready
Thinking about your big day and the services you expect to receive from your vendors comes along with a lot of unanswered questions. Upon initially meeting with your vendors, we encourage you to write these questions down as they come up because your vendors will be more than happy to clear up those questions. Having your questions ready for your vendors and getting these questions answered will give you a clear idea of what exactly to expect from their services. We’ll chat about some common questions to ask different vendors next!
5.) Listen to your gut
After meeting with your potential wedding vendor for the first time, it is important to remember that you are not set in stone with that vendor. Wait to sign any contracts until you are sure that they are the one. Do not be afraid to ask your potential vendor for other referrals. There is an emotional component involved when choosing your vendors, and if you do not seem to click with them, it is okay to look elsewhere. Your vendors are a huge contributing factor on your wedding day, and we urge you to find the vendor that is the best fit for you.
6.) Personality matters (sometimes)
While it’s great if you can be besties with your baker or stationer, their personalities aren’t going to be make or break on your wedding day. There are some wedding vendors that can greatly impact your wedding day negatively if you don’t mesh, so make sure that you take this into consideration in the interview process. These vendors include those that you’ll be interacting with all day, or will be interacting with your guests for a large portion of the event. For example, your photographer and videographer, who will be your own personal paparazzi for the day, and your DJ/Band who will be dictating the energy of the reception. Your officiant will be the one performing the actual service, so it’s important that they can reflect the energy that you want for your ceremony.
And of course, you’ll be working very closely with your wedding planner/coordinator, whether they are helping you through the entire planning process or just pulling together the final details and there with you on the day of. If your personalities clash with any of these vendors, it can result in an unnecessarily stressful day.