Planning your wedding can be fun, exciting and for a lot of new brides-to-be, overwhelming. I’ve put together a list of 5 tips on choosing your wedding vendors.
Take some time to sit and consider what your needs and wants are. Again, not always easy. Talk so some friends, family and co-workers about their weddings and see if they have anything they wished they would’ve had or didn’t realize they needed or didn’t need. You’ll find some people may not have realized that if you want a wedding with 200 guests, it’s probably a smart idea to hire a Wedding Coordinator to organize those guests. Or maybe they loved their wedding pictures but wished they would’ve had a videographer too. Check out my Savvy Wedding Planning Tips post
This may be one of the most important things to do! Make sure you know, without a question, what you can afford. If you have a $5,000 wedding budget look around and see what that can get you. Basically, it goes back to what’s above…prioritize your needs…things you know, without a doubt have to happen. And I can’t emphasize enough…TALK WITH A LOT OF VENDORS. Do yourself a favor and speak with at least 4-5 florists, venues, photographers etc. It could take a lot of time, but it’ll be worth it. You could have 1 bridal bouquet in mind that one florist is charging $800 for and the one down the street will do it for $250. And DON’T BE AFRAID TO NEGOTIATE.
Ask who your friends and family members used! These are people you know personally and you can trust and value their opinions! They can tell you about what it was like working with them, the final product and all the in between. **Pro Tip: Unless you are completely new to the area where you will be getting married, tread lightly on the “Word of Mouth” pages on Facebook. Not to shed bad light on them, and they could be helpful for many aspects of life but this is a once in a lifetime event and you want it to be the best day possible. Stick with friends and family. If all else fails, find your venue and ask them for a list of preferred vendors. 😉
You’re going to be putting important aspects of your wedding day into these vendors hands. You’re going to be talking to them pretty regularly about your wedding to make sure its what you envisioned. And honestly, you’re going to need their support. You don’t have to come out of your wedding as best friends with your vendors but you definitely want to have a good working relationship with them. If you notice that a vendor isn’t responding to emails in a timely manner (timely is 24-48 hours btw), if they seem hesitant about your ideas and can’t specifically tell you why, if they make you feel “bad” about your budget ie “most of my brides spend $5,000 on flowers”…these are some things that might be red flags.
And I mean EVERYTHING. Please DO NOT deal with any vendor unless they provide AT LEAST a receipt for the deposits you’ve paid. It’s much smarter to not even deal with a vendor unless everything is in a written contract. Anything from the package they are providing you along with any other “extras”. If changes are made after the contract is signed, ad an amendment. Again, you’re turning over aspects of your wedding to them and forking over quite a bit of loot, I’m sure. GET EVERYTHING IN WRITING.