In order to create your dream wedding, you’ll need the right vendors to make it all happen. From florists and photographers to entertainment and cake bakers, finding the best professional for the job can be super stressful, but it doesn’t have to be with these tips on hand.
Ask for referrals. One of the best ways to find vendors is to ask friends and family members who have recently gotten married for their recommendations. They will be able to give you the scoop on a vendor’s strongest skills, anything to watch out for, pricing, etc.
Hire a planner. One of the biggest benefits to hiring a planner is her access to super-talented wedding vendors, as well as the ability to broker the best price for you. So if you have some extra money to budget for a planner, it might be worth the expense.
Make a list of must-haves. One you’ve narrowed down your search, create a list of musts for your big day. Whether it’s a five-tier ombre wedding cake or a cinematic wedding video, you want to make sure you have the vendor who can pull it off. And remember, you want to find someone who has done it before–not someone who says they can do it.
Pay attention to response time. How long does it take a vendor to get back to you when you first make contact? If it’s peak wedding season, then it might take someone a bit longer to email or call back. But if you find the need to follow up repeatedly with someone, then that’s not a vendor you’re going to want to deal with in the thick of wedding planning.
Ask the right questions. The initial interview with vendors is a good way to gauge not only if they can fulfill your wedding fantasies, but also if they can give you some suggestions on how to take your ideas to the next level. So don’t just tell them what you want–ask them what they envision for the event. You also want to ask some practical questions about insurance, deposits, final payments, cancellation fees, etc.
Look for someone with different styles. When checking out a vendor’s portfolio, you want to see some variety when it comes to style. You don’t want someone who specializes in one type of décor–such as boho chic–but instead want someone with experience putting together a multitude of themes and looks.
Call their references. While we’re sure no vendor is going to give you the name of someone who will give them a bad reference, it’s still worth calling or emailing the people on their list. You never know what might come out during the course of the conversation.
Go with your gut. If you feel comfortable with a vendor and love their work, then go for it. If you don’t feel like you can share your ideas openly with a professional–or worry he might not be able to pull off what you want–then trust your intuition and keep searching.
Want more wedding planning advice? Check out how to not go into debt for your wedding and the first five vendors you should book for your wedding.