How To Select The Perfect Wedding Vendor

How To Select The Perfect Wedding Vendor

Let’s face it - your wedding day is one of the biggest days of your life. It’s also potentially one of the most stressful. After all, you want to be sure everything is perfect, and not just for your guests. When everything runs smoothly, it allows you to focus on and enjoy your day.

That’s why selecting the perfect group of vendors is a must. Really, this goes for any event or party you host. When you’ve got good vendors on your side, the amount of work you’ll need to do is lessened.

But let’s get back to vendors for weddings really quick. Your wedding day will likely include several vendors, and it’s important to know what to look for as you’re vetting them.

Wait, I just got engaged. What types of vendors should I be thinking about?

Really, the answer to this question can depend a lot on the type of wedding you’re going to have. You may use all of the typical vendors, or just one or two.

Most commonly, some of the vendors you’ll need to work with while planning your wedding are: the venue, a photographer, a caterer if it’s not included in the venue, any rentals you might need (think things like a big tent for an outdoor wedding or special lighting), someone who will make your cake or dessert table, a DJ or band, an officiant, a wedding planner or day of coordinator, a videographer, transportation (for you or for your guests), a stylist for your hair and makeup, and finally, a designer for your invitations.

Yes, that’s a lot of vendors to vet. Even if you don’t end up needing all of these people as a part of your big day, you’ll likely need to coordinate with at least a few of them. This is why it’s so important to vet your vendors and select good ones - a group this large can really make or break your big day.

Okay, so what should I look for in a vendor?

First things first, you should compare several vendors in the industry you’re needing. For example, find 3 to 5 wedding photographers, and check out their social media, reviews and examples of their work. This will help you eliminate some vendors immediately as you find they don’t match your style.

If they don’t have references online, you can always reach out to any vendor and ask them for references. This is a good idea for you to get a holistic idea of the work they do. You may have seen images of a few venues you want to explore further, but those images won’t tell you if their staff or if their food doesn’t taste as good as it looks.

Next, reach out and set up some meetings. I always recommend having a face-to-face or at least a phone call with any type of vendor you’re looking to book. You’ll be able to get a better idea of their personality - and yes, a vendor’s personality is very important if you’re going to be working with them for several months leading up to your wedding.

This can also help you determine how good they are at communicating. Communication is perhaps the most important thing to consider with a vendor.

Then, come up with some questions to ask them to ensure they’ll be the perfect fit for your wedding. This will look different for every vendor and for every wedding. You could ask your DJ or band if they have restrictions in what they can play. Or your baker if they cater to your allergies.

Alright, got it! So I followed the tips, booked the perfect vendors, and now I’m all set, right?

Sort of! There’s still a lot of work to be done, so don’t get too comfy just yet. Now it’s time to schedule. Does your vendor require some follow-up appointments before your big day? For example, do you need to schedule a cake tasting with your bakery or a few trial hair and makeup sessions to be sure your look is perfect before the day of?

The answer is probably yes. Plan these appointments in advance so you’re not left scrambling as you get close to your wedding day so you can enjoy the process rather than getting frazzled by it.

It’s also a good idea to set up your payment dates with your vendors well before the wedding as well. It’s no surprise weddings are expensive. Making sure you have a clear payment schedule for all of your vendors will help make sure you aren’t spreading yourself thin.

photo by JJ Horton Photography

I’m married! The wedding day went great and the vendors were awesome. We’re done now, right?

If you want, yes! But first, think about all the work you did to pick out your vendors, and how much of that relied on references and reviews. Pay it forward to the next bride and take some time in the weeks following your wedding to write reviews for all of your vendors. They’ll appreciate it and you’ll be helping out the next person tremendously.

And if your vendor did really great, it never hurts to send them a thank you card! They’ll appreciate it endlessly, and it’s just a nice touch. After all, us vendors are people, too :)


Photos by:

Amore Vita Photography
Angela Tucker Photography
Ashley Steffens Photography
Alicia Barrington Photography
JJ Horton Photography


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