No matter how big or small, a wedding is a serious investment. Think of it as a second job, especially when it comes to assembling your wedding vendors. Use these tips to make great hires so that they can turn your vision into reality.
Write down your vision.
Sit down with your fiancé and make some decisions: What’s the budget? What’s most important? What is the look and feel? Do we want a big or small wedding? Deciding on these things now, helps the process go much smoother and you can also refer back to this as you move forward.
Start your search.
If you’re not using a wedding planner (which we highly recommend), you’ll have to be your own advocate. If you have already selected your venue, ask them who they would recommend. Some venues have a selected group of vendors, like the caterer, that you have to work with. Another great resource is word-of-mouth recommendations from friends, colleagues, etc. Searching the internet for wedding community blogs to make sure they are wedding professionals. For example, a studio or landscape photographer is not the right one for your wedding day. You can also search for vendors near you. Check out their websites and look at their online portfolios. And don’t forget to look at their reviews!
It’s time to meet.
After you have a list of 3-5 vendors, in each category, that you want to meet, set a time to sit down with them at their location or at a coffee shop. Talk to them about your overall vision and ask to see some of their work. We even suggest creating some boards on Pinterest with styles and colors you like so they too can get a better understanding of what it is you want.
Go with your gut.
Listen to your gut when it comes to choosing vendors. See how the conversation goes and how you feel when you’re talking about your wedding. If it flows really well and isn’t a sales-type pitch, that’s a really good sign. If they don’t seem excited about your wedding or don’t respect your vision, that’s a red flag. You will be spending months communicating back and forth with this person so you need to like them and feel comfortable conversing and asking questions. Another thing to pay attention is whether or not they are professional and organized. You don’t want someone who’s all over the place to be responsible for any element of your big day. After you have told them your vision, ask them for recommendations and specifics of how to bring your vision to life. Lastly, you may want to ask them if you could talk to some past clients. That can be the best kind of research.
Take time to decide.
Now that you have conducted your vendor interviews and emailed their references, take some time to look through all your notes. There is no need to rush this decision. Compare pricing, vision, likeness, etc. This will aid you in determining which vendor will best help you make your dream wedding come to life!
Sign the contract.
Once you have selected your vendors, they will send you a contract. Make sure these basics are included: date, time, and location, payment schedule, services offered (what's expected to be done and when), and a timeline for anyone who owes you something after the wedding (your videographer and photographer). Read through the whole contract so you understand what you're agreeing to. If you don’t understand something, have them explain it to you. The only way this relationship works is if you are both on the same page.