Once you have booked your venue and set your date, it’s time to start researching and choosing your vendors! Choosing wedding vendors to help you bring your wedding day vision to life is a very important task that can seem daunting at first. It’s often best to start researching and reaching out to vendors at least one year in advance of your planned wedding date, to ensure they are available. This will give you time to research and find the right wedding vendors that will play such an important role on your wedding day.
Some of the vendors you’ll want to start thinking about and researching about a year away from your date are:
- Reception entertainment (a DJ, band, etc)
- A photographer and/or videographer
- Transportation (if needed to get from your ceremony location to the reception location)
- Hair & makeup for the bride and/or bridal party
- Caterer (can depend on your venue)
- Wedding ceremony officiant
So how do you know when you’ve found the right wedding vendor? We’ve provided some tips below to help you figure out if you’ve found the right ones!
They’re Within Your Budget
For brides and grooms working with a budget, one of the most important tips for knowing when you’ve found the right vendor is selecting a vendor that is within your budget. When you’re researching vendors and reaching out to them, don’t shy away from asking about the cost of their services. If you find that a particular vendor you really wanted is out of your budget, see if you can eliminate or go with a lower cost option for another vendor. For example, if you really want a photographer that turns out being a little higher than your price range, consider choosing a professional DJ instead of a wedding band that can cost thousands more.
They’re Experienced and Have Good Reviews
Before you decide to contact a vendor, make sure to do your research. Browse their websites and social media accounts (if they have them) but also read reviews from past clients to get a better sense of their services. Find information related to their experience such as how many years they have been in business, and if they’ve ever been a vendor at your venue. Speak with friends or relatives who may be able to provide insight into an experience with a particular vendor, or find out if they have a recommendation. Ask your venue if they have a list of “preferred vendors” you could have. Oftentimes, this list isn’t something that vendors can pay to be listed on, but rather, it is based on factors such as reliability, professionalism, experience, quality of service and knowledge of the venue itself.
They Respond in a Reasonable Time Frame
When you’re reaching out to vendors and submitting contact forms online, we recommend that you keep an eye on how quickly they get back to you. Also, pay attention to the quality of their response. For example, if you’ve contacted a potential vendor and they don’t respond for several weeks, and when they do, they don’t tell you anything more than the information that you already found on their website, it may be a good idea write them off. A more responsive vendor can make all the difference when it comes to your big day.
Go With Your Gut
The best advice we can give you about how to know when you’ve chosen the right wedding vendor is to go with your gut! If after meeting with a vendor, you and your fiancé feel that they’d be a great fit for bringing your wedding day vision to life, then go for it!