How To Find The Best Vendors For Your Celebration
Updated: Aug 18, 2020
Finding vendors who understand you and your vision can be one of the most stressful parts of the wedding planning process! Trying to find a team of vendors who mesh with your personalities, make you feel heard, understand your priorities and your budget can feel daunting, to say the least. We understand your frustrations, and we’re here to give you some tips to make finding wedding vendors that fit your needs easier!
Know Your Priorities
Before you begin thinking about your vendors, you first have to know what it is that you want from them. Sit with your partner to discuss your priorities or the things that matter most to you. Ask yourself, what is the most important thing to you? How do you want to feel? What do you want your guests to remember the most?
Answering questions like these will help cut away the extra details that don’t matter to you so that you know exactly what to devote brain space to and you can define your budget accordingly.
Once you've identified your priorities and divided your budget between them, consider your specific needs, desired style, as well as the personality of each vendor as you meet them. This is a sure-fire way to find the vendors you need to help you bring your day to life!
Consult Your Venue
Your venue can play a huge role in selecting your vendor team. Be sure to ask your venue's coordinator if they have a Preferred Vendor Policy before you commit to the location. If they do, you will likely be required to use a list of pre-selected vendors exclusive to the venue.
Having a venue that offers Preferred Vendors can be an awesome bonus because the vendors already aware of the needs for your specific venue and they're familiar with the venue layout and on-site staff. However, it could also mean that you have a limited stance in negotiations or a lack of flexibility in package customizations due to the venue's limited options.
Whether you find the presence of a list of Preferred Vendors as a tool that makes vendor selection easier or as an added restriction, be sure to ask each potential venue what their policy is so that you're aware of your options before you're too far committed.
If your venue doesn't offer Preferred Vendors, don't be afraid to ask the venue coordinators and staff for recommendations! They are great resources for finding vendors as they work with a stream of various vendors weekly, giving them the inside scoop on which vendors specialize in what and which are better to work with overall!
Each One, Teach One
Asking for referrals from someone you trust is one of the best ways to find potential wedding vendors! Whether you consult your wedding planner or your cousin who got married last year, turn to people in your life who have recently thrown a wedding or a celebration and ask them which vendor outshined the rest.
Also, ask about vendors they didn't love working with and what they would improve if they could plan their event again. Once you begin to book your vendors, ask them which vendors they would use if they were getting married and let one vendor lead you into another!
You can also visit different online wedding sites like The Knot, WeddingWire, and Wedding Chicks, which offer customer-reviews for wedding vendors across various specialties.
It Doesn’t Hurt to Ask
While searching for vendors can be fun, remember to be thorough with your questions to get the full scope on each vendor. If something seems “too good to be true,” ask questions to clarify intent and ask for all quotes, amendments, and other changes or updates to be documented in writing.
Don’t be afraid to ask potential vendors in-depth about their services, price, and most importantly, customizations and additional add-ons! Remember that vendors are typically more willing to agree to specific package customizations and add-ons before you sign your contract, rather than saying “no” and risk losing your business.
In saying this, it is also crucial to consider all the work behind-the-scenes that your vendors do to bring your vision to life, as well as factoring in the average rates of professionals in your area. While you want to try to negotiate the best deal for your budget, you never want to insult your vendors and undermine their worth and experience.