Your vendor team will play such a crucial role in your wedding day. They will know when to blend seamlessly into the crowd while still ensuring that your vision is achieved through their specialty. When you sit down to determine your budget much of it will be allotted to the venue and the vendors.
Prioritize and then seek quality. Having six vendors that save on cost but are short on talent will leave you frustrated through the process and disappointed with the final product. You only get one shot at this day so do your research, ask a lot of questions, and assemble the team you want taking care of you on your special day!
Here are 6 tips for selecting the dream team:
Let your passions drive your priorities. When you and your fiancé sit down and discuss the different elements of your wedding (i.e. florals, food, music, stationery, photos, video, etc.) consider what gets you the most excited. That element is where you should dedicate your attention and budget first.
Meet with multiple wedding vendors in a specific specialty. If one is significantly lower in cost than others this should raise a red flag. Pay attention to what each potential vendor offers and make sure what is priority to you is checked off the list.
The old adage “You get what you pay for” applies to weddings as well. You are specifically seeking a quality team member, so don’t let the bells and whistles drive your decision.
As you are meeting with a variety of potential wedding vendors there are things you should be considering.
- Do you vibe with them? Remember – first impressions matter.
- Do they understand your personal style?
- Are they willing to work with specific and possible non-traditional details that you want to include?
- What is their turnaround time and day-to-day communication look like?
- Do they seem like a team player?
- What is their personal experience in the wedding industry?
In our opinion, a professional demeanor is a must. There are so many vendors to choose from for your wedding, but the ones that stand out and are booked over and over by couples are professional from their initial consultation to after the big day. They respond in a timely manner, follow through on their offerings, have positive reviews from past clients, and a solid reputation from other vendors.
When looking at a vendor’s work you’ll want to look for two different things: multiple weddings and just one wedding they have completed. For a photographer for instance – not only should you view their website and social media to get a better idea of their style and to see a variety of weddings they have done recently. But we would also suggest that you specifically ask to see a full gallery of one wedding from start to finish.
This gives you an accurate vision of the scope of the day and how each photographer handles different venues, décor details and even difficult lighting (think dark reception halls, bright outdoor ceremonies, etc). From getting ready details and your first look, to the place settings and suspended florals on the head table, you will be able to see what they are capable of on a wedding day.
When you tell former brides you are getting married they are typically quick to recommend (or possibly discourage) certain wedding vendors. Though it is nice to have someone you trust give recommendations we would also encourage you to ask your own vendor team to recommend other vendors as well.
If you have booked your Wedding Coordinator or photographer they are a perfect resource for additional vendor recommendations. They work closely with vendors throughout the process leading up to and on the day of, and can often provide input on those who ultimately deliver for their brides and groom’s time and time again. Since they have a good handle on your style they will be able to point you in the right direction for additional wedding vendors.
And remember, no one caterer, band or florist is perfect for everyone. Compatibility is key.
The best way to get your questions answered about a particular vendor is to go straight to the source. Ask for a few recent former brides that you can reach out to. Prior to your call/email make a list of need-to-know questions. These questions should be reflective of your personality and what you know you will need and/or not want in a vendor. For example, if you know timely email responses and vendor input are top priority for you (which they should be in our opinion), make sure you ask.
You did it! You selected your perfect vendor team. But don’t forget to also include the person that aligns the A-Team together, a Day of Wedding Coordinator or full service Wedding Planner. 🙂
The vendors you selected are amazing at their specialty and will appreciate if you let them do just that on the day of. A Day of Wedding Coordinator or full service Wedding Planner will ensure your vendor team works cohesively and will execute your day, your way.
Our biggest takeaway? Hire people you genuinely like. It’s likely that you’re investing a lot of money into your wedding day, so you should spend your resources with wedding vendors that you really like and trust. Can you see yourself getting a cup of coffee with this vendor? If the answer is no, then don’t book them. Your vendors will not only be with you for many hours on your wedding day but you’ll also have to work with them in the many months leading up to the big day as well.
The JDWC Team
Images by Ivan & Louise