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There is so much to get done before your big day. A hundred things to plan, a hundred things to buy and a hundred people to call. It can be a bit overwhelming, especially if you’re planning everything yourself.
Your to-do list is piling up, you have a lot of hard choices to make and, when it comes to potential vendors, a lot of options. To help ease some of that stress, here’s our guide to choosing your wedding vendors.
Your weddings vendors are everyone that’s providing you a product or service for your big day. This may include, but is not limited to:
These are the people you’re meeting with, talking to and paying to ensure your wedding goes off without a hitch. So essentially, they are really, really important. And with so many to choose from, deciding on just one per category can be a tough call.
There are several things you have to think about before choosing someone as your vendor and whether or not you like them isn’t always the most important thing to consider.
The thing in the forefront of your mind during the whole wedding planning process should be your budget. When shopping around for your vendors, make sure you’re not falling in love with ones that are out of your price range. And if you are, ask yourself this: is whatever this vendor is for important enough that you can add a little money to that part of the budget and take away from another?
If you can’t find their pricing on their website or on the Knot (or whatever planning tool you’re using), you can still add them to your list of potentials, just make sure you get a quote before settling on them and meeting with them.
There are a ton of vendors out there to choose from. Dozens in every category. So when you’re doing your research, make a list of ones you really like. Venues you want to look at, photographers whose style is just gorgeous, etc. If you can, rank these vendors or put them in categories so you know which ones to start with.
This list can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be. But keep this in mind: organization pays off. So being thorough and categorizing by price and priority can help you out down the road more than you think it will.
Your venue is the number one thing on your list. Then photographer and caterer. Make sure you take care of everything in the right order so that you have the biggest things taken care of before you move on to the next. You really should have a date and place set before trying to book just about everything else. Window shopping is acceptable, however.
Within each category, also prioritize your wants and needs. If an outdoor space for your ceremony is super important to you, don’t focus on venues that are indoor only. If you know you want to spend a little extra money on a really great photographer make sure that’s indicated in your budget, so you don’t try to spend extra money on something else.
Start with your top category of vendors and reach out to them to ask for more information. Cross off any ones that don’t get back to you or are outside of your budget. Our suggestion would also try and schedule your appointments for one vendor within the same week or two. Don’t overbook yourself, of course, but many vendors’ calendars will start filling up pretty far in advance. If you fall in love with a particular vendor, but still want to look around at other options, you don’t want to wait too long in case they get booked before you have the opportunity to.
And get answers. Make sure you ask every question you can think of and get full answers to everything. It’s very not cool when vendors aren’t transparent with you about the space, or price, or whatever, or aren’t taking your concerns seriously.
The great thing about most wedding venues is that they know how to get things done. They work with vendors in your area all the time and at some point, they will have a good enough relationship with them to add them to a preferred or suggested vendors list. These lists can be a lifesaver.
The preferred vendors list contains vendors you have to use for your event. And the suggested vendors list is just that, vendors that your venue has experience with and suggest you use, but do not require you to use.
If you already know who you want to use for a caterer, for example, don’t look at venues that don’t have them on their preferred vendors list. Other than that, the lists can help narrow down what other vendors to look at. These companies will be tried and true and you can expect great results.
That might seem like a weird thing to say about your wedding vendors, but how you feel when leaving your appointment is super important. How was the person you met with? Were they friendly and accommodating? Did they share your vision and answer all your questions? Or did they rush you out and undermine your ideas? How you’re treated in an initial consultation is a sneak peek at how the rest of your event planning will go.
There are so many small details that go into creating your dream wedding, but that doesn’t mean you should have to stress. Generation Tux lets you sample your clothing before the big day, in the comfort of your living room. See what we have to offer to make your union extraordinary.
Featured image by McDonald Video & PhotographyPick Your Look Now