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6 Tips for Choosing Your Wedding Vendors

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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.

Who are 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:

  • Venue
  • Pho­tog­ra­ph­er and Video­g­ra­ph­er
  • Cater­er
  • DJ or Band
  • Rental Com­pa­ny
  • Florist
  • Offi­ciant
Wedding details shot invitation and paper suite burgundy

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.

How to choose a wedding vendor

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.

1. Find the right price

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.

2. Make a list

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.

3. Prioritize

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.

Bride and groom in blue suit laughing

4. Request and Schedule

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.

5. Ask Questions

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.

6. Preferred Vendors

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.

7. Go with your gut

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.

Harpist at wedding

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 & Pho­tog­ra­phy Pick Your Look Now

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