Hiring your wedding vendors is one of the most stressful parts of wedding planning. How do you know who’s right and, maybe more importantly, who’s wrong? Read on and we’ll guide you through the qualifications that you need to evaluate.
Your vendors are the hired guns, the professional people who will help you fulfill the day of your dreams. Examples of vendors are your photographer, DJ, caterer, venue, and many more. Unless you’re eloping at the courthouse, you’ll need wedding vendors. (Trust us, you can’t count on mom to do all of this stuff on wedding day.)
It can be completely overwhelming trying to decide which option is the right one for you, especially when you’re staring at a Google search list of 6,020,000 results. Consider these six qualifications when making your selections.
Their Experience – Have they ever worked at a wedding before? How many years of experience do they have? Weddings can be very difficult and very stressful to work. Sure, your favorite baker is a magician with cupcakes, but if they haven’t baked and delivered a wedding cake, they might not be the right fit for you. (Don’t underestimate the delivery aspect of wedding cake.)
Their Ability – Can they do the job that you’re hiring them to do? That seems like a pretty obvious question but it’s something that you’ll need to evaluate. Every business is going to portray themselves as able to do the job. Some vendors, like videographers, will be easy to evaluate. You can look at their portfolio, determine if you like their work, and proceed from there. Others, like officiants, will be more difficult. It’s not like you can sit down and watch videos of their ceremonies (unless they’re super tech and web savvy). Seek out reviews online, ask your recently married friends, and ask some of the wedding pros that you’ve already hired. Don’t forget that you can, and should, set a consultation with them and evaluate them for yourself.
Their Personality – Speaking of consultations and evaluating them, that’s what you need to do here. However, instead of checking on their skills, you’re checking on how well you mesh. Do you get along with them well? That’s an underrated part of the vendor search process8. You’re going to be dealing with these people an awful lot leading up to and on wedding day. You don’t want to be surrounded by jerks.
Their Customer Service – As just noted, you’re going to be dealing with these people a lot. They might be very skilled, but if they can’t return a phone call, it’s a problem. It’ll irritate you to no end if they’re completely unavailable to you leading up to your wedding.
Their Attention to Detail – If you’re not a detail-oriented person and they aren’t either, you’ll be fine. However, if you want your bouquets to be a certain, very specific design, you’re going to want a florist that pays attention to detail. You can see how important the details are to them by looking through their portfolio, evaluating their customer service, and even looking at their internet presence. If the copyright on their website hasn’t been changed since 2010, that’s a sign.
Their Cost – This is the most obvious qualification but it was intentionally saved for last. (We didn’t want you to overlook everything else!) If a vendor is completely, unattainably out of your price range, then it isn’t going to work. If the vendor of your dreams is slightly outside of your budget, then you might be able to shuffle things around a bit to make it happen. You could also just beg dad. That usually works.
You might not need or want every single category of vendor but you should at least consider them before wedding day comes. It’s fine if you’re foregoing fancy transportation like a limo or a party bus, but you still need to know how you’re going to get from Point A to Point B. Hopefully this list will help you figure out which pro is the right pro.