This is what today’s couples actually do to find and hire vendors for their wedding.
Step 1 – Gather recommendations from friends, family and wedding vendors they trust.
Your family and friends are a great resource for discovering great businesses to work with. They may have used some great businesses they have worked with and recommend. Find out what they liked about working with each business and what they would have like to see improved (get the good and bad). Your tastes and styles may not be the same but their recommendation on service & quality may help you get started.
Couples also turn to their “friends” in the social media and wedding chat community for recommendations at this stage. I discourage you from posting “looking for recommendations” as you will get overwhelmed with the responses. As a photographer, my client should already be aware of my brand; either directly or a direct referral from someone I trust.
Bridal Shows or Wedding Planners can be great resources Since COVID has limited in-person shows, you may want to contact a Wedding Planner. Not only do you get top notch businesses to work with; they will help you before & on your wedding day.
Step 2 – Research those recommended businesses online.
Once you’ve gathered the names of potential vendors, gather as much information as possible online. Read reviews or testimonials and visit their gallery for images of their work. Most businesses have a particular style; does it match your vision?
Step 3 – Contact the vendors who make the cut…and dump the rest.
After examining all the information you’ve gathered, you are finally ready to contact the wedding professionals who meet your criteria. Make an appointment with each business to speak with them, either in person or via a video call. To prepare yourself to make a decision, ask a lot of questions. Besides asking if they have your date available and pricing, ask what makes you different; what value am I receiving (what specifically do they provide for the money), have you worked with ______ (insert any businesses you have booked), and any others you may have.
Step 4 – Making a decision
After collecting all of your answers it’s time to make a decision. If you are sticking to your budget, now is the time to revisit it. Does your choice fit? If doesn’t and you really want to work with them, you and your fiancee should make adjustments to your budget. Are there areas you could spend less to compensate or spending more in another area? Remember your reason for creating your budget in the first place. A wedding is no reason to go into debt.
I hope this has been helpful. If you really don’t know where to start, ask your venue or photographer for a list of their recommended vendors. They are your best resource; they have worked with so many different businesses and can help offer suggestions.