Enlisting a team of wedding professionals who compliment your style can often be a daunting task. Navigating online reviews and bridal shows can be completely overwhelming and misleading in giving you the best understanding of a vendor's’ ability, reputation, and personality. Below are some tips for choosing quality professionals you’ll come to trust and adore!
Ask your Venue Coordinator.
Venue coordinators have great experience with a variety of local vendors so they're an excellent source of reliable insight and recommendations about who can best help carry out your vision. Many venues have a list of “Preferred Vendors”. This does not mean you must choose from their list, it’s simply a collection of professionals who have proven themselves to provide a great product and service. They’ve proven their word is golden and that’s something that matters on your wedding day! Also, when you choose from the list of preferred vendors, you often are given special deals such as no delivery fees, special package pricing, etc. As you hire more vendors that you like and trust, ask them for their recommendations. You will definitely want a team that works well together, especially your videographer and photographer as they work long hours side-by-side capturing the same moments.
Talk to friends and family.
Nothing beats a personal recommendation; someone who is tried and true in your circle. However, that’s not always the best solution as your decision is extremely personal based off of your unique personality and vision. Ask to see examples of the work or a few other friends and families options of the specific wedding. Additionally, your big day is NOT the day to let a friend build their portfolio or try out their new found hobby. You’ve invested a significant amount of money for your photographer and want your makeup looking High Def and gorgeous. Likewise, you’ve chosen your dream venue and décor that you will always want to remember. Don’t lose those precious photo opp’s because your photographer doesn’t know how to adjust his/her camera settings or manage their timeline.
Ask to meet in person.
Reading online reviews can be so tricky. Most clients going online to review their vendors either had incredible or dreadful experiences, so it can be difficult to develop an unbiased opinion. Set up a meeting or interview to discuss each vendor’s style and timeline expectations for the day of the wedding. Make sure you like the people you’ll be working with and feel their professionalism each time you speak with them. You’ll be spending your entire wedding day with some of your vendors, so you want to make sure you are completely comfortable with them.
Once you have chosen your vendors, stay in touch with them.
Schedule a hair and makeup trial, have that food, wine or cake tasting, and schedule your engagement session before the big day! This is your time to speak up about what you do or do not like and true professionals will have no problem working through any hiccups BEFORE the wedding day.
Review contracts with a fine tooth comb. Look for any extra charges or fees so there are no surprises and make sure you understand the services you are getting. There’s nothing worse than having a photographer jet out hours before the grand exit or a band start to pack up when the night is still young.
At the end of the day, trust your own instincts. Be open with your communication to yourself, your future spouse, and your vendors. Ask yourself the hard questions. Are you comfortable with this person? Is this person within your budget? Does their vision align with yours? Do you trust this person to do as they say they will? Don’t be afraid to pump the brakes if something doesn’t feel right.
Don’t forget that we are here for you…just ask! Even if you’re considering an outside vendor, chances are, our coordinators have had recent experience with them and aren’t afraid to give an honest opinion.