12 Tips for Researching and Hiring Wedding Vendors
Planning a wedding is a magical journey that should be filled with excitement and anticipation, but as many would tell you, it’s not always straight forward. Wedding planning requires you to make a lot of big and important decisions. You require the best team to help guide you with this! Enter your wedding vendors!
One of the most crucial aspects though of creating your perfect wedding is hiring dream wedding vendors. From photographers and florists to caterers and your DJ, each vendor plays a pivotal role in bringing your vision to life and these pros will help to ensure that the events run smoothly and meets your expectations.
To ensure a seamless and stress-free wedding planning experience, here are 12 valuable tips for researching and hiring wedding vendors.
1. Determine Your Budget
You’ve set your date, selected the wedding venue, worked out the vision for the events, identified the style, theme and must-haves, perfect! Now it’s time to start researching and choosing vendors who align with that vision. But, before you do so, you must establish your wedding budget.
Determine how much your overall wedding budget is projected to be and allocate specific amounts for each category. This will help you to narrow down the options and avoid overestimating and overspending on any aspect of your wedding.
2. Know Your Priorities
It’s important to prioritize your needs and requirements when hiring wedding vendors. I like to tell my couples to stick to 3-5 priorities for your wedding. Don’t forget to especially be specific when narrowing down these priorities for vendors. Decide on what you are searching for in a particular vendor.
There is certainly no need to rush your wedding planning decisions. Take the time to revisit that vision and take note of the key areas you wish to invest most of your budget in to. For example, if you wish to allocate the majority of your budget in to hiring an award winning wedding photographer for your events, then that’s a sign to start here. This will help to also build a timeline for contacting vendors. Yes, you don’t need to book all of them all at once!
Having those priorities listed out and then determining who to reach out to from there makes this step so simple for you and your partner.
3. Start Early
Begin researching your wedding vendors well in advance, especially during peak wedding season dates ie. summer. Many top-notch vendors get booked quickly. The sooner you can identify those priorities, who you need to reach out to first, second and third, then this gives you a better chance of securing your preferred professionals.
4. Ask a Wedding Planner to Help You
This is the time you should decide if whether hiring a wedding planner can save you time and energy. If all of this planning sounds extremely unpleasant and does not quite fit in to your busy schedule, then you need to prioritize this.
Eliminate all the guesswork and research and trust a professional to help guide you with these decisions. The best part about hiring a wedding planner is that they have access to the best of the best wedding vendors in the industry. They know the ins and outs of working with vendors and they can pre-qualify the vendors to ensure that you’re a good fit for one another.
Leave all the administrative work to the wedding planner. They’ll even schedule all your appointments, read your contracts, highlight the requirements, alleviating all the stress and anxiety associated with hiring wedding vendors.
5. Seek Those Recommendations
There’s no harm in seeking recommendations from family or friends or any couples you know of who have recently gotten married. Your wedding venue may also have some great partnerships with certain vendors and will be more than happy to suggest a particular vendor for you.
Personal referrals can always provide valuable insights into a vendor’s reliability, professionalism, and the quality of their work.
Ask questions such as:
- Were they good communicators?
- How experienced is this vendor?
- Have they previously worked at my wedding venue?
- Were they polite and courteous?
- How was the booking process? Was it smooth for you?
- Were they organised?
6. Read Reviews and Testimonials
Take time to build that know like and trust factor with a vendor. Research their online reviews and testimonials from previous clients. Online wedding website directories or even Google are excellent resources for honest feedback. Look for consistency in positive reviews and any potential red flags.
7. Check Vendors Portfolios
I cannot stress the importance of browsing through photographs or videos of each vendor. A website or social proof is imperative in this day and age. Ensure that their quality of work and style of work aligns with your vision and that you resonate with their previous work.
If the vendor does not have a website or any online presence, then send them an email, ask for photographs or videos of their previous work. You have nothing to lose.
8. Book Consultations before Hiring Wedding Vendors
Schedule consultations with your shortlisted vendors. First and foremost, ensure that they do have availability for your chosen wedding dates and then use the opportunity to ask questions about their experience, approach, and how they handle unforeseen challenges. Consider personality fit because building those personal connections in the initial stages is crucial for a successful client-vendor partnership.
Base your decisions on how well you vibe with that vendor. Do you genuinely get along with this person? Do they make you feel relaxed? Does it feel like you can really see this becoming a successful partnership?
There is no harm in being upfront and outlining your specific needs for your wedding festivities.
Ask them to also outline the process for you. What are the next steps from here?
If the vendor follows up the consultation with a detailed email or proposal or even another phone call, then you know that they really do care. All that’s needed from here is a contract or written agreement.
Remember that your wedding day is a significant milestone, and you want to surround yourself with professionals who not only excel in their craft but also make you feel comfortable and understood.
9. Trust Your Instincts
Ultimately, trust your instincts when making decisions related to hiring wedding vendors. Ensure that your personality matches that vendor. If something feels off or a vendor isn’t meeting your expectations during the research phase, don’t be afraid to explore other options. It’s crucial to build a team of vendors who genuinely share your passion for creating a memorable wedding day.
10. Understand Contracts
Carefully review vendor emails, agreements and contracts before signing. You must understand what they are offering you. Above all, always keep track of conversations prior to paying the first deposit because there’s nothing worse than a “he said this, she said that” situation! Email them a summary of what was discussed in the meetings and then await their acknowledgement.
Ensure all details, including services, payment schedules, any additional fees, and cancellation policies, should be clearly outlined. Seek clarification on any unclear terms and don’t hesitate to negotiate if necessary.
11. Clarify Expectations
Once you have agreed to the vendors terms and conditions, take some time to revisit the initial conversations. Clearly communicate your expectations with potential vendors. Discuss specific details such as timelines, deliverables, and any unique preferences you may have. This helps prevent misunderstandings and ensures everyone is on the same page.
12. Trust the Process when Hiring Wedding Vendors
From here onwards, it’s time to trust the process with your chosen wedding vendors. Do not try to micromanage them because it’s going to cause a lot of problems for you in the future and in turn make the events quite stressful. You are there on your wedding day to enjoy being in the moment.
This is their livelihood. Vendors live and breathe weddings and events and so with them by your side, this wedding is going to be incredible and everything you had imagined.
Want to help streamline the process of researching and hiring wedding vendors for your wedding celebration? The Maharani Diaries can help you bring your vision to life, offering valuable tips and advice through our consultation services. If you would like to book in a free consultation to find out more, book here.
Poonam is the founder and director of The Maharani Diaries. She has a passion for South Asian fashion and weddings. Drinking coffee is one of her favourite pastimes and she also enjoys donating her time for charity. You’ll often find her volunteering on the side for various community events.