by: Lauren

So you’re engaged and you’ve chosen your wedding date. First things first: venue and vendors. The two big Vs! Definitely make sure your venue is available for your wedding date before booking vendors. After booking your venue and securing your date, you can start booking vendors! And so comes the absolutely fun but sometimes difficult part.

 

Tips for choosing your vendors:

 

– Know your budget (of course), and whether or not you want to allot more or less to a particular vendor’s area. This will depend on what is important to you. Want awesome photos? Allot a little more of your budget to photography, because we all know good photography usually isn’t cheap.

 

– Know what style of wedding you want to have. Elegant, fun, outdoors, ballroom, etc etc. If you’re at a loss, try looking through the {ELD} Style Dictionary for some insight. All vendors have different styles themselves, so some may be a better fit for you than others.

 

{Thursday Tips} Choosing Your Vendors via TheELD.com
Photo by Limelight Photography, Design by MMD Events

 

– Research, research, research. If you hire a wedding planner or event designer, they should have a recommended vendor list. These lists are usually comprised of vendors that they have personally worked with before and produced exceptional work. Ask other vendors if they recommend any other vendors (not in their same area of course) for your wedding. If you liked your friend’s wedding, ask your friend for referrals. (It doesn’t meant that you have to have the same exact wedding as her.) Compose a list of vendors and jot down notes if you need to. Compare and contrast, weigh your options, put photos side-by-side, do whatever you need to do to decide.

 

– Choosing your vendors off of your venue’s “preferred vendor” list? Some venues charge vendors to be on these lists, so it’s really just like a magazine advertisement. Just about anyone can be on these types of lists, so still be sure to do your research! Just because “So-And-So Studio” is listed as a preferred vendor does not mean that they’re awesome. They could be not-so-awesome, but have splurged on the “listing” with your venue so itĀ seems like they’re awesome.

 

– Read vendor blogs. (Definitely falls under the above “research, research, research”, but I felt it deserved it’s own explanation) This doesn’t just pertain to photographers, but all vendors. If a vendor has a blog, they will showcase recent events, write about new trends or designs, or write about upcoming events. Blogs are excellent ways to get a deeper look into the style and personality of a vendor. Personally, if I could go back, I wouldn’t have hired any of my vendors without looking at their blogs first. And if they didn’t have a blog, they would have been a bit lower on my list of potential vendors. Editor’s note: This is my own opinion and by far does not have to be a requirement for hiring vendors. The way I see it, a vendor will have the absolute best photos on their website. The majority of their work may not look like those photos, or they may not even be their work (I’ve seen it several times). Blogs just help.

 

– Meet with potential vendors. This is by far the best thing to do when choosing your vendors. You’re going to be working fairly closely with these people for quite some time. You want to get along with them. Because let’s face it, not all personalities mesh well together. Meeting a vendor also allows you to see their portfolio in hard copy. Sometimes it just helps to be able to physically flip through a book.

 

More vendor-related posts on {ELD}:

Tips for Choosing Your Photographer: Part 1

Tips for Choosing Your Photographer: Part 2

I Took The Cheap Photographer Route

 

Good luck choosing your vendors! I hope you all choose awesome vendors that will make your wedding amazing!

 

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{Thursday Tips} Choosing Your Vendors via TheELD.com

Lauren

Founder & Editor at Every Last Detail
Lauren Grove is the editor and owner of Every Last Detail. A clueless bride-turned-wedding planner, Lauren uses her experiences and knowledge to educate and inspire brides all over the world.

8 responses to {Thursday Tips} Choosing Your Vendors

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  1. Tanya Malott

    Lauren,
    While I agree overall with your article that research is very very important, and being wary of “preferred vendors” is an important issue, I do have to disagree on the last point in particular about vendor blogs. Not every great vendor has one. Some of the best vendors, the ones with the most experience, were working long before the age of the internet and blogging. They put their energy and creativity into their work and their clients, not time on the computer. A good blog takes A LOT of time (as you well know) and people who are working a lot on their business may not have that kind of time for blogging. Some vendors can do both, and some vendors will pay people to do the blog in order to “keep up with technology”, but I would not consider the absence of a blog a mark against someone. For example, ne of the most amazing florists in NYC (and I have worked with every one of the best) is named Ron Wendt. He doesn’t blog, his website is lovely, but doesn’t fully do him justice, and his work comes mainly by word of mouth referrals. He is better than 99% of all the florists/event designers working in NYC, but you wouldn’t necessarily know that by his internet presence, which he doesn’t cultivate the way newcomers to the business do. You would know if you went to Biz Bash (top 10 event designer, designer of the year, etc), or spoke to anyone at Chanel or Cartier (he does their events and has for years), or asked the top event planners in NY, but he does not advertise and you will not find him in most searches. I could name a dozen other vendors like him.
    Keep writing these articles! They are full of good info.
    Best, Tanya Malott (www.tanyamalott.com)

  2. Rosie

    I have to agree with Tanya. Personally, I’m an open book and blog all the time but there are many vendors I work with they don’t have and don’t need (in a way) to expose themselves to get more businesses or better reviews. They are good, they are busy and blogging is the last thing to do in their priority list.
    On the other hand, I have to admit that doing your homework is a very important part of finding the right vendors for you. Anybody can create a fancy website, feature a couple of nice pictures and be opened for biz :), if u know what I mean.
    Rosie

    • Lauren

      Thanks for sharing the blogging insight everyone! As I edited in the post, it’s just my opinion, and yes it does take a lot of time to blog! But I look at it as someone can put their absolute best photos on their website, and yet the majority of their work doesn’t look that way. It’s actually exactly what I experienced, which is why I always go straight to blogs to look at a vendor’s work. Again, just my opinion based on experience, and thank you all for your input!

  3. Melissa

    I think with today’s bride in mind, and the easy access to the internet, not having some sort of representation of recent work on a blog, site, or even facebook fan page is doing yourself a real disservice.

    I know of a few local vendors who have an outdated website, or none at all, and do not want to participate in an online “shop” to showcase their work. As a bride – I’d wonder if their outdated photos, or not wanting to be online is a sign that they are set in their ways, and would not want to try anything new or an idea I’d have in mind.

    I understand vendors being focused on their current clients…but being able to balance that out with current representation is huge! But there’s also the chance to have other vendors showcase your work and giving credit. Google, Bing, and Yahoo are great tools to see if any vendors have been featured on other blogs (I sometimes search for my name as well) and it can give a bride a sense of relief that they can see what kind of work/style their vendor is capable of. Especially if they’re planning a destination wedding and can’t make it to a storefront. My .02!

  4. Brit

    I think you have an absolute valid point.

    Unfortunately, social media and blogging is not going anywhere, and today’s bride is using the internet more and more for her planning. And, unfortunately, brides will judge a vendor on web site content – so I think it’s important for vendors to at least maintain a well-organized web site. Blogging is a practice that has to be enjoyed – one that you and I can both relate to.

    Regardless, I think the most important point, which you nailed on the head, is to “research, research, research.”

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  7. amanda mcmahon

    Great post. I agree with Lauren! It’s super important for vendors to blog. While they may not need that extra business, it’s a great way to get to know them personally and to see ALL their work and not just the few handfuls of the best out of the thousands they take!

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