Something that I had a really hard time with when planning my wedding was finding quality vendors. We all know that Google is great, but sometimes it doesn’t always return the best search results when searching for something in particular. How was I to know that they were good to work with and what their work was like? And so for today, I thought I would share some tips for finding vendors, as well as a few sites that can help too!
– You don’t have to look within the city your wedding is taking place in. If your wedding is in your small hometown but you live in a larger city, you can choose a vendor in your larger city. Some vendors have different travel policies, but usually if it’s 1 to 2 hours away, it’s no big deal to them. The key is to have vendors that you LOVE, not vendors that you’ve settled on because they were the only ones available (which is what I stupidly did, not knowing that I could have vendors that were based 1 hour outside of my hometown).
– Reviews. You want to see past client reviews on the vendor. Use Wedding Wire or some other reviewing site, and if there isn’t anything online, ASK. Ask on forums like Weddingbee, or ask other vendors you have booked. They can usually give you some feedback, and if all of that fails, ask the vendor to give you a list of past clients that would vouch for his or her work.
– Friends and Family. Talk to your friends and family about their vendors that they had. This can go one of two ways. You could have loved their wedding and check out their vendors, or you could have hated their wedding and know not to check out their vendors. And keep in mind that just because your sister-in-law loved her photographer, it doesn’t mean that you will too.
– Meet. You want to LIKE your vendors, so make sure you meet them before hiring. Meet a couple of vendors if you need to. Keep in mind to look at their work and make sure their style suits you and your wedding too. Don’t let their personality overpower your decision- if you really liked their personality, but your gut feeling says their style won’t fit your wedding, go with that feeling.
Around the Web: Vendor Directories are awesome. Some are free, some are paid, and some are based on client recommendations. More and more blogs and wedding sites are getting better and better vendor directories, which I love to see! Here are some of the sites that have directories providing some great vendors:
Every Last Vendor: Of course, shameless plug, I have to include my own vendor directory that is here on ELD. The vendors in Every Last Vendor are all extensively reviewed and approved by me. I don’t accept everyone, and I only have a limited number of memberships available. You can trust that if you find someone in Every Last Vendor, they’re going to be pretty amazing!
WeddingWire: Wedding Wire is the greatest. Previous clients are able to review their vendors on a scale of 1 to 5, and you can read these reviews to get an idea for what their past clients think of them. You can also see their website and a portfolio of their work. It’s a great place to go when searching for vendors! (You all know how I feel about my wedding, and none of my vendors were or are currently on Wedding Wire. To give you a little insight…)
Other blogs: Just about every blog has a vendor directory now. When you’re looking at these directories, take a look at how the vendors are selected. Are they approved, or can just anyone be a part of it?
Even I still use these resources when finding vendors that I haven’t already worked with, or when a bride comes to me with a particular vendor in mind. And if you have another great resource for finding vendors, please share, and I’ll add it to this list! More than anything, no matter how much planning you do, the majority of your wedding is going to be reflected by your vendors, and of course you want them to be great! So definitely search for your vendors and do your research on them. And if you don’t have time to do that…hire a wedding planner, and they can do the searching for you! :)