Every great wedding has one thing in common. It’s not the flowers or the venue. It’s not the décor or the music playing over the speakers. It’s the vendors. Finding and hiring the right vendors for your wedding is what will take your special day from good to great. The right vendor team ensures your planning process will be a breeze and that you won’t have to worry about a single thing on wedding day. But how do you find this elusive vendor dream team?
You start the process by doing some research. Although, you’ll want to do a little more than a local Google search. When researching potential vendors, no matter the category, I suggest you do the following…
Look beyond Google and website vendor listings.
While this is a good place to start, don’t rely solely on a Google search or a blog’s vendor guide to find your vendors. There are dozens of other potential vendors in your area that just don’t show up on page one or two of Google and aren’t paying to be featured in vendor guides.
Referrals are important, but not everything.
While it’s important to read testimonials on a vendor’s website and ask for recommendations from friends and family, it’s not everything. While one vendor may have been the perfect match for your best friend, it doesn’t mean that same vendor will be a good fit for you. Definitely don’t ignore the advice you get but be open to others that don’t come with a personal recommendation.
Search social media.
Now, more than ever, wedding vendors are willing to travel, and occasionally (but not always) with no additional charge. This is especially true if your wedding is in an area where said vendor is looking to expand. Search hashtags on sites like Instagram or, click through on images you love on Pinterest to see who actually created it. You may find a calligrapher in California or a planner in Florida that are in budget and meet all of your criteria. The one exception to this is catering. Most states have very strict commercial food preparation laws. This makes it hard for a caterer to travel from one city or state to another to prepare food for your wedding.
Consider the style of work produced.
Not all output is the same. Each vendor, no matter their category, will have a certain style of work. Take photography for example. Some photographers specialize in a light and airy feel while others produce more moody and emotional work. Additionally some shoot film while others shoot digital and each produces a different outcome. Really think about how you want each element of your wedding to look and feel then define it. Keep this in mind when searching for potential vendors. If the style of work shown on their website and social media accounts isn’t one you like then they may not be a good fit regardless of their price point.
Talk to vendors you’ve already booked.
Let’s say you’ve already booked your florist. Ask your florist for recommendations for other vendors they work with frequently. Typically, each vendor will recommend others that have a similar style and work ethic. Chances are, if you’ve found the perfect florist, the other vendors they recommend will be good fits for you as well.
Finding your vendors isn’t always an easy process. It takes time to find the group of professionals that is right for you, your style and your budget. Don’t rush the process because a planning checklist says you need to get it done. Wait till you’ve found the perfect match. You’ll be so glad you did!