You're engaged? Congratulations! You're about to embark on a journey unlike any other as you navigate the process of planning your wedding.
What is a Wedding Vendor and Why You Should Care
A wedding vendor is anyone who provides products or services for your wedding. It's really that simple.
Here's the catch though... a Professional Wedding Vendor is someone who owns a wedding business, has professional liability insurance, and with whom you have a contract.
"My friend works at a bar and is great at making drinks, so they're going to bartend my wedding." This is not a vendor; in the biz, we call them a "friendor". They also don't work with the same polished skills of a Pro, so they tend to be cumbersome to the flow of the event. Their lack of business structure and insurance makes them a liability to not only the couple getting married, but to the entire Professional Wedding Vendor team. That can mean BIG trouble down the line for everyone involved!
In short, do your research and be sure you're asking the right questions in order to build the team that best fits your wedding!
Finding The Right Wedding Vendor for Your Budget
The ring is beautiful and love is in the air, but if you want to keep those dreamy smiles, then you will need a solid plan going into wedding planning.
The first step is to start drafting a guest list. This lets you know how big of an event you are realistically looking to host. Once you have a good idea of how many people will be invited, you will need to figure out who is contributing the cash. If the pile of cash doesn't match the list of guests, then one is going to have to move the needle a bit. Less guests or more cash? This is your budget!
Your next step should be to reach out to a Professional Wedding Planner or Wedding Manager/Coordinator who will be able to skillfully match you with vendors who meet your needs in style, personality, and budget. They will save you time and effort in putting the right Pros together to build a cohesive, cooperative, and collaborative Wedding Team for your event. They say "time is money", making it pretty clear why so many couples say their Professional Planner or Coordinator were the best money spent!
Interviewing the Best Wedding Vendors in Your Area
The best way to find the best Wedding Vendors in your area is with the help of a Professional Wedding Planner. If you are not working with a Wedding Planner, you can visit any of the many online marketplaces, talk to your venue, creep on Instagram, or talk to your friends who may have recently gotten married.
You can spot the best vendors because they will have some sort of wedding industry professional affiliation and proudly display it. They have continued to pursue education in their field of expertise and hone their skills, and they have the awards, credentials, or certifications to show for it.
Be sure to ask any questions you may have before you sign your contract:
Do they have a cancellation or postponement policy?
What are the payment arrangements?
What do they expect from you as a client?
What do they wear to your event?
Do you need to feed them a meal?
Do they have the correct license/insurance?
How to Decide on the Most Important Criteria for Choosing a Wedding Vendor
Ranking the criteria for priority will vary from couple to couple. Some of the things to consider are:
Professional credentialed and insured businesses - be sure their contract and insurance covers their scope of involvement at your wedding.
References - check out their reviews and make sure you like what other people are saying about their experiences.
Quality of Product or Service - whether they have a physical product or a service, is the quality meeting or exceeding your expectations? Does the scope of their proposal meet the needs of your event?
Price - you are looking to get the maximum value for the lowest cost available. That's not to say you should choose the cheapest option just because of the price tag. You may not get the experience your specific expectations require from every price point.
Existing Relationships - if you already know someone who owns a professional, insured wedding business and you already have a great relationship with them, you should absolutely give them an opportunity to earn your business. It saves you time from the "getting to know you" phase of meeting new vendors and it just feels good to work with people you already know and trust.
Years in Business - have they been around long enough to establish market trust? Can you count on them to still be in business when your wedding date arrives?
Location - are they located close to you or your wedding venue? Choosing local vendors can save you from paying travel fees. However, if you are planning a destination wedding, taking your local vendors with you to the destination location saves you from the unknown variables of working at the last minute with vendors you have no working relationship with.
We wish you all the best as you navigate your wedding planning and selecting the wedding vendors who best meet your needs, your aesthetic, and your budget! Click HERE to contact us for a free consultation to see if we might be a good fit.