It’s HAPPENING! You’re slowly checking off tasks on your wedding planning to-do list and are feeling great. But, there’s one task looming over your head… you have to make your vendor selections. Knowing who you’re going to hire to bring your wedding day to life can be tricky, it’s a big decision! After all, your wedding vendors are going to be one of the most important choices you make for your wedding day (other than your partner-for-life, of course, 😉) Hiring wedding vendors means hiring a professional who is going to bring your vision to fruition. This person is someone you’ll be working with closely, so we want to make sure it’s the right fit. Before signing any contracts or putting down deposits let’s go through what to consider when hiring vendors for your wedding.
Expectation vs. Reality
Okay, be honest… are you someone who only shows the best version of yourself on social media? We’ll be honest, we do it too! But, at least we all are in it together… right? So keep this in mind when looking into hiring wedding vendors. Think of a vendor’s website or social media as a “Best Of” gallery. We can guarantee that any wedding vendor you look into will be highlighting their best work and raving reviews. But what you’re expecting based on their social media may not be the reality of what you receive as a result. To get a good feel for what a vendor can do, ask to see a full portfolio — and specify that you’d like to see the work they’ve done for weddings like yours in particular (we learned this the hard way at our wedding).
Another tip: Be realistic! Express your expectations when meeting with vendors and make sure you know exactly what you’re looking for. Before meeting for a consultation, establish your style and theme, and prepare color swatches and design inspiration. These will help the vendors give you an honest guarantee whether or not they’re capable of creating your vision and doing it well.
Keep in mind that photos you see on Pinterest may not always be feasible. A lot of the time, the trending inspiration photos you see are super extravagant and may not fit within your budget. We want you to keep an open mind and understand that some things just may not be logistically possible, depending on where your wedding takes place or the budget you provide. For example: if you see a grand seating display with amazing florals standing on its own with no base structure, the odds are this isn’t possible if you have an outdoor wedding (in case of wind) and a smaller budget. Just know, it Is still 100% okay to use these images as inspo! But, set your expectations accordingly.
Gather Referrals and Read Reviews
Want to learn where you can get the REAL inside scoop on wedding vendors? Reviews. Seriously, these are the biggest form of currency in the wedding industry because they are VALUABLE and can’t be altered. When researching vendors check out their website, social media, Google reviews, etc. to get a feel for what real couples are saying. Often, these testimonials will provide a good look into what the experience and product looks like with a certain vendor.
Another great way to discover vendors and choose ones you love? Turn to your friends for referrals! We’ve seen so many of our amazing couples brought to us by their friends who’ve worked with us in the past and loved their experience. Of course, it’s important that the decision is ultimately up to you (more on this later) but there is so much value — and time saved — in asking those around you for recommendations.
Many wedding vendors in the industry offer a free consultation prior booking. This is a great way to get a feel for their personality and evaluate how well you’d work together. Here at The Details Duo, we are so grateful to receive a majority of our business from full service wedding planners who know us well and confidently recommend our services to their couples. For this reason, we don’t often offer consultations prior to booking as most of the communication is done through the wedding planner. We do however communicate with our couples about design details closer to the wedding date, and we are always happy to jump on a call if a client ever needs to chat with us! After all, getting to know our couple’s love stories and portraying these stories in designs throughout the wedding day is the best part of what we do.
Some relationships with wedding vendors call for frequent communication. This relationship should be based on trust so there isn’t any conflict throughout the planning process. A great way to get a feel for how you’ll connect with someone is by having a conversation. Listen to your gut! If you don’t have the best experience inquiring with a vendor maybe they aren’t for you, and that’s totally okay. Observe the way they answer your questions and how their voice is expressed online. This will be a great teller!
Another thing we want you to keep in mind when selecting your vendors is that you should book the vendors that YOU admire. Don’t book a florist just because your sister’s best friend used them for her wedding. During the planning process, everyone is going to give you their opinion (and it can be helpful) but at the end of the day, no one knows your style better than you. Remember, this is your wedding so you get the final say when choosing wedding vendors!
For most couples, deciding on a wedding budget is the first step (after the engagement, of course!) So, we highly recommend you plan out your budget in detail. When searching for wedding vendors don’t let yourself fall in love with one who’s far outside your budget, but don’t go with the cheapest option either! Even though the price may be good, the product may not. In the wedding world, sometimes there is such thing as “to good to be true.”
If you need help figuring out how much to invest in hiring wedding vendors, do some research on industry averages in your area. Then, depending on what your priorities are, customize the budget to reflect what elements of your wedding are most important to you! Whether it’s florals, videography, or wedding signage, determining what vendors you want to prioritize will help you in the planning process. For example: when it comes to wedding signs, are large installation moments important to you or are you fine with something more simple? Establishing which aspects of your wedding day are the most meaningful will help you set a budget and choose the right-fit vendors.
Let’s talk timeline. When should you book your wedding vendors? Our answer is ASAP! You’ll want to set a wedding date and book your venue first, and once that’s decided it’s time to start your vendor search. Wedding vendors often book a year or more in advance, so don’t wait too long to book your favorites! We highly recommend placing a deposit ASAP if you see your dream vendor has your wedding date available. Remember, they most likely won’t hold your date until you’ve paid a deposit and/or signed a contract. Speaking of contracts, read them carefully! Before signing, make sure you agree with all the terms, and remember you can always ask for clarification if anything is unclear.
At the end of the day, we encourage you to trust your vendors! They do this for a living and you’ve chosen them because you know they’re a perfect fit. Allow them to do what they do best. Remember, wedding planning can be a lot of work but at the end of it all, this is meant to be a celebration of love. Enjoy the process!