Most of us only plan on getting married once. Which means we don’t always have a lot of experience when finding wedding vendors and knowing what to look for. We can peruse all the wedding websites all day long. In the end, we’re left overstimulated, overwhelmed, and sometimes worse than we started. Today I’m sharing a few tips with anyone out there planning a wedding. These are just a few things I’ve found the best vendors do and say from my perspective as an insider.
- Look for inclusive businesses. A business with a mission statement or any wording that talks about being same-sex friendly, or any other type of inclusion is important. These wedding vendors work hard to create safe spaces for clients from all cultures and identities. If a business focuses on diversity and inclusion in their efforts, it speaks a lot about the kind of business they are, what they stand for and what you can expect from them.
- Vendors that share resources care the most. You know what they say…sharing is caring, right? Wedding vendors that share their resources with anyone, regardless of if they are a client or not, are a huge plus. These are the people that care about you having a great wedding whether you hire them or not. You will know a wedding vendor that shares its resources when you check out their blog, Pinterest account or website to see what type of content they’re sharing. If it’s focused heavily on themselves, it might be lacking in focus and information on its customers.
- Websites with lots of information are a plus. Anytime I look for a service I’m looking for a website with a ton of information on it. Minimalist websites are not for me. I want to be able to read in depth about what I’m investing in, what I can expect, and how things work. I’m the kind of person that might even read about products and services more than once just because I’m that excited about it. I know not everyone is like me, but even if you don’t love lots of information, the fact that it’s available on a website says something about the vendor. Look for wedding vendor websites that have lots of good info to read and digest and a business who tries to answer all your possible questions upfront. This is a sign you’re hiring an experienced and knowledgeable vendor.
- Experience is a must. The best wedding vendors are probably going to cost a bit more than your amateur hobbyists in the wedding industry. That’s because they have experience and they know what’s at stake at a wedding. Look for vendors who have years of experience at what they do. Their experience can be so helpful when most of us haven’t been to as many weddings as an experienced vendor. They will know the ins and outs of things we wouldn’t have considered in our wildest dreams. Their experience is valuable not just in the job they do for you, but in helping you plan and prepare for the wedding day too!
- Ask for vendor referrals. Sometimes you can find the best vendors when you ask the ones you’ve already got for referrals. If you’ve got a great wedding photographer, ask them for their favorite planners, DJs, and florists. They’ll have been to hundreds of weddings (with any luck) and will have met and worked with a huge variety of vendors who they can recommend based on their own experiences with them.
- The best vendors use contracts. It’s true. Contracts can be lengthy and full of legal jargon. It seems like a pain in the butt. However, contracts are there to protect both the vendor and you. In the wedding photography industry, we hear the horror stories of clients hiring their friend or family member to do photos, no contract is in place, and eventually, the relationship goes down the drain, and someone has no photos and a bunch of drama. Contracts can help keep those situations under control by setting the expectations for all parties. That’s why the best vendors will always use contracts.
- Forget the “Wedding Wire rated” badges and all that other junk. Awards don’t always mean you’ll have a great experience with a vendor. Plus, I hate to burst the bubble, but many of those badges are handed out like candy to wedding vendors. Almost any vendor who has a profile with at least one review on it can get a badge of some type from these places. I know it’s a bummer to hear that, but these badges can be collected and not always meaningful for a business owner. They look shiny and pretty on our websites though, and we hear they’re awesome – until we see that everyone who is anyone in the wedding industry also has them. So much for uniqueness, eh? Focus on the important stuff over the badges, the awards, and the whosits and whatsits galore (see what I did there with that Little Mermaid reference).
Hope that helps you get started finding some of the best wedding vendors around. If you’re in Colorado (and even beyond), you can find some of my favorites >here<
You can find out more about my muggle life along with wedding tips, wedding and engagement photos, tips for photographers, and a bit about my fitness journey on the blog. If you love this stuff join me on Instagram or Pinterest too!