Choosing your wedding vendors is usually the first step for newly engaged couples. Consider that, to settle on a date (typically the first order of business), you must first choose a location available on the day you want or, if you're more flexible, on a day they suggest. No matter the outcome of the proposal, you and your partner will soon be entering unfamiliar territory: negotiations with vendors.
We hope this guide will make finding a suitable dealer a breeze; therefore, we have prepared it, especially for you. This all-inclusive checklist includes guidance from a professional wedding planner and covers everything you need to know to put together the greatest team possible for your special day. One thing to bear in mind when you read the advice below: Go with your instincts. If you don't feel safe, confident, and pleased about working with a vendor, it doesn't matter how impressive their portfolio is or how many positive ratings they have online. This is not necessarily reflective of the quality or dedication of the vendor's work. Nobody is going to be your soulmate, and that's okay. In need of some wedding assistance? Check out our list of Wedding Event Planners here.
Finding the right provider should feel like second nature. We're sure that you'd rather base your choice on more than a gut instinct. With these guidelines in mind, you'll be able to select the ideal team of wedding vendors and ensure that your dream event comes to fruition. Topics covered range from where to look for information about vendors (online, through recommendations, and from past clients!) to how much money you're willing to spend.
Table of Contents
FAQs About Wedding Venues
The most important aspect of choosing a venue is the cost-efficiency. Make sure the venue offers price flexibility such as pricing tiers or packages. You can also check whether a venue offers an all-inclusive hire rate or if they offer more price-friendly, digestible options.
Venue checklists are a simple way to make sure all your event requirements are met before the big day.
Again, think of your relationship with the couple. For closer friends and family, you may want to consider going to $200, or higher if you can afford it. For others, $100 to $150 is more than okay as a wedding gift amount.
Venue selection is absolutely vital to your event's success and is the most critical decision for an event planner. This decision will likely make up the largest portion of your budget and will be the vessel used to deliver exciting and quality content to your attendees.
Ideally, gifts should be sent to the couple before the wedding. According to various etiquette experts, though, guests should do their best to send a gift within two months after the wedding date at the very latest. While this is a recommendation, it is a nice gesture to send your gift promptly.
Set Your Date, Venue and Budget First
Having a set wedding date, location, and budget in place should come before making any arrangements with wedding vendors. If you make sure to check all of these boxes before committing to a single supplier, you will have less chance of being let down.
By choosing your wedding venue, you can frequently have access to a plethora of reliable service providers, as many locations will provide a list of prefered suppliers. While it's not strictly required, it's usually a plus to collaborate with people who have prior experience in the space industry. Feel free to look elsewhere if you're not satisfied with the prefered vendor list.
Keep in mind that some wedding venues may have exclusive relationships with certain vendors and not allow you to bring in outside services. Before finalising your venue contract, double check the specifics if you have a dream team of vendors in mind.
Do Your Homework With Your Fiancé and Set a Ballpark Budget in Advance.
First, decide on a price range and the approximate number of guests to ensure that you don't get your hopes up for a venue or service providers who can't meet your needs. It's preferable to lay out your expectations in private, even if you end up paying a little more than you planned. Avoid having an argument in front of the wedding planner, DJ, or whoever else is handling the bookings because one of you wants to book but the other is worried about money. You'll have a much better idea of how much this will cost as you compare different stores.
You should also be open about your major preferences. This will ensure that you and your partner are on the same page regarding the importance of certain aspects of the big day, such as the entertainment, the food, and the photos. Don't let yourself get swept up by their impressive portfolio, film, or presentation and fail to ask the critical questions that will help you get to the bottom of the matter.
Prioritise Your Key Suppliers
Now that the nuts and bolts of the wedding are all squared away, you can begin assembling your wedding team. But where exactly do you start?
It is best to start by developing a list of the most urgent providers you need to obtain. It's important to keep in mind that you might schedule your wedding services with different vendors at different times. Photographers, officiants, and event coordinators are among the first vendors to be booked for a wedding, so you may want to focus on finding them before looking elsewhere.
In addition to considering when you need things done, it's also helpful to think about the big picture when planning the wedding and what's most important to you on the big day. Allow me to illustrate: say you value live music and fine dining above all else. If so, book the band and the food service right away! (and consider allocating a higher portion of your budget accordingly).
You should prioritise making appointments with the most in-demand providers, such as a highly sought-after location or a photographer who is booked two years in advance. In order to prioritise your search, you should call potential vendors one by one to determine if they fall into this group.
Meeting in person is ideal, but if you need to book right away or are planning a destination wedding, a Skype conversation will have to do. You can learn a lot about a potential vendor's character just by observing their face and body language.
Respect the vendor's time (call if you believe you're going to be late), dress properly (no sweatpants! ), and listen to what they have to say (even if you know they're not "The One" after only five minutes), just like you would in a business meeting.
Then Tackle Your Core Team
Once you've booked your venue, it's time to choose the people who will "pull it all together" for your big day. It is highly recommended that the core vendor team be finalised as soon as possible. This includes the services of your chosen photographers, videographers, florists, caterers, printers, and musicians. Planning and designing events would be great additions to that list.
Do Some Research Online
Most likely, you've already started looking online for a supplier. For extra information, read up on the topic on some of the most popular wedding blogs or utilise a large-scale search engine like Pinterest. You can find local businesses in many of them.
The social media platform Instagram is another promising market. See who people have been using by perusing hashtags for your location and nearby venues.
Determine If Your Personalities Mesh Well.
Let's imagine you and your future spouse decide that their services are perfect for your wedding and that their style complements yours. Great! Another less evident factor is whether or not you feel a connection with this person. You need to feel at ease with them because you'll be paying them a lot of money and trusting them with something important. Keep in mind that you will be engaging with this person on what is likely to be the most emotionally trying day of your life; you should choose someone who can calm your nerves rather than add to them.
If you have a nagging feeling about something but can't put your finger on it, it could be your unconscious mind nudging you to keep looking. Pay attention to these warning signs: if they make derogatory comments about a previous customer (who's to say they won't do the same to you? ), if it takes ten phone calls to reach them, or if they make assumptions about you based on your budget (e.g., "Well, most brides I work with spending $2,000 more on their flowers"), you should look elsewhere.
Consider Your Requirements
As you begin to shorten the list of potential suppliers, it is important to consider just what it is that you want from each one.
The first step is to make a list of your needs and wants, and then to create a list of vendors who can meet those demands. Photographers that specialise in photojournalistic or documentary styles are one option, as is wedding planners who have worked at the location where the ceremony and reception will take place. If you know what you value most in a certain source, you can prioritise your search and save time and effort.
Do Your Research Online and Offline
Finding the best wedding vendors requires doing research both online and off. You may learn a lot about local providers by spending some time researching them via wedding directories, wedding blogs, social media, and search engines. To obtain a sense of their general level of work, you should peruse their galleries and read reviews written by previous couples.
Referrals and word of mouth are two more offline research methods. You can get recommendations from people you know who have just gotten married, or you can ask the people who will be providing your wedding location and other services for their suggestions. Another great place to meet potential vendors is at a bridal expo or fair.
Ask for Client Referrals.
You may find that a cameraman who costs $10,000 is just okay, while one who costs only $2,000 really blows you away, proving that the cliche "you get what you pay for" is not always accurate. Here's where recommendations from past brides come in handy! Request the names and numbers of recent customers who can attest to the quality of the vendor's work. When you are married, don't forget to give back by praising and thanking the people who helped make your day perfect.
Given the strong relationships between service providers in any given area, you might also enquire with other vendors you've hired as to whether or not they've ever worked with this person and whether or not they would suggest them.
Get Everything That's Included in Writing, Down to the Smallest Detail.
The quoted price need to include all components, and the seller ought to list them out for you. If you know, for instance, that you want orchids, garden roses, and hydrangea in your centrepieces, include all of those things. Despite the seemingly exaggerated nature of this precaution, it will serve to protect you in the event of a disagreement or if the goods you have requested are temporarily unavailable.
Pay close attention to the fine print when examining the contract (wording such as "additional costs may be incurred" and "plus the cost of setup and delivery" are dead giveaways). If you need something clarified, just ask! You should also enquire about any late fees that may be incurred if the ceremony or reception runs longer than intended.
Don't Overlook Word of Mouth.
Rather than taking my word for it, consult your social circle. Getting recommendations from people you know who have recently been married is a terrific approach to identify reliable service providers. Don't take the recommendations of your loved ones at face value; instead, make sure that the individual's and the wedding's aesthetics are a good fit for you. If a friend's suggestions for retailers cause you undue anxiety, you may want to look elsewhere. However, if you all share similar traits, you should gather in large numbers. Another time-tested approach based on word-of-mouth? Find out more about your potential provider besides what's in their portfolio by having a conversation with some of their prior customers.
Make sure you ask plenty of questions as you start talking to potential wedding vendors. Always be completely transparent about what you're looking for and how much money you're willing to spend on what you want. Discuss any concerns you have and have each vendor walk you through their procedure and contract.
An initial consultation is recommended for any wedding suppliers you'll be spending more time with one-on-one (such as your photographer, coordinator, or celebrant). To locate reliable vendors you can work comfortably with, it's worth scheduling a quick phone call or meeting for a cup of coffee.
Don't Be Afraid to Negotiate.
Have a tonne of stunning images of the two of you that can be used for wedding invitations and other paper goods? If you're planning on having children in the future, you might want to reconsider having an engagement photo taken and instead use the photos from that session for your child's birth announcement. Have doubts as to whether or not a two-hour wedding video is necessary? If you change your mind later, you may want to know if you can acquire a raw footage copy as well as an edited highlights clip. To cut costs, consider hiring the same company to handle several needs (such music and lighting).
Remember that a little compassion can go a long way, and that you'll never know unless you ask.
Trust Your Gut—and Don't Overwhelm Yourself.
When looking for a vendor, one of the most common pieces of advice is to go with your intuition. Put a vendor on the short list if you have a good rapport with them. If you don't, then it's best to pay attention to your gut and let them go.
It is equally crucial to restrict the scope of your study. Try not to cast too wide a gaze. If you don't fall in love with any of your first one to three choices, keep looking. Having too many options available might be overwhelming at times. Check out our ultimate list of Wedding Planners in Melbourne to help you organise a stress-free wedding.
Break up Your Vendor Budget Based on Priorities
Having a vendor can be expensive, and often is. However, before beginning your search for potential vendors, you should create a budget with your priorities in mind and highlight those features that are absolutely necessary. You and your significant other should talk to your respective families to establish what matters most to each of you. You should prioritise your top three, and plan to spend the majority of your resources there. So, before you start scheduling vendors, you should set together an overall budget so you can have a basic feel of how much you can devote to each vendor.
There Isn't a "Most" Expensive Vendor.
The planner may tell you that "the sort of wedding you're having and the number of guests" will determine which vendor receives the lion's share of your cash.
Depending on your printing methods, paper can add up, but you can keep this element affordable by checking for some semi-custom or reassigned options. Bands will always be more than DJs, and photography can become costly, depending on your locale and the extent of your coverage.
Watch Out for Red Flags
Not responding to your emails in a timely manner, an overall sense of disorganisation, a lousy attitude, and defensiveness are all warning flags that should prompt you to rethink selecting the vendor. Don't second-guess yourself; always go with your intuition.
Trust the Process
Once you've assembled your ideal team, have faith in the procedure, and dive in headfirst. Try to keep in mind that these folks make a profession off of advising engaged couples like yourselves. Thus they are experts in their field. Having the proper people on your side can ensure that your wedding day is perfect.
After you have assembled your outstanding team of service providers, delegate tasks to them and relax with your family and new spouse.
You'll Know When It's Right.
You should like your wedding vendors because you'll be spending a lot of time with them during the planning process and on the wedding weekend. She assures you that genuine connections, such as your romantic ones, will form on their own. You may relax in their company as they are experts in their field. Looking for the Top Wedding Planner in Melbourne? Look no further and check out our ultimate list of Wedding Planners here.
We expect this resource to simplify the process of locating a reliable vendor. Professional wedding planning advice is included in this comprehensive check list. The first step in planning a wedding is deciding on a date, a location, and a budget. It doesn't matter how good a vendor's portfolio is if you don't feel safe, confident, and happy about dealing with them. There are certain wedding halls that have exclusive contracts with certain service providers and won't allow you to use any other vendors.
It's possible that you'll need to book the services of multiple businesses at various periods in order to pull off your dream wedding. Quickly arrange for a band and catering. (Perhaps you should set aside a larger sum of money for this purpose.) When planning your schedule, give first priority to booking services with high demand, such as a highly desired location or a photographer who is booked two years in advance. After reserving the location, the next step is to select the team that will "bring it all together" on the big day.
Make a list of your needs and wants before beginning your search for a wedding photographer. You should seek elsewhere if they make negative remarks about a past customer, if it takes you 10 phone calls to contact them, or if they make assumptions about you based on your budget. Make sure you have every last detail committed to paper. Don't blindly follow the advice of your loved ones; instead, make sure the wedding's aesthetics are a good fit for you. Always be absolutely honest about your wants and needs, as well as your budget.
Many people will tell you to trust your gut while making vendor decisions. Spend the most of your time and energy on your top three priorities. You should make a budget before booking vendors so you have some idea of how much money you can allocate to each one. If you surround yourself with the right people, your wedding day will be picture-perfect. Just trust your gut and never second-guess yourself.
- It is common practise for newly engaged couples to begin planning their wedding by selecting their wedding providers.
- Remember that if you want to select a date (usually the first step), you'll need to find a venue available on the day you want or, if you're flexible, on the day they propose.
- You and your business partner will soon be venturing into uncharted territory: discussions with vendors.
- Everything you need to know to assemble the best team for your wedding is included in this comprehensive checklist, complete with advice from a professional wedding planner.
- This does not necessarily indicate that the vendor is providing high standard work.
- Choosing the best service provider ought to be automatic.
- A wedding date, location, and budget should all be finalised before any agreements with vendors are made.
- It's common for wedding venues to include a list of recommended vendors you can peruse before making any final decisions.
- If you have an ideal team of vendors in mind, double-check the details of your venue contract before finalising it.
- To avoid being disappointed by venues or service providers that are unable to match your expectations, it is important to establish a budget and an estimated number of visitors before beginning your search.
- Your top preferences should also not be hidden.
- This will make sure that you and your future spouse have similar priorities for the wedding's entertainment, food, and photographs.
- The time has come to begin recruiting your wedding team now that the event's mechanical details have been settled.
- It's possible that you'll need to book the services of various providers for your wedding on separate days.
- When planning the wedding, it's helpful to consider not only the timeline for getting things done but also the larger picture and the things that will mean the most to you on your special day.
- If so, get in touch with a caterer and band soon!
- You should prioritise scheduling appointments with the most in-demand service providers, such as a popular venue or a photographer booked two years in advance.
- Calling potential vendors one by one to see if they fit into this category might help you prioritise your search.
- The expressions and gestures of a potential seller can tell you a lot about their personality.
- You have booked your venue, and now it's time to select the team that will "bring it all together" on your wedding day.
As soon as feasible, the core vendor team should be finalised.
- Conduct some Internet-based investigation.
- In all likelihood, your search for a vendor has already begun online.
- A less obvious consideration is whether or if you sense a connection with this person.
- You should choose someone who can soothe your nerves rather than heighten them, as you will be interacting with this person on what is likely to be the most emotionally taxing day of your life.
- Identifying your needs before narrowing down your list of potential vendors is essential.
- One should first determine what they want and need and then compile a list of potential suppliers who can provide for them.
- You should look into it both online and in print.
- There is no substitute for completing research, both online and off, to find the best wedding vendors.
- You can ask the venue and service providers for their recommendations, or you can ask friends and family who have just gotten married.
- Another fantastic opportunity to meet potential vendors is during a bridal expo or fair.
- Seek recommendations from satisfied customers.
- Inquire for a list of recent clients willing to vouch for the vendor's competence.
- The seller should detail all of the components included in the given price.
- Whether the ceremony or reception is expected to last longer than expected, you should also find out if there are any additional costs associated with staying later.
- Instead of taking my word for it, ask around.
- It's a great way to find dependable vendors if you can get referrals from friends and family who have just married.
- You shouldn't blindly follow the advice of your loved ones; instead, you should make sure that the person's and the wedding's aesthetics are a suitable fit for you.
- Something else that has stood the test of time and relies on word-of-mouth?
- Talking to previous clients is a great way to learn more about a service provider outside of what is displayed in their portfolio.
- When meeting with possible wedding service providers, ask lots of questions.
- To get what you want, you need to be honest about what you want and how much you are ready to pay for it.
- If you spend significant one-on-one time with a wedding vendor, it's in your best interest to set up a preliminary consultation (such as your photographer, coordinator, or celebrant).
- You should go with your gut and avoid stressing yourself out.
- Following your gut instinct is typical advice when searching for a supplier.
- They should be included if you have a good relationship with a vendor.
- Don't give up if you don't find love among your top one to three options.
- Having a vendor is usually not cheap.
- First, you should prioritise your needs and write out a detailed budget before looking for vendors.
- Spend most of your time and energy on your top three priorities.
- To get a feel for how much money you can allocate to each vendor, you should create a rough budget before you begin scheduling them.
- Planners often advise their clients that "the type of wedding you're having and the number of guests" will determine which service provider gets the bulk of the budget.
- Paper can add expensive quickly depending on your printing processes, however, there may be semi-custom or reassigned solutions that will help you keep this component under budget.
- Photography can get pricey depending on your location and how extensive your coverage is, and bands will always cost more than
- If the vendor is unresponsive to your emails, is disorganised, has a bad attitude, or is defensive, you should reconsider working with them.
- Never second-guess your gut; trust it no matter what.
- Believe in the process and go for it wholeheartedly once you've put together your dream team.
- If you surround yourself with the right people, your wedding day will go without a hitch.
- You may now sit back with your new spouse and family after you have formed the perfect team of service providers and given them their assignments.
- Because of the time and effort invested in arranging a wedding and the subsequent wedding weekend, it's important that you feel comfortable and relaxed with the people you hire to help you.
- You can unwind in their company knowing what they're talking about.