One of the weddings I photographed recently wowed me. The couple did the entire planning, including a selection of vendors while in a different state from where they held the ceremony. Via the Grand Island list of vendors and an email, I found myself working with the most elite vendors in the area. Some of them I had already worked with. You may think they asked me for referrals, but they didn’t, and that is where the amazement lies. How did they choose such a perfect team from without?
Over the past ten years, I have learned that planning for the wedding is one of the most complex and tricky tasks those engaged have to undertake. You have never wedded before, and here you are with a pool of vendors in each category to select from. Though several options may seem advantageous, they actually complicate the situation if you are unfamiliar with none. It is a one-time event, and there is no second chance for correcting a mistake.
To help you get a perfect team of vendors, I have put together the golden tips I have gathered myself and learned from several brides.
1. Meet with each service provider
With the fast-evolving technology, it would be tempting to select a vendor after an interaction with their online portfolio or website. Even though this is an essential step in hiring one, having a physical meeting, if possible, will give you a lot more information about him or her than a website offers. In case that is not feasible, a Skype meeting or a phone call are options to help you gain a better understanding of the kind of person you are about to involve in your wedding.
2. Ask for referrals from reliable sources
Family and friends who have worked with vendors before can help you gather a perfect team quite fast. Those they will refer you to are most likely to have delivered in their weddings or other events but ensure you make your verifications.
3. Get help with the research.
When doing the planning from without like the couple I mentioned, get someone to help you do the background research locally. A relative or friend can plan for the physical meetings with the vendors you selected from online platforms. The knowledge and experience of a wedding planner are very valuable at such a point. So consider hiring one to help you with the research in fundamental issues like venue.
Besides researching on your behalf, experienced wedding planners always have a whole list of vendors to recommend. In most cases, they will give you referrals for those they have worked with previously, which can be a good way of enhancing coordination. So getting a planner who understands your needs and budget is an asset in pulling off the wedding.
4. Believe the masses
Mostly, the numbers are right. When everyone, including relatives, other vendors, and blogs, keeps mentioning a specific name, then there must be a reason. Those who have proven themselves capable will always be on the airwaves though they might be quite pricey.
5. Can they talk about their fees comfortably?
Vendors will charge for what they can deliver. Some may be offering services as their passion, but the bottom line is making some money. So, if you meet a service provider who is quite uneasy talking about their fees, it might be a pointer to an underlying factor. Either they are covering up something, or they are inexperienced altogether.
6. Read online reviews
As you always do with any product before placing your order online, search for wedding vendors’ review platforms such as weddingwire.com. Here you can find service providers with proven track records. While you may not know the reviewers, it is highly unlikely that they will be biased. Check for vendors with the highest rated vendors with the most reviews.