5 Things to Know When Selecting Vendors
One of the areas of wedding planning we have the most impact is the selection of wedding vendors. In our opinion, this is one of the top reasons you hire a wedding planner! Through our years of working in the industry, we know vendors’ aesthetic, offerings, price points and overall temperament.
Without a wedding planner, couples can find themselves visiting more than 12 venues or meeting three different cake bakers. No wonder people get overwhelmed! At Quintessential Events, after numerous meetings and some research, we personally select the vendor we think is best for your wedding.
You might be asking how do we narrow it down to just one? Here is our advice on the top 5 things to look for when selecting your wedding vendors:
You know we love to talk about budget. Every vendor has a price range. As you might have noticed, they ask about this range almost immediately. It is important to have a real range to tell them. If you are curious about what you should be spending, read our earlier blog post on this topic.
Let’s take dress shops for example. Many of the dress shops around Kansas City state on their websites they have dresses $1,500 or up. If your wedding dress budget is less than that, then you should go to stores that have dresses within your price point. Don’t automatically set yourself up for disappointment by going to or meeting with people who are not within your budget.
I know couples often think, ‘well, they might give me a discount.’ Some do, some don’t. Think of it like you would buying anything else. For example, when you go into a restaurant, if you can only afford chicken, that’s what you order. You don’t ask the server if they can give you the steak for the chicken price.
Another note on budget, if a vendor’s price seems too good to be true, they likely are. The vendor could either be brand new or something else could have happened. Either way, with weddings, you get what you pay for.
2. Style and Capabilities
Vendors all have different styles and capabilities. Granted, many can do a wide range of styles, but for the most part they have an overall look associated with their brand.
Photographers are a perfect example. Some are airy and light. Others are dark and moody. Some strongly prefer natural light. While others are focused on capturing the moments of the day versus taking staged photos.
Make sure to pick a photographer that matches your style. Not sure what your style is? Look at your friends’ photos or online, and make a list of what you do and don’t like. Then research photographers in your area that offer that look and feel.
This is true for all vendors. Look at their websites and social media to see their style and offerings. Can they do everything you need?
Communication is a biggie! We cannot tell you how often a couple tells us how much they love how quickly we respond. Or how annoyed they are that other vendors haven’t gotten back to them in a timely fashion.
A general rule of thumb on communication, give every vendor up to 48 hours to respond. Again, some will be quicker and others slower, but that is a reasonable time frame. If from the start, you don’t like the vendor’s speed or communication style, then you might want to select another vendor. Think about it this way, if they don’t impress you when trying to win your business. They are likely not going to impress you, once they have it.
Now with that being said, there are some caveats on wedding vendors’ time. Here goes:
- Friday-Monday – is typically when wedding vendors work (duh, weddings are generally on Saturday). And a vast majority of vendors take Sunday and Monday off as their weekend. We need time off too.
- Busy Season – May-June and September-October are what we all call busy season. This is when a lot of people choose to get married, making our schedules beyond crazy. Seriously, I cannot tell you how many 14-16 hour days we pull during that time.
4. What is Included
Every vendor offers and includes different items as part of their services. No two vendors, even in the same category offer the same thing.
Let’s take wedding planners for example. Some limit the number of meetings you get as part of your package, while others don’t. Some limit the number of hours they will be present on our actual wedding day. Again, others don’t. Make sure to compare and contrast what the vendors you are considering are offering. P.S. we offer unlimited meetings and hours on the day-of because we are awesome.
The devil is truly in the details so make sure you know everything you get and don’t get. DON’T ASSUME. Assuming vendors will just do things for you is where you get in trouble.
Not enough can be said about how important it is to have a connection with your wedding vendors. Do you like each other? Would you go have a beer with them outside of the wedding?
On the wedding day, you have to trust the vendors you hired to bring your vision to life. It is all in our hands. It is imperative that you trust your vendors. Keep in mind that almost all wedding vendors do this profession because we love helping people on one of the biggest days of their lives. We want you to be honest with us about what you like and don’t like. You won’t hurt our feelings.
If you don’t get a good feel for a vendor when you first meet, then move on. There are plenty of people to select from. It doesn’t matter if they were right for other people. It only matters if they are right for you.
The main thing in selecting wedding vendors is to follow your gut. You should have complete confidence in those you hire. And hopefully these five tips will help you get there.