You’ve selected the date. Your budget is mapped out. You have the vision.
Now it’s time to turn that vision into a reality. But with so many talented vendors, it’s hard to know where to even begin.
We’re here to help! Below are our top tips for finding the very best vendors for your big day:
1. Decide On What’s Most Important
A big part of deciding that is figuring out where your top priorities are for your wedding day. Do you want to go big with flowers? Are you opting for a band or DJ? Full dinner or light bites? Where you decide to allocate your main focus — and budget — will help you choose your important vendors.
Remember, this is YOUR day! You can pick and choose whatever, and whoever, you want for it. Don’t feel pressured into selecting specific vendors just because it’s ‘traditionally’ what has been done.
2. Remember that Cost Is Relative
Some vendors can easily max out your budget – meaning, there’s not one category of vendor that will generally cost more across the board. A florist can be your biggest expense depending on how many floral arrangements you want and what type of flower you want. Hiring a band vs. DJ may be pricier because you are paying for multiple musicians, and have to account for all of their equipment and a more extensive setup. A caterer can do simple apps or a four-course meal — and that meal could be chicken or lobster. You get the idea. The vendor(s) that get the most significant chunk of your budget is up to you. It truly depends on the style of your wedding, how many guests will attend, and what you want the primary focus to be.
3. Ask for Referrals
It’s likely that you know at least a few people who have gotten married in the last few years. They will be prepared to give you more honest feedback than anything you could find online. Reach out to them, ask them what and who they loved for their wedding, things they would change, things that didn’t actually matter like they thought it would, and so on. Hearing first-hand experiences can make a significant impact on where you put your priorities and dollars. Consider also asking your network on Facebook and Instagram for recommendations. It can go a long way in narrowing down your list of trustworthy vendors.
4. Ask the Right Questions
Now that you’ve narrowed down your vendor list, be sure to properly vet your top selections. We’ve seen so many couples find vendors online and book right away before having an in-depth conversation with them. Even if they have awesome reviews, beautiful socials, a helpful website, and they did your best friend’s wedding… never book without an interview! Be prepared with a list of questions to ask. Interviews will also ensure that you choose vendors who you connect with and you feel confident you will have excellent communication with during the planning process. Some example questions could include:
What is your backup plan if you are sick on the wedding day?
What is your cancelation policy?
Are there taxes and service charges not included in your price sheet?
Do you have liability insurance?
Still feeling a little overwhelmed about your vendor search? We’ve got you! Our comprehensive AWL Vendor Catalogue includes highly vetted, trusted, experienced, and just all-around quality professionals for your big day. Take the stress out of the vendor hunt so you can get back to embracing and enjoying this beautiful season you are in!