Choosing Your Vendors
A methodical selection process can make your wedding planning stress free
By Michelle Bolyn
You want to assemble the best team for the day of your wedding so that it will run smoothly. If you pull together reputable wedding vendors for your special day, you'll be able to enjoy your day without stressful situations. It can easily become overwhelming to find the multitude of wedding vendors it takes to pull off a wedding ceremony and reception. If you follow certain steps, you'll be able to successfully hire responsible and talented wedding experts.
- What You Need to Know
- Choosing vendors is one of the most important steps toward creating a smooth, stress free wedding planning process.
- Interview more than one vendor for each service you need; reach out to friends and family to identify candidates.
- Define your wedding budget before you start interviewing candidates.
- Prepare a list of questions to ask vendors during the interview process.
- Start with the most important vendors first, such as your wedding planner or the vendor providing your venue.
It's not a hard and fast rule, but it may make more sense for you to book wedding vendors in a sequential fashion. For example, if you will have a wedding planner, you should find him or her first because they can put you in touch with good vendors they have worked with in the past.
As with job interviews, it's best to look at more than one candidate. You should find two to three wedding vendors to interview for each service you need. If you try to interview more than that, you'll end up wasting too much time, and it can become harder for you to choose. Narrow down your options for each vendor by looking at their websites.
Once you have identified vendors for each service and set up an initial interview. You'll want to interview top-priority vendors first. For example, if you really want a specific venue, you should book this first and then select vendors that are available for your wedding day. If your officiant is your top priority, contact him first to get available dates.
At vendor interviews, ask each vendor for two references from couples that she has worked with in the recent past and one reference from another wedding vendor. Contact the references and ask them about the vendor's services, how the vendor interacted with the guests, and if she was professional. Don't be afraid to ask references about cost information, and to also discuss pricing -- in depth -- with the vendor. Make sure you clearly define your budget upfront.
If you're 'interviews' don't yield any solid choices and you need more options, reach out to friends and family members especially ones that have recently been married. They can give you concrete opinions on their experiences. If you attended a wedding recently and liked a particular element -- the food or decor, for example -- reach out to the couple if you can. The benefit is that you can also try and get some information on pricing to help inform your decisions.
After each interview talk to your fiance to go over your respective thoughts. Choose the vendor who understands your vision and fits into your budget, as well as one who you think you can work with well. Even if a vendor is the cheapest, if they seem like a tough person to work with it may not be worth it.
About the Author
Michelle Bolyn regularly writes on weddings and relationships.
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