How To: Select the Right Vendors

September 21, 2015


When it comes to your wedding, it’s really the vendors who can make or break the Big Day. With your inspiration and direction, your vendors will take your ideas and design the wedding of your dreams, so it’s important to pick out the best of the best! In a world where Google knows all, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the multitude of options out there. One way to pick out some solid vendors is to ask for referrals from your venue or planner if you’ve already selected them. Usually, they have a list of vendors that they regularly work with and can vouch for their performance (and have an ongoing rapport)! Read on for some considerations while choosing the best vendors for you and yours.

The website
While we don’t normally contend “judging a book by its cover,” oftentimes a website can speak volumes to the company it represents. Be sure to check for a gallery page or a portfolio that will show their work in real events – a picture’s worth a thousand words, right? (OK, we’re done with the overused expressions!) It’s also prudent to check out the About section, which can generally offer a glimpse at the personality behind the page. If you like what you see, be sure to fill out the contact form with all of your event information!

The communication
You loved their site and you eagerly filled out a contact form, hoping to hear from them as soon as you click submit. The problem is, you don’t hear from them for close to a week – maybe even more. If that’s the case, you can most likely cross them off the list unless they have a great excuse (i.e. “Our website was under construction and the emails weren’t coming through” or “Space aliens hacked our email accounts and we couldn’t respond.”) Consider their initial communication with you as a first impression and assume that it will continue to be the same throughout the planning process.

The people
So, you heard back the following day and have a consultation meeting on the books – great! Now is the time to really get down to business and get to know your potential vendor. Come to the meeting prepared with questions and be ready to get to know them as if they were applying to become your best friend. Asking how long they’ve been in the business is a must, but other questions you may want to ask include “What inspired you to be in the wedding industry?” and “What can you offer me that other [photographers/florists/DJs/planners/etc] can’t?”

Sometimes, a couple and a vendor simply connect, which is ideal. Even if you don’t “connect” per se, don’t count them out if you still think they can do a great job on your wedding and will respect your decisions along the way. However, if you’re sitting in a meeting with a prospective vendor and things just don’t seem to be going in the right direction (“is she really filing her nails in our meeting?”), do not be afraid to tell them it’s not the right fit and walk away. There’s just no need to waste your time on something that won’t work.

The price
Unfortunately, cost plays a big role in planning weddings and sometimes the perfect vendor is a bit out of reach. If you have your heart set on a certain vendor that may not fit into the budget, feel free to reach out to them to see what deal they may be willing to make with you. Generally, vendors won’t change their price per service for anyone, but they may be willing to create a custom package for you or cut some of the unnecessary parts of their service to give you a better deal – just be sure to ask! They should want to work with you as much as you want to work with them, so it’s a win-win situation if you can get together to make it happen. If it doesn’t fall into place, there’s no need to fret – there are so many awesome vendors out there who would be honored to be a part of your special day!

When it comes down to it, your vendors (or your “wedding team”) should be enthusiastic and excited to work on your wedding. It is an honor, for sure! While it doesn’t need to be a match made in heaven (that’s what your partner is for!), you’ll want to be sure their personality fits yours and that they are timely and responsible. If so, you’re in luck! Enjoy the planning process with your expertly-curated wedding team and have the best darn wedding possible.

Proudly serving Bay Area Weddings for over twenty years, Fantasy Sound aims to be engaged couples’ first stop- offering Disc Jockey, Videography, Event Lighting Décor and Wedding Planning services. They are fueled by great ideas paired with strong coffee, and will never turn down a piece of red velvet wedding cake.