Guest Writer | How to find your Wedding vendors

CCThe biggest and hardest job in wedding planning is finding and hiring the appropriate team of vendor to execute your vision. Most people have never hired a caterer, DJ, photographer or florist before and now you have to do it all, all at once!

Hang in there, we’ve got you covered.

Vanilla PhotographyDSP_8490_DerrynSchmidt9451. Find your star player.

The first step is identifying your priorities and allotting the bulk of your resources into the vendors who matter most to you. Your budget and time are limited so spend the most of each hunting down and hiring the people who will shine in one or two areas. Decide what you love most whether it’s food, photography or partying and chase down the most talented people in those fields first. Not only will you be able to sleep better knowing that your most important priority is well taken care of, but you can use your trusted vendor as a reference for finding other vendors. 

2. Get referrals.

Friends who have recently been married are a plethora of knowledge, ask them for the good, bad and ugly vendors they encountered. Get referrals from them and heed their horror stories. Reach out to Facebook acquaintances who’s pictures you’ve stalked at 2am and ask them about the things you loved about their wedding. People love to talk about great choices they’ve made! Ask your star player for referrals of people they have worked with before. Generally a Photographer or DJ has seen dozens of different caterers and florists and venues and will happily share with you their professional opinions.

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3. Reach outside of your budget.

Please, this tip is to be used with discretion. If you ADORE the work of a particular vendor but could never afford them, find out who they recommend. You’ll have to really genuinely love them, as nobody wants to waste time helping a freeloader, but drop them an email extolling their virtues (a little flattery gets you a long way) and see if they know of any up-an-coming industry newbies who are showing promise. If your budget demands you get the cheapest photographer around, wouldn’t you rather it be one that an amazing photographer thinks is talented? 

4. Become a small stalker.

Facebook, blogs, Twitter, Instagram. There are so many ways of hearing what your potential vendors have to say. Get your follow on and see what vendors you can actually relate to on social media. The olden days of boring service provider research are over, now you can research videographers and decor companies while scrolling on your newsfeed. Use it to your advantage by ‘liking’ a few people early in the game and see which brands stand out to you after a few weeks.

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5. Wedding Blogs.

Like this one, well done! But seriously, don’t only troll the list of recommended service providers (a lot of time its simply paid advertising and not a true recommendation) Have a look at the weddings that get featured and find out who the vendors were. Sometimes they are talented, hard working and visionary but can’t afford to advertise with venues and blogs. With the slightest bit of digging, you’ll find them. They are also going to be tagged and hashtagged across the big wedding blogs social media.

And just remember, the journey toward your wedding day can lead to a lot of stress.  If you don’t ‘click’ well with a particular vendor or if you didn’t walk away from your meeting full of excited butterflies, keep looking.

FW8A3974Images by Vanilla Photography, Pickle Photography and Derryn Schmidt

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