He finally asked. You said yes. You’ve shared the news with your family, friends, and the world of Twitter and updated your Facebook status to engaged. Now the fun part begins – the wedding planning! You’ve bought every bridal book in town, subscribed to 50 wedding blogs (including OneWed’s Savvy Scoop bridal blog), and have asked those close to you for recommendations on wedding vendors. But how can you find quality vendors, within your budget, that are perfect for your unique event? Keep reading.
1. Hire a wedding planner if your budget allows! In addition to helping manage your time and stress levels, they’re one of your best resources for finding good vendors. Their reputation depends on your happiness with how the wedding turns out, so they shouldn’t recommend an unprofessional or second-rate vendor. And while hiring a wedding planner isn’t cheap, they can often leverage their connections to get you deals, which could mean better vendors for you while keeping within your budget.
2. Meet with a minimum of three of each type of vendor, and never sign a contract at the initial meeting. Sure, your best friend’s cousin’s dog sitter used them and loved them, but that doesn’t mean they’re the best fit for you. Meet with a few and then take some time to compare and contrast at home. Make sure they fit your style, budget and personality better than any other vendor before you sign with them.
3. Don’t waste time asking a vendor for a referral. When you apply for a job, would you ever give a bad reference? Then why would a vendor give you less-than-perfect referrals? If you have the time, feel free to follow up with referrals, but you aren’t going to get much insight from them. So how do you know they’ll be good if you don’t ask for referrals? Check out our next tip.
4. Google Stalk!! You did it with your fiancé when you first started dating, now it’s time to do it with your vendors. Get the real scoop on what former clients think on the web. OneWed’s Local Wedding Vendor Directory is a great place for this; newlyweds come to OneWed to post ratings and reviews (just like Yelp!) on the vendors they hired. Many a bride has been saved from hiring a shady vendor thanks to our honest reviews from past brides. Once you’ve seen the bad and the ugly, check out the top-rated wedding vendors in your local area. But don’t just stop there! See what others are tweeting, blogging and posting too.
5. Make sure you like the person as well as the service, especially for vendors who will be present at the wedding (photographer, videographer, DJ, etc). Your wedding photographer and videographer will be with you throughout the day, and you’ll be listening to the DJ for most of the reception. Make sure you like them and that they make you feel comfortable, that way they’ll contribute to the enjoyment of your wedding day journey.
6. Organization is key once you’ve started meeting with potential vendors, and our Wedding Vendor Manager lets you keep track of them all. Bookmark your favorites as you search, and keep important notes (price quotes, follow-up dates, etc.) once you meet with each vendor.