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Perhaps the most crucial part of wedding planning is building your dream vendor team—hiring a group of real pros who will take your vision and make it a reality. If you’re starting to plan your big day, you’re probably fumbling around one big question: Who do you need on your wedding vendor team? We’ve put together this helpful guide on how to find the best wedding vendors, to help you breeze through this process.

Are you browsing through Pinterest boards to choose the best ideas and designs for your wedding? It’s a great idea and probably how most couples start. But, unfortunately, everything that you dream of for your big day may fall flat if you don’t find the right wedding vendors.

After all, it’s all about finding the best people who share your aesthetic preferences.

If you do a quick search on the internet, you’ll find a sea of endless vendors, which can be a little intimidating, to say the least. But generally, these are the wedding vendors you’ll need for your wedding.

List of Wedding Vendors You May Need

  • Attire
  • Cake baker
  • Calligrapher
  • Caterer
  • DJ
  • Equipment rental company
  • Florist
  • Hair and makeup artists
  • Jeweler
  • Lighting designer
  • Musicians
  • Nail technicians
  • Officiant
  • Photographer
  • Wedding rental company
  • Stationer
  • Transportation company
  • Tuxedo or suit company
  • Venue
  • Videographer
  • Wedding Planner

Whew! That’s a lot, right? So, how do you connect with the best professional vendors to deliver as promised on your wedding?

Wedding hair stylist sprays brides updo with hairspray

The Top Tips To Find the Best Wedding Vendors

Here are some tips to help you figure out the basics of putting together your wedding vendor dream team.

Plan Out Your Wedding

Before you begin your search for the best wedding vendors, organizing information is crucial. For example:

  • When is your big day?
  • What is your wedding budget?
  • Are you planning a destination/theme wedding?
  • How many guests are you planning to invite?

Other factors to consider may include the menu, floral arrangement, music, bridal/groom dresses, etc. Compile all this info before you start reaching out to wedding vendors.

Research Wedding Vendors

Now is the time to find the best local wedding vendors online and offline. When searching online, check out websites like Central Coast Bride to help you connect with vendors according to your location.

Social media also gives incredible opportunities to connect with local and renowned vendors. Most of them regularly update their profiles with their latest work and client testimonials. In addition, ratings and reviews make shortlisting the best vendors easier.

Apart from searching online, attending wedding expos or bridal expos is a great way to meet vendors in person. A wedding expo will typically have a selection of vendors in most categories we listed above for you to meet and mingle. In addition, each will have a booth set up to display their work and meet with you to chat about your wedding vision. And there are usually lots of giveaways, so you can win some free wedding stuff.

You can also ask for their recommendations if you have recently married family members or friends.

Plan Ahead

If you need to book a wedding venue, then it’s best to choose it at least a year ahead of your big day. You can select all-inclusive venues to save money and spend a great time with your family and friends.

Likewise, book cocktail hour and ceremony musicians at least six months before your wedding. Check with other vendors to know their schedules, including photographers, florists, and caterers.

Don’t Fall for Cheap Rates

You should skip it if it sounds too good to be true. Unless you hire emerging wedding planners offering everything at discounts, it’s rare to find professional services for a minimal cost. For instance, a new wedding planning company may launch its services at affordable rates to build a decent portfolio. But, if they don’t have much experience, they may not do a good job. Remember, cheaper isn’t always better.

Shortlist your Options

When choosing your wedding vendor team, it’s best to start by only contacting a few wedding vendors in each category. Even if you could think dozens of them would be fantastic for the occasion. We suggest limiting your initial list of potential vendors, such as florists and photographers, to three or four. Of course, you can always build a new list if the initial interviews don’t go well or if they aren’t available.

Wedding photographer squatting to capture portrait of bride and groom on staircase

What You Should Ask a Vendor

Getting in touch with a wedding vendor is easier than it seems if you know the right questions. However, there are three crucial details to consider:

  • Can the vendor travel to your location?
  • Are they available on your preferred date?
  • Do they offer discounted packages?

The vendor may get back to you within two days or weeks. Often, if a wedding planning company is booked for the season, one of their representatives will inform you. However, if that’s not the case, they may set up an in-person meeting so you can finalize the details.

Prepare your Questions

Your face-to-face encounter with a vendor is critical. Choose service providers and professionals whose work stands out to you and prepare the questions you want to ask. While we recommend a face-to-face meeting, a Zoom conversation is a fantastic substitute.

Prepare a list of questions, and don’t hesitate to express concerns. You must scrutinize a vendor because you will invest a lot of money. If the vendor’s cost concerns you, open up about your financial constraints and inquire whether there can be any adjustments.

Read the Contract before Signing

Once you choose the best vendors for your wedding, it’s time to sign a contract. But before you sign, you must carefully go through the agreement. You can also ask someone else to review the contract so there are no unpleasant surprises. This contract must include all essential details such as additional costs, payment schedule, delivery date, etc.

Only sign contracts if you clarify every point in this document.

wedding florist wedding vendor pruning flowers setting up table centerpieces at wedding
Hands of florist woman creating bouquets for wedding decoration

Ask for Updates

Begin your formal business relationship with a wedding professional by signing a vendor contract. But that’s only the first step. Make sure you schedule a follow-up appointment with every vendor to receive timely updates.

That way, you will be aware of how everything is unfolding. Also, decide on the best methods of communication, such as email or phone, etc.

Avoid Micro-managing

Staying in touch does not mean that you micromanage your vendors. Once you choose your wedding vendors and are all on the same page, take a back seat. Trust that your vendors will finish all the tasks at hand.

However, only assume things that are in writing. The last thing you need on your wedding day is unpleasant surprises.

Ask for Referrals

Never hesitate to ask for their recommendations in any category. Since many vendors work closely together, you could ask them if they would recommend anyone. For instance, a florist may suggest you a local favorite catering service.