How to Book Your Best Team of Wedding Vendors
How to Book Your Best Team of Wedding Vendors

How to Book Your Best Team of Wedding Vendors



Mountain_View_Manor_Amanda_White_Photography
Mountain View Manor // Amanda White Photography

Finding Your Venue

Consider the setting of your venue first. Do you prefer the countryside, mountain views or big city lights? 

Besides location, there are a variety of other factors to take into consideration regarding venues. For instance, venues can offer packages as minimal as simply renting the building space itself to offering packages with accommodations from tables, chairs, and glassware to bridal-suites and décor! The all-inclusive venues tend to be pricier upfront, but may save you time, money, and stress in the long run.

Venues that include tables and chairs can be extremely beneficial and not having to rent certain items like wine barrels, kegerators, or dance floors can be a huge stress reliever. Don’t overlook these vital details simply because you like the location or “feel.”

Read reviews and make sure to schedule a venue tour! If you can, try to schedule a tour around the same time of year that your wedding will take place. If that doesn’t work for your schedule or if you live out-of-state, ask the venue manager to share pictures of the grounds around the same day as your wedding date. This will help you gain a better understanding of the fauna that will be blooming or the typical light on the given day. Keep in mind, the venue may look one way in pictures but completely different in person. Don’t jump right in and book straight away, give it some honest thought and compare your options.

Specific questions to ask a venue:

  • What all is included with your venue?
  • What is the latest time we can rent it for?
  • Do you allow outside vendors, or do you have a preferred vendor list?
  • Do you have an on-site coordinator?

Make sure your venue is one that you’ll both like, as it will be an eternally special place where you said your “I do’s” and celebrated one of best days of your life! Your venue is where your vendor team helps make your vision come to reality – so make sure it’s right for you!  

Tomato_Bisque_Shooters
ACT 3 Catering // Char Beck Photography

Your Caterer

When booking catering, you’re getting so much more than just food – they are responsible for many different aspects of the event. From dinner menus to plate and dinnerware rentals to arranging and scheduling wait staff to bartending services to clean up and tear down after an event concludes – your caterer is most likely in charge of all these aspects. Since caterers have such an extensive impact on your event, make sure you book a company you feel confident in.

Scheduling a food tasting seems obvious, but there are benefits to do this for other reasons than simply tasting food – always pay attention to the dining experience they provide as well. Firstly, are they attentive to your requests? Were they willing to answer your questions? Did they make you feel as though they were curious about your day as a whole? Most likely, the experience you have at your tasting will be the same experience their event staff provides to you and your guests on your special day.

Lastly, read their reviews! Reviews are critical when shopping for ANY type of vendor. Look for red flags like, “they ran out of food” or “their waitstaff was rude”. For every courageous reviewer there probably are others that felt the same way but never said anything.

Specific questions to ask a caterer:

  • What percentage of food do you prepare based on my head count?
  • Do you provide a la carte entrees or customizations for anyone with dietary restrictions?
  • How many hours are you on-site?
  • Does your staff assist with set-up and tear-down?
  • When does the hot food get delivered?
  • Do you offer bar or rental coordination services?

Food is a focal piece on your special day, not only for the taste and enjoyment but also for the lasting impressions it will leave on your friends and family. 

Bride_Groom_Down_the_aisle
Sarah Harris Photography // Kelley Farm Venue

Photographer

Point, click, shoot. Think again.

A photographer is someone you will spend a lot of time with on your wedding day. It’s important that you mesh well with their personality and enjoy their presence. If you don’t feel confident in front of the lens, your photographer will help instruct you through it and be your best hype person! A great way to get a read on the person is to read their ‘about me’ page on their website and comb through their social media channels. A quality photographer will share their portfolio as well as their personality through these resources because they, too, want to attract their ideal client.

Photographers are artists, who display their creative talents through angles and editing. Browse through their galleries and make sure you like their unique editing style. Picture you and your significant other standing in the shots presented in their gallery and envision them framed and hanging on a wall in your house. Would you like that warm hue, dark and moody undertones, or light, bright and airy style? Everyone has different tastes, and it’s important that you find a photographer that matches yours.

Specific questions to ask a photographer:  

  • Are there any restrictions on what you photograph?
  • Are you familiar with our venue?
  • Do you have a wet weather plan?
  • When will we receive the photos?
  • Do you have a second shooter?
  • What rights do we have to the photos?

When you first see the quote, don’t cringe at their price. You honestly get what you pay for, which, is true of any vendor. For photographers, it’s the hours of behind-the-scenes work editing hundreds of photos that add to your price tag. Your wedding day is only a small fraction of what they do to provide the perfect dream-worthy photos of you two. Your photos will be the most utilized resource when you look back on to reflect and reminisce on your special day and capturing your day how you imagine it is 100% worth the investment!

A Wedding Planner / Day-of Coordinator 

Experience, experience, experience!

This individual is ultimately your team captain and your right-hand person. They need to thoroughly know the industry, know what details to look for, and how problem solve quickly on their feet! Their experience and leadership skills are pertinent to creating and managing a solid team. Read their reviews, check out their website, blogs, and pay extra attention to their response time! Well established wedding planners will be efficient with their time management. Planners will also use blogs to share their knowledge and planning tips for couples, and by sharing this content, it shows they are confident in their worth and the services they provide.

It’s always best to schedule an initial consult with this person to make sure you mesh with one another. A good planner will be interested in getting to know you two and what your dream day looks like. They should offer transparency by openly sharing their pricing and packages based on your needs and know exactly which vendors to recommend.

Specific questions to ask a wedding planner:

  • How many hours are included with your packages?
  • Do we have a limited number of times we can communicate with you during the planning process?
  • Do you assist with design, set-up, and rentals?
  • Do you have a preferred list of vendors you like to work with?
  • Are you familiar with our venue?

This person will relieve more stress than you can imagine. Do not try and go at this alone. Let an experienced planner guide you in the right direction and ensure that your day goes just as you’ve imagined it and allow you to enjoy your special day stress-free.

Bridesmaids_and_Bridal_bouquets
Oak and Fig Florals // Lloyd Photography

Your Florist

Experience, experience, experience!

This individual is ultimately your team captain and your right-hand person. They need to thoroughly know the industry, know what details to look for, and how problem solve quickly on their feet! Their experience and leadership skills are pertinent to creating and managing a solid team. Read their reviews, check out their website, blogs, and pay extra attention to their response time! Well established wedding planners will be efficient with their time management. Planners will also use blogs to share their knowledge and planning tips for couples, and by sharing this content, it shows they are confident in their worth and the services they provide.

It’s always best to schedule an initial consult with this person to make sure you mesh with one another. A good planner will be interested in getting to know you two and what your dream day looks like. They should offer transparency by openly sharing their pricing and packages based on your needs and know exactly which vendors to recommend.

Specific questions to ask a wedding planner:

  • How many hours are included with your packages?
  • Do we have a limited number of times we can communicate with you during the planning process?
  • Do you assist with design, set-up, and rentals?
  • Do you have a preferred list of vendors you like to work with?
  • Are you familiar with our venue?

This person will relieve more stress than you can imagine. Do not try and go at this alone. Let an experienced planner guide you in the right direction and ensure that your day goes just as you’ve imagined it and allow you to enjoy your special day stress-free.

DJ/Band

Music sets the tone of your event. Do you want a variety of songs throughout the night or have them play a specific genre? Live music is always a fun option but can also be limiting if they only play a certain time of music. On the other hand, DJs are always great in that they help with announcements throughout the night and take song requests.

Either option will set the tone and keep the party going! Same as the other vendors, make sure you read their reviews, and if possible, listen to some recordings.

Set-up a consultation or phone call to get to know them and see what services they provide.

Specific questions to ask a DJ/Band:

  • How many hours are included in your package?
  • How many songs do you play?
  • Do you take requests?
  • Do you have all your own equipment?
  • Are you able to transition from ceremony to reception?
  • Do you need access to power/Wi-Fi?

An established DJ will allow you create small playlists and understand the tone you’re going for. Congruently, an established band will know how to read the crowd and keep the energy going throughout the evening. Either option creates a fun dance floor, and lively celebration! 

In conclusion, whichever vendor you are looking for will play a crucial role in your special day! Do your research, make sure they fit your needs and don't be afraid to ask questions. Reach out today for a list of our preferred wedding vendor team!