Match Your Sense Of Style
This applies to any vendor you might be looking at, but especially florists, bakeries and photographers. If you look through the portfolio of a florist in your area and you only see a few designs that are appealing to you, that probably isn't the florist for you. Even though these people are professionals who will do their best to make your vision come to life, they have designs and aesthetics that come more naturally to them than others. It will be much easier to work with a vendor who is putting together a design that comes naturally rather than trying to force a design they aren't as comfortable with. Because of this, it is important for you to do your research and investigate the previous work of the vendor to make sure their style is in line with your style before you contact them. Save both of you some time and energy and only reach out to those vendors that feel right!
Do Your Research
This is the age of technology and there is no reason you shouldn't be able to find at least a few reviews about your vendors online. Good or bad, reviews from past brides should act as guide posts to help you find a good, reliable vendor. Wedding sites like WeddingWire and The Knot have become amazing resources for brides to share about their experiences and for vendors to make themselves accessible during the research process. If you research a vendor and can't find any reviews or brides who have used them in the past... proceed with caution. The vendor is either very new to the wedding game, or brides are choosing not to leave reviews because they were not favorable - either way, you should keep your guard up. If you can't find reviews online and are still interested in a vendor, we recommend asking vendors you have booked what they may know about the vendor in question. At the very least, it doesn't take much time to pop a vendor name into Google and see what comes up and you will be happy you did!
Meet and Greet
Just because we live in the age of technology doesn't mean you should forgo meeting with your vendor in person! Unless distance is a factor (hello Skype and Facetime) you should make an effort to meet with your vendor in person to be sure your personalities mesh. The last thing you want is for the two of you to have any sort of tension or misunderstanding because one of you sees the world in black and white while the other one loves shades of grey. Just like with any other human interaction, you will get along with some people better than others. This especially applies to vendors you will need to work more closely with - namely your wedding planner, day of coordinator and photographer. Most vendors prefer to put a name to a face before the wedding day as well, so reach out to your top picks and see if you can set up a time to meet.
This goes for any and all aspects of your wedding day. You must find a way to be honest (not rude) with all your vendors to make sure YOUR day turns out YOUR way. If they show you something you don't really like and you fib saying "oh I looveeee that!" just to be nice... guess what? You're going to end up with designs and items you don't really like! Your vendors are not mind readers and while they will do everything they can to make your dreams come true, they can't do that unless you are clear with them about you do and do not want. If, for any reason, you don't think a vendor will be a good fit for you On the flip side, being honest doesn't mean you need to be rude or bossy (nobody likes a bridezilla) so make sure you find a way to keep your wants/needs clear without forgetting your manners! Everyone will thank you in the end - including yourself!
Your vendors make your day happen - quite literally - and are some of the biggest and most important decisions you'll make regarding your big day. Choose carefully, follow your heart and your day is sure to be a success!
Do you have any advice for picking a wedding vendor? Share with us in the comments!