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Helpful Tips

Updated on March 11, 2022

Estimated Reading Time: 8 Minutes


If you’re planning a wedding and are feeling a bit lost or frustrated with the wedding vendors you’ve met with so far, then it might be time for a do-over. You have just one day to get this right and the vendors you opt to hire can make or break that one chance day.

Are you willing to take that chance without doing your due diligence?

According to Sertac E. Yuksel, service quality is the most important factor for customer satisfaction.

If satisfaction is what you want, then these 5 Ways to Pick Wedding Vendors for a Standout Wedding Day just might be the ticket to help you get the right vendors for your needs.

By now, finding the right wedding vendors that match your style is no easy task. The reality is there are many great vendors and not-so-great ones to choose from. In fact, if you’re located in the Orange County area, I’d say you’ve likely been overwhelmed by all the wedding vendors that are available just in the county alone, not to mention whether or not they are a fit.  Well don’t fret, I want to give you five simple tips that will help you pick the perfect vendor for your wedding day or special event!

First, let me just say that as a wedding photographer, I may not know all the answers but after being a part of so many weddings over the years, I have learned a thing or two. Truth be told, I have worked with some HORRIBLE wedding vendors myself that have almost ruined the beauty, joy, and fun of a wedding day.  But thankfully I have also worked with some absolutely INCREDIBLE wedding vendors that not only made a couple’s wedding day shine but went the extra mile to ensure the bride and groom were well taken care of! The reality is, it is your wedding day and that alone makes it quite special.

It should be a day you cherish for the rest of your life.  So even though I am a photographer, any client that has met with me knows that I am always willing to help you find the vendors that you need for your special day. Wedding planning should be fun, and I hope these five tips in choosing your vendors make the wedding planning process a little more enjoyable.

Photo by: Three16 Photography (

#1: Ask the Tough Questions

As you search through different wedding vendors, don’t be afraid to ask the tough questions.  I have found that some clients are nervous about asking questions and truth be told they shouldn’t be!  Any vendor that is worth your consideration will be more than happy to answer your questions, both truthfully and with transparency. If they seem to avoid answering certain questions be very careful about considering them for your wedding.

A good wedding vendor won’t have anything to hide, and they will likely answer your questions with more info than you asked for. Now it’s important to understand that a vendor may have some important questions for you as well so don’t be surprised if it seems like you both are interviewing each other.


#2: See What Others Are Saying

In today’s society, online reviews mean everything. Think about it. If you want to try a restaurant you never heard of, don’t you Google or Yelp them? What do you mean they have no website? Maybe they’re not legit? Funny, before the internet, our mindsets were never like this. But here we are. Therefore, online reviews can really influence your decision-making. For example, you just sat down to try some cake samples and they were incredible! But you didn’t check the reviews online that said the cake artist has a tendency to make the wrong cake.

Let me just say that taking a few minutes to check a vendor’s online reviews can save you a lot of frustration or it can confirm your decision to go with the vendor that just swept you off your feet.

Of course, keep in mind no vendor is perfect and there are some clients that are impossible to please. Yet a good vendor will likely have enough positive reviews that they greatly outweigh the negative reviews. Nonetheless, proceed with caution and be sure to check reviews from more than just one source. It wasn’t too long ago that I was talking to a mother of a bride who was furious about the photo booth vendor they hired. This particular wedding vendor was late to the wedding and the bride’s mom kept telling me that she wished she had read the reviews first because she went on to tell me that this particular wedding vendor had several negative reviews for being late and unprofessional. Thankfully he showed up, but he was over two hours late!

Also, when it comes to reading reviews, just because a vendor has a bad review doesn’t always mean it’s an accurate rating of that vendor.

  • They may have a bad day – that day.
  • The reviewer may have a reputation for just giving bad reviews; warranted or not.
  • There may have been a misunderstanding.

If you’re going to look at reviews, look at the reasons for the negative reviews and look for patterns. If they have a couple not so glowing reviews and they are for different reasons, it’s probably ok to continue with them. However, like in the case of the photo booth vendor, if the same issue or issues keep getting repeated in negative reviews, then it is time to move on to someone else.

#3: Do You Feel Comfortable With Them

Building a relationship with your vendors is like a short-term dating experience. I understand you are not dating your DJ, but if after meeting with your DJ and are finding them to be annoying then consider the fact that you will be stuck in a room with them for six hours on your wedding night. I often tell my clients that whether they choose me or another photographer it’s important they feel comfortable with their photographer.

The truth is on your wedding day. You’ve handed over the keys to your special day to all your vendors. Choose a team that makes you laugh, smile, and one that you feel you can trust. Let’s just say as a wedding vendor, a couple’s trust in me means everything as I know they have thousands of other photographers to go with and I want to honor that trust and I want to look out for my clients and their best interest as well.

Photo by: Three16 Photography (

#4: Do You Actually Like Their Style

It’s your wedding day! For many, this is a day that you have spent countless hours thinking about. Let’s be real, if you’re a bride, then you’ve been dreaming about this day since you first saw the movie, “Cinderella.” Am I right? Well, there’s no reason why your wedding day can’t be perfect and like you’ve always dreamed about. As you look at all the various vendors for your wedding day, besides going through reviews, narrow down the options for each category and review their work. Then ask yourself whether or not you like their style.

Using us photographers, for example, we are like artists, and each of us has a style we prefer; a certain look if you will. And therefore, you have to determine which style is best for your wedding day vision. In fact, if you were to visit 10 different florists, not only will you eventually get sick of asking the same questions, but you are more inclined to just pick anybody to get it over with. So, I encourage you to be more selective about the vendors you’re considering for your wedding day.



#5: Be Careful To Not Make The Rookie Mistake

We all had to start somewhere, right?  Well of course, but where you started from can make all the difference! Realize that a vendor’s experience can make all the difference… and cost you more in the long run. When I first began my photography business, it wasn’t some great elaborate plan. Rather I had a friend beg me to photograph their wedding. Now please note that I told my friend no several times before finally agreeing to do so.

As I look back to my very first wedding as a photographer, I honestly cringe because there was so much, I didn’t know then. My first thoughts were if their photographs turned out to be an utter disaster or not? Thankfully no, they were not. Whew, dodged that bullet. However, even though I survived it, by no means was I a “professional” at the time.

When I look back to that first wedding, I realize that due to my already having three years of experience in the wedding industry things didn’t end up as bad as they could have. Why do I share this embarrassing story? Because I want to emphasize that experience does matter. Although it may be more affordable to hire a less experienced caterer or photographer it can cost you far more in the end. I am by no means the same photographer I was years ago, and the difference can be seen in my work. I have been in business for some time now, but because of the great team we’ve built at Three16 Photography, I am far and away better.

Experience Matters.

Photo by: Three16 Photography (


After all these years in the business, there is still one thing that breaks my heart to this day. It is when someone tells me that they had a wedding vendor, or even worse a photographer, that failed at doing their job. Understand that if you hire someone simply based on price and not on experience, the old saying, “you get what you pay for” can become a sad reality. I recommend all the above advice and invest your time, and money, wisely in your wedding vendors.

Have a great wedding day!


Are you planning a wedding and have a story to tell? Let me know in the comments below!


5 Tips When Picking Your Wedding Day Vendors

Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017


Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017
Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017
Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

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