If you’re reading this, you’re likely on a search for the perfect wedding vendors for your special day and you’ve also likely realized that doing so is no easy task. The reality is there are many great and well not so great wedding vendors to choose from. In fact, if you’re from Orange County I’d say you’ve likely been overwhelmed by all the wedding vendors that are available just in Orange County alone! 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 I have learned a thing or two. Truth be told, I have worked with some HORRIBLE wedding vendors 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 your wedding day is 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. Keeping that in mind, soon I will be putting together a vendor recommendation list on our site that I hope will be helpful for you and all our future couples. Wedding planning should be fun and I hope these five tips in choosing your vendors make the wedding planning process a little more enjoyable.
One: 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. With that said, 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 question 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.
Two: See what others are saying
So 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 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. When I asked why, 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!
Three: Do you feel comfortable with them
Okay, yes I know you’re not dating your DJ but if you already find your DJ to be annoying then consider the fact that you will be stuck in a room with them for 6 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. I heard a story recently about a wedding coordinator that stole money from a Bride’s purse during her wedding. Let’s just say as a wedding vendor, a couple is trusting me with a lot and at least for me I want to honor that trust but even more so I want to look out for my clients and their best interest.
Four: 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 you’ve been dreaming about this day since you first saw the movie Cinderella. Well, there’s no reason why your wedding day can’t be perfect and like you’ve always dreamed. As you look through vendors for your wedding day, narrow down the options for each category. If you visit ten different florists not only will you eventually get sick of asking the same question but you are more inclined to just pick anybody to get it over with. So I encourage you, be more selective about the vendors you’re considering for your wedding day.
Five: Be careful to not make the rookie mistake
We all had to start somewhere right? Absolutely but where you started from can make all the difference! Realize that experience makes a difference…and will cost more. When I first began my photography business, it wasn’t some great elaborate plan. Rather I had a friend
ask 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. Were their photographs an utter disaster? Thankfully no, they were not. Though by no means was I a “professional” at the time. When I look back to that first wedding I realize the pictures could have been an utter disaster but due to my already three years of experience in the wedding industry things didn’t end up as bad as they could have. So why do I share this embarrassing story? Because I want to emphasize that experience matters. Although it may be more affordable to hire the less experienced caterer or photograph it can cost you far more in the end. By no means am I the photographer I was years ago and the difference can be seen in my work and in the great team we’ve built at Three16 Photography. But one thing that breaks my heart 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 say “you get what you pay for” can become a sad reality. Invest wisely in your wedding vendors.
With that said, I was honored to photograph an expo for some of my favorite vendors this past weekend and I’d love it if you took a moment to check them out!