wedding vendors

Selecting wedding vendors for the perfect dayThis entry is from our Expert Guest series where wedding and honeymoon professionals share their best tips on creating memories that last a lifetime.

Planning your own wedding can be a daunting task.

From finding a location to choosing the right caterer, the number of moving parts that make a great wedding are staggering! It’s the logistics, details, and fine-tuning that stresses people out the most. A good wedding planner takes this burden off your shoulders, but they can be pretty expensive. Here are a few tips for choosing the best wedding vendors so you can focus more on your wedding day and less on everything else!

Tips For Selecting Wedding Vendors

Gather input from recent wedding couples

Tip 1: Gather Input from Everybody

Try to recall the wedding you recently attended. Were you blown away by the food or the bride’s gown?  Make a list of everyone you know who got married in the last five years and go talk to them about wedding vendors. Social media, the internet, and Google are great tools, but nothing beats first-hand experience. Word of mouth is still king. Be on the lookout for repeat vendors and ask your source if they got it from someone within your circle. If your friends or family keep mentioning a particular vendor, it’s not a coincidence. The vendor in question may actually be very good at what they do.

Find vendor feedback on social media

Tip 2: Online Customer Reviews

After asking around and gathering vendor data, it’s time to put your Facebook skills to good use. Do a social media check and hit all the other outlets such as Instagram and Twitter. Look for local wedding forums about vendors.

Online reviews are an excellent resource for getting more information on wedding vendors. But as with anything online, you should take it with a grain of salt. There’s a lot of hate and negativity on the internet. Haters gonna hate, right?

Meet with your vendors

Tip 3: Set-up Meetings with all the Possible Vendors

The next step is to set up meetings with the top wedding vendors on your list. You can schedule the meetings per vendor type.

For example:

  • Monday – meet with all photographers and video production teams.
  • Tuesday – sit down with clothing designers.
  • Wednesday – food tasting.
  • Thursday – drive to possible locations.
  • Friday – talk to wedding car services.
  • Saturday – churches.
  • Sunday – watch wedding singer perform.

The beauty of this type of schedule is that you can compare each vendor while everything is still fresh in your head. Or, you can just schedule your meetings depending on the location. If the clothing designer’s studio is near the possible venue, you can hit two birds with one stone.

Know your wedding vendors

Tip 4: Know Who Your Vendors Are

When you have a shortlist of possible wedding vendors for your big day, you must do your due diligence and find out more about them. Is the vendor a well-known and respected member of the local business association? Are the vendors listed on any database for public records? If so, then for what purpose?

As the saying goes, knowledge is power. Doing your homework helps mitigate the risk of getting a lemon wedding vendor and avoids any future scheduling conflicts.

What is y0ur wedding budget

Tip 5: Set a Budget

How much are you willing to spend on your dress? How much on food and booze? You have to set a price limit for each vendor that fits your total wedding expense budget. If your dress costs more than half of the wedding budget, you have to look for other options no matter how much you love the design! Knowing your budget limits is also crucial when you’re negotiating with wedding vendors. Haggling and asking for a discount is common, and vendors actually expect it. Don’t be shy to ask for one!

That’s all for now.

Good luck!

Set up a Honeyfund honeymoon registry to help finance your dream wedding!

Bio: Emily Andrews is the marketing communications specialist at RecordsFinder, an online public records search company. Communications specialist by day and community volunteer at night, she believes in compassion and defending the defenseless.

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Secure your wedding rentals

Photo by StudioTHP

This entry is from our Expert Guest series where wedding and honeymoon professionals share their best tips on creating memories that last a lifetime.

With virtually limitless options of wedding rentals, deciding what items you need for your big day can be overwhelming. Here we break down all the event rentals you may need for your wedding, from ceremony all the way to the end of the reception.

Wedding Rentals You’ll Need For The Ceremony

Ceremony seating

Photo by Wendy Hithe

Seating

At the bare minimum, you will need some form of guest seating for your ceremony. Your wedding style (and budget) will determine if you opt for chairs, benches, sofas, or any combination of those. Depending on the size of your guest list, chairs are generally the most cost-efficient option. And since almost every rental company has a considerable inventory of chairs, be on the lookout for sales and offers at your local company. Since you know you’ll need them, it doesn’t hurt to reserve your chairs well in advance if it means locking in a great deal.

Ceremony Decor

Photo by Celebrations! Party Rentals and Tents

Décor

The next step to creating your perfect ceremony space is décor. From a wedding arch to an aisle runner, decide what’s important to you and what you have room for in your budget. It’s also important to consider the features of your ceremony venue to determine what decor you might need. For an outdoor ceremony, you can try draping sheer fabric over tree branches for a makeshift arch and lining the aisle with lanterns or bunches of flowers. For an indoor ceremony, you can experiment with hanging decor (fabric swagging, string lights, lanterns, or chandeliers) and a variety of backdrops in place of a traditional arch. If you plan on doing a unity ceremony of some type, consider what you’ll need for that, whether that means an extra table, a single standing-height table, or a wine barrel for a rustic look.

What You’ll Need For The Reception

Recepton Cocktail Hour

Photo by StudioTHP

Reception Cocktail

Photo by StudioTHP

Cocktail Hour

As soon as the ceremony ends, your guests will likely start looking for where they can get a drink. Whether that means water and lemonade, wine and beer, or a full bar, make sure there’s a station where guests can go for a beverage. A bar with a bar-back offers the most space for a bartender to work, while glass beverage dispensers and buckets full of ice are perfect for a self-serve bar. Adequate signage will also help direct guests in the right direction and let them know what their beverage options are for the night. Providing a space for guests to set down their drinks or have a seat will be appreciated as well, especially if the cocktail hour includes appetizers or is planned to last the full hour or longer. Plus, with so many available styles and options, a couple cocktail tables with barstools can add a lot of flair to the reception area.

Reception Dining

Photo by Celebrations! Party Rentals and Tents

Dining

Your dining tables are likely where you will find most of your rental items. You’ll need to start making decisions on what items you need, including tables, chairs, linens, napkins, chargers, plates, glassware, and flatware. This is also when your personal style and budget is a big consideration. It can be difficult to pin down what look you and your partner want for your wedding, but luckily there are tools to help. Pinterest is a great starting place to find the style you like or check your local rental company’s social media for some completed looks to inspire you. Some companies will even have online table planning tools or reserved space inside their showrooms where you can experiment with different looks until you find the one that’s perfect for your big day.

Cake table

Photo by Green Vintage Photography

Reception Cake Table

Photo by Theilen Photography

Cake Table

While it seems obvious, it is easy to forget to add an extra table to your rental order for your cake or dessert table. If you’re cutting a traditional wedding cake, a cake stand will elevate it off the table and create a clear focal point. You can also rent special stands for cupcakes or tiered trays for other single-serving desserts. For the more unique dessert options (like ice cream sundaes, candy bars, popcorn mixers, or dessert waffles), you may need several smaller containers for treats or toppings. Your local rental company should have a wide variety of different trays, bowls, jars, and ramekins. Make sure to check out all your options until you find the items that you need and that fit your style.

Reception Dance Floor

Photo by Celebrations! Party Rentals and Tents

Dancing

While after-dinner activities vary from wedding to wedding, some classic staples include toasts, dancing, a bouquet toss, and a garter toss. Once you decide which activities you plan to include in your reception, consider what extra rentals you might need for them. Dancing is a very common after-dinner activity, and a dance floor may be a necessity at your venue, not to mention a beautiful statement piece. You may also need a sound system with a microphone for toasts, or an extra chair on standby for the garter toss. It can be easy to forget these extras, so it’s helpful to go through a timeline of the evening with an eye out for any rental items you will need.

Reception Dance Floor

Photo by Celebrations! Party Rentals and Tents

Reception Lounge Indoor

Photo by Sarah Maren Photography

Lounge

Reception lounge areas are becoming an increasingly popular way to invite your guests to stay a while. They offer a much more comfortable space for people to sit and chat well into the night. For an outdoor reception, fire pits and patio heaters can provide heat if the night gets chilly, while market umbrellas can offer some shade against a sunny day. Indoors, a lounge area can turn an ordinary corner into a cozy oasis where good conversation flows all night long!

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Bio: Celebrations! Party Rentals and Tents is a full-service event rental, linen rental, and tent rental company, primarily serving California and Nevada since 1991.

As a leader in our field, we realize that our products are only as good as the people behind them. Our high level of service extends to all of our departments, including administration, warehouse, delivery, and installation. As your rental provider, we strive to help you create a memorable and successful event by focusing on selection, style, customer service, and satisfaction.

Visit us online at www.CelebrationsPartyRentals.com or give us a call at 916-773-2133.

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