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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