Tips For Choosing Your Wedding Vendors

Welcome back to another post!

This week I am sharing some tips for choosing your wedding vendors! After you have your venue booked & know your date, the next biggg step is to start researching your vendors! This task can feel super overwhelming because there are SO MANY MOVING PIECES. But don’t worry, just take it one step at a time and REMEMBER you don’t need to book everything in one day!

Also a secret between us…before I looked at a venue I didn’t even know what “vendors” meant in terms of weddings…kind of embarrassing right?

But anyways, like I said, finding your vendors can be super overwhelming. So here are some tips to help.

  1. Make a list of all the main vendors you MIGHT need to book. You want this list to be all inclusive so you don’t forget anything.

    Pro tip - I also suggest ranking your list in order of importance to you (i.e. mine was photographer and videographer)

    • If you have an all inclusive venue (i.e. provides food, tables, linens, etc.) here is my list of vendors

      • Photographer

      • Videographer

      • DJ

      • Instrumental Band

      • Justice of the Peace (or equivalent)

      • Wedding Planner/Day of Coordinator

      • Baker (for cake or desserts)

      • Florist

      • Favors

      • Attire

      • Seamstress

      • Transportation (limo and or shuttle buses)

      • Hotel Block

    • If you don’t have an all inclusive venue, here is my list of vendors

      • Caterer

      • Furniture rental

        • tables, chairs, linens, cutlery

      • Photographer

      • Videographer

      • DJ

      • Instrumental Band

      • Justice of the Peace (or equivalent)

      • Wedding Planner/Day of Coordinator

      • Baker (for cake or desserts)

      • Florist

      • Favors

      • Attire

      • Seamstress

      • Transportation (limo and or shuttle buses)

      • Hotel Block

  2. Once you have your list, do your online research. I really loved using The Knot and Wedding Wire. These sites will help you gain some insight to the pricing for your area. I suggest keeping a tracker with your vendor list and writing an estimated budget you WANT to spend, vs. what is realistic per your research.

  3. Once you have your list and an idea of cost per vendor, think about your all in budget. Are all the vendors you want realistic for your budget? Chances are you probably want to try to make some cuts. Here are some areas I cut costs in:

    • Cake - I hired someone who does not specialize in wedding cakes, and got our cake for ONLY $200! For a 3 layer naked cake which was AMAZING!

    • Flowers - I DIYed all my bridesmaid’s bouquets, centerpieces, and other florals. See my article on how I did this here.

    • Decor - I ordered a lot of decor from Amazon and Alibaba. I also got a lot from the Dollar Tree! See my list of top Amazon wedding decor here.

      *Of course some areas might be harder to cut in, but for photographers and videographers you can also look into hiring students or people who are just breaking into the industry, they usually charge less.

  4. Once you have a list of vendors you are planning on hiring, it is time to start actually looking into vendors in your area, based on your budget. You can use the budget search feature on the Knot and Wedding Wire as well!

    Pro tip: I would suggest finding maybe 3-5 vendors per category, so you have some backups in case your pick is booked for your day.

    Pro tip: Before really doing research on vendors, if you think you really like one, call or email them to see if they have your date open so you don’t have to waste time researching if they are already booked your day.

  5. Once you narrowed down some choices and start setting up calls, take detailed notes if you can during the calls. As I mentioned before there are so many moving pieces in a wedding so it is great to have notes to reference!

    Pro tip: - Do speaker phone calls with your future spouse and the vendor so one can ask questions and one can take notes!

So I wanted to keep this list simple, and those were the 5 tips I had for helping to start choosing your vendors. Next week I am going to talk about how to keep your vendors organized and tracking your expenses! Please let me know if you have any requests of topics you want me to cover, and remember to check out my Podcast, Something Borrowed, for more wedding planning tips!

Until next time, xoxo

-Kyrsti

Kyrsti Tam