Now that your planning is officially underway, it’s time to start picking your vendors. In our state (South Carolina), there are so many wedding pros out there. I remember when I was planning my wedding, it was so hard to narrow down which vendors I wanted to speak with to learn more about them. I knew if I met with everyone of them, I would be overwhelmed. Having lots of great options is an amazing thing, but unfortunately it also makes things that much more difficult when you’re researching, meeting, and choosing the vendors for your wedding.
Here are a few things to look for in potential vendors.
We hear a lot about quality, but how exactly do you measure it? It depends on what quality means for YOU, so start by defining that. A good way to help you “define” what quality means to you is to think about a restaurant/store/brand- what keeps you going back there or loyal? For me, quality is customer service. I love working with people who make me feel like I matter, even though they have tons of other clients/customers. Quality can also be viewed in terms of experience in two different ways. It can be the vendor’s actual experience in performing their service, and also your own experience as a their client.
Question to ask: What is your typical process when working with couples?
Personality should matter A LOT when choosing your vendors. You want to be able to get along well with all of your vendors. That’s why I recommend you meet them in person before you ever sign a contract. If you can’t meet them in person, thanks to technology, trying to Skype with them. That way you can still meet them “face-to-face” and chat with them. Some vendors you will see on your wedding day, but there’s a few that you won’t, but all in all, you’ll be spending a good amount of time with them and/or communicating with them, so making sure that your personalities mesh well is an excellent idea. It’ll make the millions of emails, phone calls, paying them and meetings a lot more enjoyable.
Question to ask: Besides (insert their profession/service here,) what do you like to do in your spare time?
Before you meet with you vendors, try to know what type of “style” wedding you are wanting to have. It will definitely help you in choosing your vendors too, because many do have a certain style, which you can usually see through their branding on their websites and blogs.
Question to ask: What’s your favorite wedding detail right now?
VALUE: So all of the things above are more personal and about finding the vendor who’s the right for you. And once you’ve gone through all that, then the numbers game starts. However, value is different than price. Yes, you have the bottom line price and what you get for that. But when looking for value, you want to look at a few other things. Experience and quality are both a huge part of value. Experience and quality is why those with more experience charge more. That photographer who is such a good price? Well, you could be their 2nd wedding, that’s why your getting a “great” deal.
So the price isn’t always the best value. Know the value of exactly what you’re getting with the vendors that you consider. Question to ask: If we hire you, what will we be getting, both literally and figuratively?
Just a little note: when you’re in a consultation, it’s best to let the wedding vendor do their thing, and then they’ll ask you if you have any questions. Then feel free to ask your questions and get a conversation going. It’ll definitely help you decipher things a little better. I know some of you who are newly engaged are starting to go to consultations with potential vendors, so I hope this will help you all out!