When it comes to choosing your wedding vendors, it can be an overwhelming experience. Especially for brides in the New York and New Jersey area, where the amount of different vendors can seem endless.
To help, I’ve put together the best way to get a strong start on your wedding planning, which will lead to the most reliable vendors, and leave you feeling less stressed.
Book your Venue First
Without a venue there is no wedding day celebration. Without a venue, it is hard to book any other vendor, whether it is your florist or your photographer. Once you have booked a venue, ask to see their preferred vendor list. This can be a very useful tool in sifting through the many different vendors you will be interviewing and hiring to be a part of your wedding team.
Book your Vendors Early
Planning a wedding is stressful, and requires a lot of pre-planning. It is a better use of time to tackle the bulk of the vendor booking early, so that closer to your wedding date you can relax. Photographers, florists, caterers and DJ’s all have busy schedules. The sooner you are on the schedule, the less you have to worry later about finding a professional at the last minute.
Ask to see Samples and Examples
A big red flag with any vendor is not having a portfolio of their work available for you to view. If for example the baker you are thinking of hiring to make your cake has no sample pictures or uses stock photos on their website, do not give them your money. Particularly with florists, find out if the company you want to work with has a robust and up to date portfolio of work, or see if they offer a mock up session. If you want your wedding day to turn out how you are imagining, then you need to see examples of the work you will be purchasing from your vendors
Make sure there is a Contract
For an occasion as important as your wedding, a handshake agreement simply won’t do. It should cause you as the consumer some worry if any vendor you want to work with doesn’t have a contract. If there is nothing written down about what you are purchasing, it could lead to unpleasant surprises down the road. Imagine you were planning for warm neutral uplighting for your wedding ceremony, but you show up to purple. All of a sudden you have a fire to put out that could have been avoided if what you ordered was detailed in a document. Worse still, what if the $2000 price you were “guaranteed” suddenly has turned into $2500 with the fees that the company is sure they told you about. Protect yourself and get everything in writing from all of your vendors.
Book Exclusively Whenever Possible
Many companies across the wedding industry are seeking to streamline their process in order to maximize the number of weddings that can be worked in a weekend. The point of this is to increase their profit, but upping the quantity of weddings has a negative effect on the quality of work. This style of doing business can lead to vendors running late, or the bride receiving the wrong order. While you might pay a little more to book your DJ or caterer for the entire day, you are all but guaranteeing exceptional quality control and time management.
The main point of this article is to show you how to minimize the stress of planning your big day. These tips aside, the best rule of thumb is to simply consider what you want to be thinking about in the days leading up to your wedding. Do you want to be making frantic calls and praying everything runs smoothly, or would you rather feel confident knowing you chose the best professionals available to make your special day perfect? By booking vendors as early as possible, and doing your research to make sure you are working with legitimate companies, you are taking the surest route to a less stressful wedding planning process.