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Wedding Vendors

July 4, 2016 by The Marquardt Ranch

You are ready to begin choosing vendors and making your big day a reality. Congratulations! Before you get started, establish a few key components of your wedding.

  • How much are you comfortable spending? Where would you prefer to put your money? Into great food? Incredible musicians? Timeless photography?
  • Decide if you want the same photographer for engagement or save the date sessions as well as the wedding. Can your caterer manage the cake and the food? What about dietary restrictions?

Start Searching

Top wedding sites such as The Knot, Brides, and Bridal Guide offer great search engines specifically for wedding vendors. Search by type: photographer, catering, ceremony site, musicians, florist, reception venue. Filter by price, style, recommendations, distance, guest capacity, setting. Searches often include vendor links so you can check them out in greater detail. Brides offers a 5-star rating so you can see at a glance how they measure up.

However, if you are planning a rural wedding, know these searches often only pull big vendors in cities. Doesn’t mean your setting won’t have great choices. You just might have to try a different tactic to find your local vendors.

Ask via Social Media

Brides is on Twitter and Facebook. So is The Knot. You know brides love to dish on the good, the bad, and the wedding blissful. Ask for referrals in your location, and use your social media for more than mindless scrolling. Just be wary of Pinterest. The vendors are there, but a broad search can easily become overwhelming. For example “barn wedding venue Austin Texas” is specific but still filled the feed with over one hundred hits.

Ask your friends and family.

Or have them ask their friends. We’re all connected, so use those connections. Been to a wedding here? What was good? What wasn’t? Referrals are actually the best way to filter through your choices, because anyone can build a fabulous website, but your friends and family will tell you the truth about their experiences.

Attend an expo. Not only might you win great prizes, you will also have the chance to meet dozens of vendors all in one place. Chatting with photographers, caterers, DJs, and florists in person will help you gauge whether or not you click. It’s important to choose a vendor who will work with your personality and style.

Make an appointment. As you narrow your search, call up those vendors under consideration. Ask first about availability. Don’t whittle your list down to one and then discover they require a two-year booking window. If all seems well, make an appointment and have a discussion about your budget and expectations before you decide.

Feeling overwhelmed? Simply go for a drive. See what you stumble onto. Sometimes places will allow you to hold your event, even if it isn’t a traditional wedding site.

Happy planning!

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