With a digital world only taps away it’s so overwhelming to know where to start. Talk about being an overwhelmed consumer.
If that’s you and you want to skip over the pages and pages of searches for each category, and you just want a short list of reputable wedding professionals we have three resources or places to start. Hopefully, they will help you skip the headache and shift through all the amazing options that are available in your area.
In our area, there are TONS of these to choose from, some for specific styles (like rustic or outdoor weddings), micro weddings, backyard weddings, and the list goes on and on. Facebook may be on a downward trend as a tool for businesses BUT it is an awesome resource for wedding forums and discussions. Connecting you to both couples planning and local area vendors.
If you're not really into adding to discussions or don't want to post an "in search of..." request and get bombarded with comments you don't have to! Simply watch, scroll and read on. You can see other couples who are asking the same questions, others who are giving feedback and reviews and gathering some great ideas or finding hidden gems.
Use that search function and read away. Our co-host Eylin even is an administrator in a North Texas LGBTQ+ group which means that all vendors in it are welcoming without having to ask. If those values are important to you we've included a link you can check out in the resources below.
Ask the wedding venue you booked for recommendations. We chatted in an earlier episode about preferred lists being something vendors paid to be a part of versus times they are not. Neither is a bad twist necessarily, but that's only if you know how the list was made so ask away! In different parts of the United States alone, the "normal" varies drastically. It won't upset your venue if you ask - and then you can decide if that list and recommendations are professionals you trust in or if you'd rather go a different route.
For most venues, regardless of how the list was built the recommendation should be made of professionals who have been at and worked with the venue a few times so they trust each other, are familiar with the property and the teams know or recognize each other. Trust us - that relationship and benefits are worth so much!
Friends and Family
This one is in my (Amanda's) opinion the best. Here's why - odds are you have seen these professionals in action at an event or the product of their work. For example - you have flipped through your best friend's wedding photo album 100 times and just love the images, editing style, and eye the photographer had. What's the icing on the cake? Your friend cannot stop talking about how amazing they were to work with during planning, on their wedding day, and up until they got their gallery. Now THAT is a review you can trust right?
What to ask your possible wedding vendors
Okay, here is a quick list of things to get the conversation started with your wedding vendors (potential ones). In the episode, we dove in deeper into the logistics of knowing how many hours you need and where to even start figuring out the logistics.
We completely understand - it’s overwhelming to try to figure out a timeline from the get-go, but having an outline of your day is important. It will help keep you on track and avoid Eylin's example of a ceremony at 1 pm, grand exit at 10:30 pm but somehow along the lines you only booked your photographer (or DJ) for 6 hours total.
What do you do? You could add on 3.5+ hours of service so that you get those cake-cutting photos or dances with your grandparents. You could shorten your timeline for the day - but what if you paid for extra time from your venue for this timeline? Whoops!
Either way, if you're in that boat right now you have options and if you really don't know - shoot us a message and we're happy to help you think it through!
If you can avoid that from the beginning though - that's the ticket.
Not sure when you want to have your ceremony or reception start/end yet? That's okay! Loko at your venue contract - how many hours do you have included? Are there specifics for the event itself? This could be specific times detailed, or it could be that you have a set number of hours (like 4 hours) of event staff/security, etc. Start there.
Our biggest tip if this whole topic is stressing you out - find an amazing wedding planner! Let them read through everything and present you with options, professionals they work with regularly and take the backseat and simply enjoy.
Listen, at the end of the day if your concern is ending up with 6 hours of DJ, but only 4 hours of venue access and throwing money out the window then start with what you know and get all the details on if adding more time is an option, then how much it is and budget for it. Vendors will almost always let you add on time, additional servings, etc. but they won't always work backward and refund you if you want to drop the time.
This Episode hosted by AMANDA