The absolute foundation of an amazing wedding day is having a team of awesome wedding vendors on your side. Picking the right wedding venue, the perfect dress and a delicious cake – and more – all hinge on having help from dedicated, professional wedding vendors. Some won’t necessarily see you on your wedding day, but their efforts and professionalism should ensure you have a wedding that’s relaxed and problem free. But how do you go about selecting from the sea of amazing wedding professionals that are available?
Initially, you can search Southern Bride Verified listings, do a Google, browse wedding magazines, wedding shows or ask your friends and family… but figuring out a wedding vendor exists is just the first step.
Sp today I want to share with you my lifehack for determining what you want out of your wedding day dream team, and how to figure out who will best meet your needs and personality. This tip helps you think with your head, not your heart – so perhaps you’ll be less inclined to blow the budget on some fancy-smancy person with flash branding (but a personality that’s going to grate on you).
Ready to go? Grab a pen – this is an exercise (I’ll give you an example later on, but don’t cheat! Try it for yourself first
An exercise to figure out what YOU need in a wedding vendor
- Imagine you have a child (or think of your kid, if you already have one!)
- List 4-5 qualities that you want your child to have when they grow up. Personality traits, not physical characteristics.
How did you get on? Wondering what this has to do with weddings?
Look at the list of qualities you’ve just compiled for your (possibly imaginary) child. These are traits and attributes that you personally value and place importance on.
Now apply it to the wedding vendors you’re looking for.
I’ll share my examples so you can see what I mean (especially if you’re stuck). The list I wrote for my “future child” included:
- I want them to be reliable – someone you can depend on
- They should be hardworking, not entitled. Happy to put the hard yards in.
- Essential to have a sense of humour, not to take themselves too seriously
- It’s important that they are open minded and flexible
- I’d love to raise an innovator – someone who looks outside the box and thinks creatively. Who doesn’t just accept the status quo.
So if I was in the market for a wedding vendor, I’d be looking for someone who was reliable, worked hard but had a sense of humor, and I would want someone who was flexible and innovative. This means a stuffy, serious, traditional celebrant may not fit our personalities. Or an airy-fairy makeup artist will clash with my desire for a reliable and hardworking person. It’s not that they are not good at what they do. It’s that we might not gel, and it’s better to know that before you hire someone for your wedding day!
So how do you know that a wedding vendor will tick all those boxes?
You can certainly get a good idea whether someone will suit you off their website, but something I’ve learnt in this industry is that people can say whatever they want on their website. At the end of the day, actions, not words, define who a person is.
Example: If one of the traits you value is reliability: Do they reply to your messages promptly (within 24-48 hours). Do they turn up on time to appointments? Are your details in order when you have a meeting? Do they build trust?
Their behaviour and communication will help you figure out with your head and heart, whether their personality is the right match for you and your partner.
What I’m trying to say is, you need to shortlist a few wedding professionals, based on their website and/or other recommendations, but then you need to meet with them (in person or via Skype) and ask them questions.
What you should you ask your potential wedding vendors?
The sorts of questions you should be asking will vary from vendor to vendor. What you might ask a wedding venue will be very different to what you might ask your wedding stationer, for example.
A detailed list of questions for each of the fundamental wedding vendors is available in The Little White Wedding Planning Pack. The worksheets contain all the important questions you need to ask your wedding venues, photographer, caterer and caker, the celebrant, entertainment, florist and stationer. Once you’ve met with all the wedding vendors, you can refer back to the answers you’ve jotted down on the worksheets, and make a decision based on the answers they’ve given and how they’ll fit with your personality.
Sometimes it’s less about the answer to the question, and more about how fast they answer, or if they can string a sentence together (like in the example I shared above). You might already know what the answer is going to be (by looking at their website) but you are kind of testing them to see if they’ll reply to emails, get your name right etc.
Picking the right team of wedding vendors establishes a solid foundation for an amazing wedding day. With a professional group of people on your side, you can be assured of the sort of day you want – without having to worry about flaky vendors, subpar service or no shows.