One of the most challenging things about getting married is finding and hiring the wedding vendors. However large or small their roles may be, they will have a significant impact in the overall outcome of your wedding day. Because of this, it is imperative to take your time and follow some very simple steps to ensure you are hiring quality and reputable wedding professionals that you can trust. As you will soon discover, there is really no shortage of wedding vendors in any given category. The goal is finding the professional that is right for you, not only with product, service and price, but with personality as well. The search for wedding day vendors can begin in a number of places. Knowing where to look and what to look for will assist you in your search. The following are suggestions as to where you may begin the search for your vendors.
The greatest value in bridal shows is the opportunity to meet with a large number of wedding vendors and view many products at one time, in one location. There are many categories of vendors represented at the shows, making it an invaluable tool for doing research and for gathering wedding-related information. When you find vendors you particularly interested in, make a note of it and call soon after the show to book a personal one on one appointment.
Ceremony and Reception Location
The locations you select for your wedding day are quite familiar with particular vendors, and usually have a preferred vendor list. The vendors on this list have worked at that site many times before and are familiar with the logistics and rules of the location.
Friends and Family
You will usually get honest no nonsense answers and opinions regarding products and services when you ask married friends and family members (even co-workers) about their own weddings. Ask them about their vendors, the services they used, what they liked and didn’t like, would they hire them again, etc.?
The Internet is an easy access, easy to use, anytime resource. You can find a wealth of vendors on the web. Checking out a vendor’s web site can give you a good idea of pricing, packages, and type of work they do before making a personal appointment.
Local Bridal Magazines
Using local wedding magazines and directories can at first seem overwhelming, as there are a large number of advertisements in these publications. You can, however, find excellent vendors in the magazines, but it will take some calling around to acquaint yourself with these vendors.
Wedding consultants have several pre-established relationships with local vendors. If you are working with a consultant, she should be able to provide you with preferred vendor list. However, if you are not working with a consultant, you can still benefit from this knowledge, as most consultants will share their preferred vendor list with you for a fee.
Once you have made your final decisions, you must get a written contract. Call the vendor to confirm the details and ask for a contract to be sent to you. A contract is the best way of ensuring you and the vendor understand what is expected, as it should outline specifics such as dates, times, names, and types of services/products provided. It will also spell out payment plans, refund and cancellation policies. It behooves (I always wanted to use that in a sentence) you to read and understand the contract. Do not assume you have secured a vendor for your wedding day until you have a contract that is signed by you and the vendor. And finally remember, part of getting the most from a vendor’s service is also being a good client and providing the vendors with the payments and other requested information in a timely manner.
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Neal McFarlane is a full-time Toronto Wedding DJ ,VJ and MC who enjoys sharing his decades of knowledge to elevate every single event he can.