We know there are thousands and thousands of wedding vendors out there. So how do you find them? And more importantly, how do you find the ones that are perfect for you?
There are a number of ways you can look for wedding vendors. If you have the time, we definitely encourage you to explore more than one of these options. One option will not be all inclusive of vendors, and that perfect one may be waiting for you somewhere else. BUT, you could literally search forever. Go with your gut, be confident, and keep in mind that there will be several vendors in each category that are perfect fits for you.
1. Check with your married friends
First, check with your friends! If you have friends who recently got married, they will be great resources. They should be honest about their experiences. Especially ask friends who have similar style or priorities as you. Ask them to share their FAVORITE vendors. The ones they would recommend in a heartbeat.
2. Attend a wedding vendor show
We love going to wedding shows, even just for fun – free cake!
Wedding shows are great place to start if you’re just figuring out what you like. It’s a great way to get an idea of what you like because many vendors will have physical displays you can look at – like cakes, invitations, rentals, photographs, etc. And it’s a nice way to meet vendors face to face without setting up a call or meeting.
Just make sure you’re actually meeting the person who you would work with, or ask if it’s a bigger company.
Bigger wedding shows will have more variety, but make sure you look outside of wedding shows too. They represent such a small percentage of vendors in the area. I think it’s a pretty good place to look for bakers, rentals, and even venues, but they often don’t represent a great percentage of photographers, videographers, DJs, florists and other vendors.
3. Browse The Knot and Wedding Wire for local wedding vendors
These websites are great places to look for wedding vendors! But again, it’s not the full representation of vendors. Vendors actually have to pay to get a place on these websites. So if they are at the top, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are the best, it just means they are paying the most to be up there.
Make sure you always explore vendors you find on The Knot off The Knot. Go to their actual websites to get a better representation of their business.
4. Search Google
Google is a great way to search for vendors organically – who are not paying to go to a wedding show or be on The Knot. Don’t be afraid to search past page one!
When you do take a look at a vendor’s website, consider a few things. Take a look at their portfolios. Do they share any information about themselves? That can help you make an early determination of compatibility (although it won’t be the same as meeting in person).
Do you like their style? Their website style will most likely match their aesthetic style when it comes to weddings (think florists, photographers, etc.). I am a big website and marketing person, so I think websites are extremely important in business. While this is just my opinion, I automatically trust a business a little more when their website is professional, up to date and functional. A professional website will likely mean they take their business seriously, and are dedicated to it and you.
5. Check local Facebook groups
There are many wedding planning Facebook groups you can join. In Wisconsin, there is a Wisconsin Brides Facebook group. You can post in there and ask other couples for vendor recommendations.
There are pros and cons to this. You’ll be talking to people who just got married, which is great. And they are usually pretty honest in these groups! Couples will warn you if there is a particular vendor to avoid, like if they’ve unfortunately been scammed.
Cons: You might get recommendations from people who are also planning, which means they haven’t had the full experience (good or bad) with their vendors. You will also get a lot of comments from vendors themselves. It gives you more to explore, but doesn’t really count as a testimonial.
6. Explore wedding vendors on Instagram
If you have the time, explore Instagram and follow some of your favorite vendors on them! Especially if you are having a hard time narrowing it down. If they are active, you’ll get a glimpse into their personalities, and the types of things they do in their business.
PRO TIP for Instagram: Scroll through some comments! See if their clients comment on their IG posts, and how the vendor responds. Do they seem to form good relationships with their clients? Is it the type of relationship you would love to have with your vendors before and after your wedding?
Do you have more questions on how to find the right wedding vendor? Leave it in the comments, or contact me here!