Choosing Wedding VendorsPhoto Credit: Wiki Commons

Sharon Sussman works at, where she updates the company blog with interesting news, trends, and infographics. Born on the Fourth of July? Find out more about your birthstone on the Brilliance blog.

Of course, you want a wedding that’s perfect to the last detail. It’s that big day that you’ll want to look back on with fondness. This means that you may need to enlist the help of experts in making it more memorable. This would most commonly include experts in photography, video, catering, and entertainment.

Getting the right supplier or vendor can be tricky though. There’s a plethora of available wedding planners and event organizers, and finding the right ones can be, at times, frustrating; especially with such a crucial day at stake. Discerning the excellent ones from the mediocre herd involves a degree of trial and error, and perhaps a number of lackluster meet-ups.

Here are a few tricks to try out, in order to curb the number of dead-ends. You’ll find that it’s a lot like modern dating:


 Choosing Wedding VendorsPhoto Credit: Flickr

Know when to put out.

The first thing you and your would-be spouse need to settle on is how much you are willing to spend. There are plenty of things you may both want, but being conscious of a spending threshold will help you reign in those runaway whims, and stick to what’s essential.

What would make the wedding day special? Music? Flowers? Venue? Will foregoing the purchase of a tiara be a worthy trade-off to getting a better set of musicians? Will getting a quartet be just as good as getting a band, so that the savings could be used towards a better menu? Do you really need to order veal, or would your guests be just as satisfied by chicken or fish?



Choosing Wedding VendorsPhoto Credit: Flickr

Know who you want.

A clear idea of what you expect your wedding vendor to do would help narrow down that list. Do you expect your photographer to cover a save-the-date shoot as well? (Or, an engagement shoot, if you haven’t proposed?) Would you prefer a caterer who has special wedding packages that cover both the wedding day and the rehearsal dinner? Do you have any dietary concerns that you expect them to cover without additional cost? Do you have any cultural or religious concerns, and would you feel as comfortable with an “outsider” as you would with a coordinator of the same background?

Knowing what you want in a vendor to be will help you weigh your needs against what they actually provide, and figure out which expectations are real and which aren’t. It will also reveal to you which aspects are negotiable, and which are set in stone – both from your point of view, and from the vendor’s.



Choosing Wedding VendorsPhoto Credit: Flickr

Get the dish on them.

The best method to finding a trustworthy supplier is through research. Referrals from relatives and friends are the best place to start. Especially those from ones who’ve had experience hiring such, or planning weddings, themselves. Find out what makes these providers special, by interviewing those who refer them, and by snooping around on their websites as well.

Add to the list by combing through reliable online listings, making notes on the ones that strike you most. Visit official websites but also search for feedback from external fora and blogs to get the real scoop. Inspect the quality of their work through their online portfolio, and through personal customer shares as well.

Wedding expos offer an additional venue for meeting potential wedding vendors and gauging them firsthand. As usual, balance their pitches and polished presentations with real customer feedback found online.

Choosing Wedding VendorsPhoto Credit: Wiki Commons

It may be worthy to note, at this point, that your research need not be limited to established wedding vendors. DIY crafters, event providers and organizers outside of the wedding circle could offer fresh input, and free-spirited ideas, especially if you want something out-of-the-box.



Choosing Wedding VendorsPhoto Credit: Flickr

Give them a call.

When your online snooping is done, you can start trimming your list, by calling the ones you like best. Set a reasonable number, such as an overall top 12, or a top 4 for each needed service, and contact each one. See who you like best and keep the rest for back-up.


Choosing Wedding VendorsPhoto Credit: Flickr

Ask them out.

After having spent time with them on the phone, you’re bound to have picked out some favorites. Meet with those first, to save yourself the extra meet-ups with vendors who might fall short anyway.

Take with you a clear vision of what you want for your wedding day. Discuss crucials and non-negotiables candidly. Find out if they are open to special requests or to adjustments on proposed packages.

A good vendor is someone who is a good balance of knowing what to do and being flexible. He or she may not be able to say yes to everything on your list, within your proposed budget, but should be able to offer alternatives that you could find equally satisfying. Further to that, a meet-up would give a conscientious vendor an opportunity to share tangible samples of their work with you.



Choosing Wedding VendorsPhoto Credit: Flickr

Pick someone who gets you.

Knowing that you can trust your wedding vendors with unforeseen crop-ups on the big day will take loads off your shoulders. Pick someone who grasps your vision, and who shares your passion for the event.

As is the case in most relationships, rapport will play a great role. Trust your gut; do not get carried away with lofty promises and high-flying presentations.

In the end, you will find, that knowing who the right vendors are, is like picking out a mate. Stick with someone you can count on, can communicate well with, and who will help you reach your dreams.