Choosing Your Wedding Vendors

The average cost of a wedding in the United States is soaring at roughly $32,000.  That’s a frightening number to someone on a budget.  The high costs for couples on a budget means there are a lot of things that will be cut out in order to save money.  One of the common cuts we are seeing is cutting out the professional full-planning wedding plannner.  

Cutting out the wedding planner can be done if it’s the right bride with the correct set of skills.  If you find yourself cutting out the professional help during the planning process, then these are the top things you need to consider when picking your vendors.

Who a couple picks as their wedding vendors can make or break a wedding in more ways than one.  Obviously, picking the vendor that is totally out of your budget range is going to break the bank, but choosing the cheapest vendor my also mean giving up too much in quality.  However, just because a vendor is the cheapest doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t be a quality vendor.  There are vendors who are cheaper because they are still building their business, but provide top quality work.  This is why choosing the right vendor can be a tricky thing to do.

Luckily, you do have options on how to go about picking who is right for your wedding.  One option is to pay for a partial planning consultation with a wedding planner.  For a small hourly fee, you can meet with a wedding planner and ask your questions and gain some vendor recommendations from a professional for a fraction of the cost to hire a full-planning wedding planner.  

A second option for gaining some insight on vendors is using your wedding venue’s preferred vendors list.  Most venues have lists of vendors they have worked with in the past that were quality, professional people who worked well in that specific venue.  If you choose to get a list from your venue, just be on the lookout for a “kickback vendors.”  If your venue only lists one company in each category, this may be a biased recommendation.  The exception to this is if the venue has “in-house” vendors.  For instance, if the venue had an option for you to add their DJ to your venue package or you can bring in your own, chances are they won’t be willing to give you a recommendation of another DJ since they offer one in-house.  If a preferred list of vendors only has one option in each category and none of them are in-house, be leery of this recommendation.  Although the recommendation may be a good one, the vendor may not be the right one for your wedding.  It is also possible that those vendors have struck some sort of deal with the venue to gain exclusivity, which may not be in your best interest.

The last option, database research, should be combined with one of the first two options.  What I mean by database research is using a site like The Knot, WeddingWire, The Perfect Wedding Guide, or even plain google.  With these sites you can filter your search results to help refine your options for research.  Look at the vendors profiles, websites and reviews.  If the vendor doesn’t have reviews it doesn’t mean they are a bad option, but that they may be newer to the industry or just to that specific website.  Do your due diligence and gather a few in each category that may be strong contenders.  Once you have your few vendors start making your consultation appointments to meet with them in person.

When you meet with a vendor in person, if something doesn’t feel exactly right, or you don’t 110% LOVE their portfolio, listen to your gut.  Don’t let price be the last deciding factor for your vendors.  Go with your instinct on who will be the right fit for you and your wedding.  

If you are interested in a partial planning consultation for a wedding in the Kansas City area, you can contact me through my website to learn more. 

Happy Planning,