{wedding wednesday: finding your wedding vendors}

It feels like so long since my last Wedding Wednesday post and link up! It was on hiatus during Halloween, and last week was the handwriting link up (which is still open, if you want to link up your handwriting posts).

But we're back today with our regularly scheduled programming, with lots of wedding planning tips and tricks and advice for all of you. I've talked about the questions to ask potential vendors, and how should choose them, but what about finding them? Here are a few different ways to find the best vendors out there for you. 

Don't you love that wedding above? I found it on 100 Layer Cake and posted it on Facebook the other day. Kind of obsessed with all the peach and pretty!

Personal Referral

When you first get engaged, and probably throughout your engagement, your friends and family (and coworkers and perfect strangers) are going to have advice for you. Some of it may be unsolicited, and some of may just be terrible, but it's definitely worth it to ask around about vendor recommendations. Most will be perfectly happy to share their experiences with you, and this ensures that you have an honest, first hand opinion. Even if you really disliked the cake at your friend's wedding, be sure to ask who made it so you can stay away. 

Vendor Referral

All vendors, or all vendors that have been in business for any amount of time, will have a network of people that they work with and refer clients to. Personally, I have an entire list of vendors that I refer my clients to, but these are vendors that I trust and truly love the value and quality of their work. However, it's important that you ask if they receive any commissions from vendors that they send clients to. It's up to you to decide whether or not you want to trust vendors that work with commissions, but it's always better to be transparent about it. 

Venue Referral

Venues often have a list of vendors that they prefer to work with. Some venues even have a list of vendors that they only work with. But, you should be careful with vendor lists from venues. I've seen some lists that are a form of advertising, and vendors have to pay to be included. On the other hand, vendors that are included on these lists are usually very familiar with the venue and its policies, making the wedding day run more smoothly. 

Wedding Planning Website

Sites like Wedding Wire and the Knot have an extensive network of vendors with reviews, and this is a great place to start if you can't find referrals from vendors or friends. You'll want to be a little more skeptical of vendors that are included on these sites, since anyone can join. They do offer reviews, so you'll want to take those into consideration when contacting someone or deciding whether or not to work with them, but remember that there are two sides to every story. Just because someone received one bad review doesn't mean they are a bad vendor.

Wedding Network

Wedding networks and blogs with handpicked or curated vendors are definitely a great way to go. These sites can be extremely selective with who they put on their lists, and sometimes work closely with these vendors to find clients that they will work well with. Sites like these include Every Last Vendor, Style Me Pretty's Little Black Book, and the Wedding Chicks Handpicked Vendors

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Regardless of where you find your vendors, be sure you ask for references from former clients or other vendors. They should have no problem getting them for you, and saying no is a definite red flag. Also, don't underestimate the value of personality in your vendors, especially for your planner and photographer! You will be spending a lot of time with these people, so you want to make sure that you actually like them. 

Where did you find your wedding vendors? Do you have any general advice for those looking for vendors?
There are no real rules for Wedding Wednesday, I just ask that your post be wedding related it doesn’t need to be the same topic that I’m posting about. I also ask that you try to visit a few other blogs to say hi, and I would love it if you would use my button (found here). 

P.S. You still have until Wednesday night to enter to win a $50 gift card to Paper Source! 

P.P.S. Is there anything you'd like me to cover in a future Wedding Wednesday post? Email me or leave it in the comments! I'd love to know what you're looking for!


Joelle :: Something Charming said...

so re: venue referrals - the only thing we didn't have "choice" in with our venue was the caterers (they gave us three from which we had to pick, and we LOVE the ones we're going with) but, since our wedding is in rural England, everyone sort of knows each other even if they don't specifically partner.

my venue knows about my blog and, when we met with the events manager back in September, she said she loved reading about my interactions with vendors because it showed her a side of their business that she didn't get to see! obviously they woo her so they'll be recommended, but she realized because of my Wedding Wednesday posts that it doesn't always extend to the clients! how cool is that? :)

Joelle :: Something Charming said...

Thanks for the mention my love! :) Great post as usual!!!

Joelle :: Something Charming said...

I'm a big advocate for telling people to go with personal recommendations! If your friend loved working with someone, chances are you will too.

Joelle :: Something Charming said...

Wonderful post...definitely helpful information!!!

Joelle :: Something Charming said...

Such a wonderful post, Joelle and something all brides should digest completely :)

Joelle :: Something Charming said...

Thanks Valerie! xoxo

Joelle :: Something Charming said...

It's so true! If you loved your vendors so much, why wouldn't you want to share them with your friends and get them more work?

Joelle :: Something Charming said...

You're very welcome my dear! And thanks ;) xoxo

Joelle :: Something Charming said...

That is really interesting Betsy! I think it's great that they took the time to read your blog. It shows that they are really interested in working with you, and not just providing "another wedding" :) xoxo

Joelle :: Something Charming said...

REALLY great post and info for brides!!