Vendor selection is often an overwhelming topic for my couples. They have one or two in mind, but then haven’t the slightest clue how to go about finding and deciding upon the rest of their stellar vendor team. I remember that feeling as well, as a bride. There are so many more resources available now than even three years ago, but that can make it even more overwhelming at times.
We have been talking a lot about researching your vendors, making sure they are the right fit and we will soon tackle what to ask them. Before we get to that stage though, you need to know where to look to find them, right? Today, I’m sharing a few of my favorite resources and tips for finding vendors in your area.
- Find a local website and magazine resources. At the beginning, we are still determining our style and seeing what is out there. Local resources are a great way to start honing in on which vendors are going to be able to offer your preferred style to you, without diving too deep into quotes and meetings. However, that being said, I always strongly recommend meeting and communicating with those you are interested in as early as possible.
- Ask your friends and family. Word of mouth marketing and the experience someone had is an amazing way to determine who the cream of the crop are. Start asking around and if a few names keep coming up in conversation, they are certainly worth your time to look up.
- Ask for a preferred vendor list. If you’ve booked your venue, they likely have a list of people they work with often. This can be a wonderful jumping off point. Also, these vendors have worked your venue before, which means they have a great working relationship and know the ropes. On the flip side, that does not mean that a vendor who isn’t on that list would not be a better fit for you. This is just a list of recommendations and ultimately know what you want and do what is best for you.
- Ask other vendors. Whether they are in your area or someone you admire, if you have a particular planner or photographer that you LOVE, ask them to recommend someone near you with the same aesthetic and philosophy. If there are local vendors that you know are booked, see who else they’ve worked with. You can either email them or often can look at vendor credits on their blog posts. We all network because we love our industry and clients. Also, so we can recommend our industry friends to you if need be. Don’t be afraid to ask.
- Wedding blogs. Of course, blogs offer a lot of resources and have vendor directories. Unless you are in a larger, more populous area that often is well represented in online vendor directories, I would not use this as your end all, be all. However, these directories could point you toward a vendor that you would ask a recommendation from or you might stumble upon someone in your vicinity you never knew about. Yay!
Next week, we will be talking about why it’s so important to interview your vendors and things you will want to think through prior to doing so. Happy researching, Lovelies!
A few local Central Iowa resources:
Bride Meets Wedding
Dainty Obsessions– blog and magazine
Corridor Wedding Guide
*as always, please feel free to email me or post any questions you have about this topic or that you’d like to see addressed in the series.