The top 7 things you MUST do before hiring a wedding vendor! Written by Jenna Thayer

Hey readers, Jenna here-- I hope your new year is off to a great start! Wedding season is just around the corner so I am sure your are in the throes of full on wedding planning! 

As a professional wedding planner,  common questions I receive from our clients are "Who should I hire to be my DJ, florist, officiant, photographer, videographer/cinematographer, baker, etc.?" These are certainly questions I am eager to answer.  

Referrals are typically the best method as they are based on personal experience. However I must stress that a qualified referral is key in this step!  A word to the wise, steer clear of the referrals that might be based on hearsay. Hearing great things about a vendor and utilizing a vendor are two different things. Even if someone says "my cousin's uncle owns a D.J. service", that doesn't always mean that the cousin's uncle provides great service or for that matter even owns a microphone.  I urge you to scan the internet for some online wedding rating sites to confirm these referrals or trigger red flags regarding a vendor.

Therefore, below is a list of to-do's that I recommend when it comes to finding the best vendors for your wedding day.  I know you're thinking that if you see one more to-do list you are going to pull out your hair (which you have been growing out) - but I promise this will be worth it:

1. Ask family and friends if they have personally experienced or  worked with the vendors that your looking for. 

2. Check out their websites for more information.

3. Go to wedding rating sites for more reviews regarding these vendors.

4. Request info from the vendors regarding your wants and needs for your wedding day.

5. If they're able to provide you with the services you want for the big day, request for a phone call to get more information.  This is also a great time to hear them speak and hear a little bit more regarding their personality and how your working relationship will most likely be.  Do this with two to three companies for each type of vendor.   I can't tell you how many times a bride said they chose vendors based on how they spoke to them on the phone; it's super important for you to be comfortable with these vendors because you will be working with them closely leading up to your wedding day and on your wedding day.

6. Compare each vendor regarding their services, price, and also by your conversation on the phone.

7. Make a final decision on the vendor. If you're having trouble making a decision, ask your wedding coordinator or planner for their recommendation. We work with a lot of different people and can give you feedback on our working relationships with each vendor. 

I hope this information helps you get started on finding vendors for your wedding day.  If you don't have any referrals to work with and would like assistance in this area, don't hesitate to give us a call; we'd love to help by consulting with you on finding the perfect vendors for your perfectly planned day!

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Photo Credit: Kate Romenesko Photography // Floral Creations: Fronteir Flowers of Fontana // Wedding Planners: Graceful Events // Venue: Geneva National Golf Club // Officiant: Scott Moe