Finding your wedding vendors - look for these 5 things!
Congratulations on your recent engagement!
Once you begin planning a wedding, you may be bombarded with advice and opinions from your well-meaning friends, family and coworkers. Many will offer advice on which vendors to book, “oh, you have to get your flowers from so and so”, “you must have ‘insert person’ name here’ take your pictures.”
And who doesn’t like a good recommendation from a trusted source, right? But it is important to keep your head and consider the source. While our friends and family are trying to be helpful, do they have a clear idea of your wedding vision or are they simply recommending what they know? Do they have the same standards for professional wedding vendors are you are planning to?
It is extremely important to check into or “vet” your potential wedding vendors.
You may hear that “Aunt Nancy makes the best cakes.” While this may be true, does Aunt Nancy have a tried and true system for making, storing, transporting the cake on your wedding day without adding additional stress to you?
The point is, there are a lot of people who can perform the task of a vendor but are they going to produce the high quality products and services of a wedding industry professional?
During your wedding vendor search - we suggest you perform this 5 point check before reaching out to a few of your favorites in each category.
1. Website – a legitimate wedding vendor should have a professional, mobile ready website appropriately hosted such as
What this tells you: This professional invests financially in their business.
You may see some vendors say – I do all of my bookings on social media, Instagram, etc. While social media IS very important and we will get to that, it is widely believed in the wedding industry that a website is an essential aspect of doing in business. Besides, why wouldn’t this vendor want a chance to educate a captive audience about what they do and why you should choose them?
2. Email – a professional wedding vendor will have a professional email address such as firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are recommended to a vendor that does have an email like this, don’t write them off JUST yet. There is a chance they have been in business long before it was easy to create a hosted email address OR their business has been rocking and rolling that is would really mess up their communication if they changed their email. So there are exceptions BUT it is common practice and encouraged to have a professional email as a reputable wedding vendor.
What this tells you: This isn’t a side hustle for them. Or if it is, you won’t be treated as a side hustle.
3. Social – Social media is a part of our lives for better or for worse. Now this doesn’t mean they are on every platform (remember Vine?) BUT they should have an active presence on the big ones. We’re talking Facebook and Instagram. “Nobody’s on Facebook anymore” I can hear you saying. While the upcoming generations may not be as active on Facebook, it remains a hub for wedding industry events, groups and forums. When you are checking their social pages, focus more on their activity and engagement than number of followers. Followers are fantastic, but aren’t the only indicators of success. Who are they followed BY? Other reputable wedding vendors, associations or publications…good sign! Are they engaging with their followers and posting content that you find useful?
What this tells you: They embrace our current reality, socially and technically.
4. Active in Wedding Community/Associations – During your investigation, pay special attention to their involvement with local or national wedding vendor communities or associations. Do they attend networking or conferences with their peers? Do they have any certifications?
What this tells you: This vendor believes in bettering themselves through continuing education (which is often offered through vendor communities) and value keeping up with the latest trends and practices.
5. License/Insurance – You may not have visibility to this until you start a conversation with the vendor. Some vendors will specify on their website but it is an important early question. Most venues will ask for your vendor’s certificate of insurance closer to the wedding date. It would be very inconvenient to find out they weren’t legitimate or insured late in the game.
What this tells you: You will be protected in case of unexpected circumstances and you are dealing with a professional who takes their business seriously.
Extra Tip: Do a Gut Check - Once you start corresponding, make sure their communication style matches yours. If you are having trouble getting a response from them early on, it ISN’T going to get any better. Also, it is very easy to do spell and grammar checks using the technology we have at our disposal. Don’t settle for consistent bad spelling, grammar and punctuation. It often translates to a general lack of care for their work. That’s the last thing you want for someone creating your wedding day details.
Remember, you DESERVE a team of professionals to make your day the best it can be. While hiring a less expensive amateur might sound good now, you likely won’t feel the savings was worth it in the end. There are many highly qualified wedding vendors well prepared to make your vision come to life, because it’s their job! Get out there and find your dream team!
If you'd like to see this information presented in a different way, go check out our "Animated Advice" playlist on our YouTube channel HERE.