Picking out your wedding vendors certainly isn't an easy task. It takes weeks (sometimes even months) to vet everything your area has to offer and find your perfect team. Luckily, when you hire a wedding planner like me, we have done all of the work for you in finding the best vendors that suit our planning style. If you like your planner's style, then you'll probably like the preferred vendors that he/she has to recommend. BUT if you don't have a planner yet ( I recommend a planner being the first vendor that you hire, unless there's another have-to-have vendor), then these tips are for you. Sure, you can ask local brides or relatives for recommendations in the area, but the recommendation will only get you so far. Once you get the recommendation, you still have to take time to visit the vendor's website/ social media, inquire about pricing, and set up an initial consultation or phone call. All of those phone calls add up and can be a waste of time. In order to get the most out of your time and your interaction with vendors, use these 3 quick methods:
Method 1: Does their Instagram appeal to you?
Any great vendor knows that part of a great sales technique is to envision their "ideal client" and cater their social media, marketing efforts, and graphic design towards capturing the lead of their "ideal client." If their website or social media does not draw you in, then maybe you are not their ideal fit for a client. The vendor's social media and website is most often the first impression that they give, and if that impression does not stick with you then maybe it wasn't meant to be. This doesn't mean that the vendor is bad. Maybe they just haven't had the time to update their website with more recent work, or maybe their genre is totally different than your vision. If that's the only impression that you need of them, it's time to move on and spend your time elsewhere. This is a very quick way to sort through your prospects. The con of this method is that it is a very quick way to be dismissive of potential vendors and you may be denying a really great vendor a second chance at an impression because maybe they're better at what they do than about posting what they do. It is important to remember in this world of instant gratification that social media doesn't quite always capture reality. For most of us wedding vendors, running social media channels is like a whole 2nd job to the job we already do. It's a lot to handle, and because it does take so much time, thought, and knowledge to stay on top of trends and social media tips, we may not be able to dedicate ourselves to social media as much as is expected for that flawless-looking feed. Social media trends and algorithms are ever-changing, and it is getting more and more impossible to keep up with it over time. So although the Instagram method of vetting certain vendors may work for you, please also keep all of this in mind. You might not want to be so quick to dismiss a vendor solely based on this 1st method, which brings us to our 2nd method.
Method 2: Gut Reaction to 1st Meeting
Never ignore your gut. If you're left feeling uneasy about the vendor after your consultation with them, then listen to your gut. There's a reason it might tell you to look somewhere else. Your vendors are your dream team, and you have to make sure that you get good vibes from them, because they'll be supporting you through your wedding planning process, which can be one of the most stressful times of your life.
Method 3: Personality Check!
What is their personality? Does it complement yours? This method is similar to the 1st method in that it requires you to see if a vendor's interests align with yours in a way. If the vendor's personality seems to clash with yours or overshadow yours, then it may not be a good fit. Certain vendors are supposed to complement your personality, and certain vendors should help bring out other personality traits in you, but not to the point where you feel uncomfortable. For instance, you may not want to hire a decorator who has a more vibrant personality than you because then your decorations might seem overdone in your mind. But if you are someone who is more on the shy side, your photographer should be just outgoing enough to make you feel comfortable and confident while you're posing for pictures. A DJ should be more outgoing than a shy client in this way also.
I'm not saying that these methods are foolproof, but I am saying each one can get you closer to the decision that's right for you- and more quickly. If you're like me, you'll probably want to be more thorough and rely on a combination of all 3 methods to help you reach your decision. Sure, there are measurable metrics that you can always use- star rating, number of 5-star reviews, price, location, number of services offered, etc. And those are all things that should be considered as well. All of these methods require you to stop thinking logically for a minute and look within. What do YOU want? What vendors do YOU have a good feeling about? Like I said, definitely not foolproof but these methods will ensure that your vendor is a more personal fit. It's one things to look great on paper, but it's another to be a good fit for you. Make sure you feel good about your choices.
Until next time,