Wedding Planning

How to Research and Choose your Wedding Vendors

how to choose your wedding vendors

As any recently hitched couple will tell you, it takes a village to plan a wedding! While you and your partner might be responsible for the big decisions, you’ll also need a team of like-minded wedding suppliers by your side to create and execute your dream day.

From caterers to entertainers and floral designers, your wedding vendors will play a key role in your overall wedding experience. But with so many amazing suppliers out there, how do you choose the right people to align with your vision, budget and requirements?

If you’re currently looking to secure your dream team, keep reading for our stress-free guide on researching and choosing the best wedding vendors for your day.

how-to-research-and-choose-your-wedding-vendors
Photo by Laura Goldenbege

Set Your Date, Venue and Budget First

Before you even think about booking wedding suppliers, make sure you’ve locked in your wedding date, venue and budget first! Ticking off these critical details before getting your heart set on a specific supplier will help you avoid any potential disappointment later down the track.

It’s also important to remember that some wedding venues might have locked-in contracts with certain suppliers, and won’t allow you to bring in any third parties. If you do have a dream team of suppliers in mind, be sure to check the finer details before signing your venue contract.

how-to-research-and-choose-your-wedding-vendors
Photo by Laura Goldenbeger

Prioritise Your Key Suppliers

Now that the practical details have been locked in, it’s time to start curating your wedding team. So where should you begin?

Start by making a priority list of any key suppliers who need to be secured sooner rather than later. Remember, you don’t need to book all of your wedding suppliers at the same time. The most in-demand suppliers that generally book out first include photographers, celebrants and wedding planners, so consider researching these suppliers first.

You should also think about your overall wedding vision and priorities for the day to help you determine your timeline for booking suppliers. For example, if live music and gourmet food are your top priorities, you’ll want to secure entertainment and catering as soon as possible (and consider allocating a higher portion of your budget accordingly).

Consider Your Requirements

As you begin narrowing down your supplier short-list, you’ll also want to think about exactly what you’re looking for in each supplier.

Start by making a list of requirements for each vendor, and outlining your specific wants and needs. For example, maybe you want a photographer that specialises in candid, documentary-style images, or a wedding planner that has previous experience at your venue. Knowing your priorities for each supplier will help you streamline your research and make the process much quicker and easier.

how-to-research-and-choose-your-wedding-vendors
Photo by Rachel Havel

Do Your Research Online and Offline

Researching wedding suppliers both online and offline is a great way to find your perfect fit. Spend some time browsing wedding directories, wedding blogs, social media and search engines to learn more about local suppliers in your area. Be sure to check out their galleries and testimonials from past couples to get an overall indication of their quality of work.

You can also take your research offline through referrals and word-of-mouth. Reach out to any recently married friends or family members, or ask your venue and other suppliers for their recommendations. Wedding expos and fairs are another fantastic way to find suppliers you connect with!

how-to-research-and-choose-your-wedding-vendors
Photo by Ashley Rae

Ask Questions

As you begin making contact with different wedding suppliers, don’t be afraid to ask questions! Be upfront and open with your wants and needs, including your style, priorities and budget. Touch base on anything you might be unsure about, and ask each supplier to talk you through their process and contract.

When it comes to wedding suppliers you’ll be spending more one-on-one time with (such as your photographer, planner or celebrant), an initial consultation is always a good idea. It’s important to choose suppliers you genuinely get along with, so take the time to jump on the phone or catch up for a coffee to find people you feel relaxed and comfortable around.

how-to-research-and-choose-your-wedding-vendors
Photo by Anna Delores

Trust the Process

Once you’ve secured your dream team, simply trust the process and move forward with confidence! Remember, these people are experts in the industry and work with engaged couples just like you for a living. With the right team by your side, you can rest assured your big day will be everything you envisaged and more.

Want to streamline the process even further? Check out this list of time-saving wedding hacks, or learn more about our digital wedding planning tools.