Choosing My Wedding Vendors

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Choosing wedding vendors can be a daunting task. There are so many necessary people to check off the list, and often you don’t know where to begin. I had the luxury of not only previously knowing just about every vendor I hired, but I also got to work alongside them at other weddings before talking to them about mine. That really allowed me to see how they do in a real wedding environment, how they treated other people, their work, and how dependable they are. My wedding photographer and I would second shoot for each other all the time before I hired her, so I knew exactly how she carried herself, how she interacted with family members, and how she managed time. Our wedding officiant was the pastor that Justin and I served under in the high school ministry. We were close with him and his wife, and it was the best thing having someone we knew on a personal level to lead us into our vows. My florist was someone I met while I was photographing another special event. Before I hired her for my own wedding, we became close friends. She ended up being one of the biggest helps in my planning process, and I couldn’t be more grateful to have shared our wedding day with her.

Being a wedding vendor, I had it pretty easy, but I do still have some words of guidance to share after choosing my own vendors that may help brides in their search for the best team on their wedding day.

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A few general tips for finding the right wedding vendor team:

1. Check Word On The Street
When searching for vendors, try to hire someone within your circle. Get inside information from a friend who just got married on who her best wedding vendors were and maybe what went wrong with a few of them. If you can snag a great wedding DJ from someone who raves about them, you’re likely going to get that same great experience.

2. Check with Your Wedding Venue
Ask your venue for their preferred list of vendors. Usually this list is compiled of people who work there often. This means they know the place inside and out, and they’re likely going to have a smooth day. It may also mean that the venue coordinators get along well with them enough to refer them, and they are probably treating their clients well (probably…).

3. Read Reviews on Public Forums
Something to consider about a preferred vendor list, however, is that sometimes the venues don’t keep this list updated. Vendors may start getting overbooked and quality of work or service can decline. The best thing you can do is start by looking for reviews in a public forum, such as Yelp! or Google. Looking at reviews on their own website is not as reliable, since they have control over what is displayed there.

3. Test Their Response Speed to Check Their Reliability
Here is a simple yet huge marker for finding a reliable vendor: when you email them, they should be quick to respond – always. Generally, a good wedding vendor will reply to an email within 24 hours (on business days). If you email them over the weekend, keep in mind they may be working multiple weddings and are dedicating their full attention to the brides in front of them (something you want them to do on your own wedding day), so give them until Tuesday to get through all of their emails when they get back into the office. Other than that, if they can’t get back to you quickly when you’re looking to potentially send them money to hold your wedding date, think of how much slower they’ll be after you’ve already signed a contract. You need to know and trust that they value your business and that customer service comes first to them, so that when you’re two weeks away from your wedding, you can get ahold of them with last minute questions and get them answered quickly. I would be lying if I said that I never had a wedding vendor take a long time to get back to me, and it honestly made me feel like my wedding wasn’t important to them; it also made me wonder if they were still going to show up! The last thing you need is someone who you can hardly reach, so be sure you test this from the very beginning.

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When you have a solid wedding team, you can relax and enjoy your wedding no matter what hiccups may come about, because you know they will work together to smooth things out behind the scenes and keep everyone happy. I’m so grateful for all of the hard work my vendors put in that made my wedding day feel seamless!

Want to catch up on the rest of the #jennajosephbridalexperience blog series?! Follow the links below!

Week 1: How I Asked My Bridesmaids
Week 2: The Two Most Important Words of Wedding Planning
Week 3: Finding A Wedding Venue

Vendor Credits:

Ceremony Venue: Corona Del Mar Community Church
Ceremony Music: Marck McKay, Lindsey Cargill, Jullian Hernandez
Officiant: Steve Salomon
Reception Venue: The Wyndham Hotel Irvine
My Wedding Photos: Rachel Jay of France Photographers
Day-of Coordination: KC Designs
Styling, Florals, Calligraphy: Carla Kayes Floral Design
Bridal Hair: Jessie Kenney
Bridal Makeup: Raeleen B. & Co.
Groom’s Hair: Erin Heck
Tuxedos: Friar Tux
Bridesmaid Gowns: Rent The Runway
Custom Wedding Gown: Jennifer Sitchler of Eden Couture
Cake: Have Your Cake and Eat It
Cupcakes: Kiandra Chun
Donuts!: Krispy Kreme
DJ: Daniel Caban
Cinematography: Nearly North Visuals

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