I don’t know about you but the most overwhelming part of wedding planning was easily the vendor search. When Ryan and I got married, we were fresh out of college and couldn’t swing our budget to afford any kind of professional planner. If you can do that, your planner is the best place to find vendors. But let’s say you’re like us. Let’s say you can’t afford a wedding planner or even a day-of coordinator. Where are you supposed to find your vendors?
1. Ask the vendors you’ve already booked!
Whether it is your venue, your photographer, you florist, etc. Ask them for recommendations. To be honest, I love giving recommendations to my couples! There are so many incredible vendors that I know and love. Getting to work with them is the best!! Plus, we wouldn’t recommend them if they weren’t awesome at what they do because then it would reflect poorly on us! You can also always ask if we have worked with someone in the past. Sometimes our opinions can prevent some big wedding day issues we’ve witnessed in the past…
2. Ask your married friends!
This is great to find out who being booked by people with similar interests, style, or even budget as you! Ryan and I found our photographer because she was old friends with Ryan’s brother-in-law. We adore our photos to this day!! This is especially true if you attended a wedding and loved any part of it. Love the food at a recent wedding? Saw the photos and thought they were stunning? Go ahead and ask them who it was!!
This is a little bit of an outlier on this list. I’m not one to promote big wedding companies but I love Zola! Full transparency, I am a vendor listed on their site. This isn’t why I love them though! Unlike WeddingWire or theKnot, everything is up to you. My suggestion is to use the “Find Couples” feature to allow vendors to reach out to you! This is a great way to find amazing people that are in budget, available on your date, and vibe with your style! Plus there is so much information in the vendor profiles! I feel like the couples that inquire with me are people I truly vibe with!!
Now onto a few places I would NOT recommend you search for vendors on.
1. Facebook Wedding Groups
Just take a second to scroll through and you’ll see why. For every person that ask for a recommendation, there are easily 70-100 vendors who shout their name out. Why is this bad though? YOU are the one scrolling through all of that!! Even if you are very clear about what you need. Even if you are specific about budget, venue, style, etc. You will still get people who don’t match what you need commenting in the hopes of grabbing some business. It’s honestly overwhelming and I’d recommend skipping it.
2. WeddingWire & theKnot
I’ve heard a hundred stories about how awful these are but also experienced it myself as a bride. I would honestly say around 75% of the vendors we reached out to about estimates, never responded. This also is a very niche selection of vendors. To be honest, it is expensive to be in their database of vendors and is incredibly hard to cancel. This means a lot of really amazing vendors just don’t want the hassle.
Thank you so much for reading! I hope you found this helpful and I hope you find your dream vendors!! Feel free to check back next Wednesday for a new wedding planning post!!