- Ken Prentice, C.Tech
3 Great Ways to Find Wedding Vendors in 2019
Updated: Jul 5, 2020
For any couple planning a wedding there’s a ton of new information and a fast learning curve. Although this can be somewhat intimidating it really doesn’t have to be overwhelming. There’s pros and cons to virtually every approach, but one advantage couples have is the sheer number of resources available to help them. Sometimes taking a step back and thinking things through can really help. A crucial first step is understanding what is or isn’t important to the both of you. The reality is there’s no perfect formula for your wedding, but it should be a reflection of both of you as a couple. Does every little detail really matter? That’s unlikely, it’s just going to depend on how significant that detail is or isn’t to you. Admittedly creating the seating chart can be exciting in the moment and there’s a ton of thought that goes into it. However, it’s very unlikely that your guests remember your seating chart after the wedding. Are you and your guests going remember the experience at your wedding? Most likely they will. Spending more here and less there will help with guiding you so you can get the results and experience you want at your wedding. The truly great wedding vendors will help you realize your vision using their expertise.
Local wedding shows provide an exciting opportunity for brides to meet wedding professionals and there’s a number of shows that run in KW, Stratford and surrounding areas January through March in 2019. Wedding shows allow you to meet a number of vendors in one place. Every vendor plays some part in the success of your wedding. Shows are probably one of the most effective ways to determine if you have a connection or not with a vendor. If you don't have a connection you can easily move on, as there’s typically lots to see. Another benefit of going to a show is you’ll get a much better handle on how your budget fits compared to the vendors you really like. This also gives brides another method of comparison which extends far beyond just the price alone. For example every DJ will claim they own state-of-the-art equipment, but it’s fairly obvious if they show up with worn or dated equipment. Something else that most brides don’t consider is that wedding shows typically only attract legitimate vendors. Illegitimate or scam artists won’t pay the price to participate in a show or risk the exposure, so they tend operate more online.
If you’ve found your ideal venue then there’s a good chance they’ll have a list of preferred vendors or have some favorites. This gives you some indications of which vendors are familiar with your venue. This doesn’t normally mean you’re obligated to book these vendors, but it does lend some credibility. Before you base any decision solely on this premise I would still suggest reading reviews. There are certain venues that we have preferred status at, however, depending on the couple’s needs we might not be the optimal choice. Likewise, for certain situations we might be the perfect solution for a couple at venue where we’re not listed as the preferred vendor. This is where understanding what matters most to you and having a vision of your day will help guide your choice.
Once you’ve found the vendors you like, reviews will give you some fantastic insight and help build even more confidence with your choice. After reading the reviews pick the favorable ones and try to speak directly to the person with the great reviews. Some questions you should ask are, “Will you be at my wedding or do you subcontract the work?” “What happens in the case of emergency and what backups or assurances do you offer?” These questions will give you a better indication on just how professional they are. Reviews really give brides the best understanding of whether or not the vendor is a good fit for them or not. It’s also a good indication of how experienced the vendor is or isn’t. If there are multiple employees check to make sure your ideal candidate is still working for the company since change does happen. I’ve seen wedding vendors lose key employees and the reviews go from excellent one year to very poor the next year. Likewise, if it’s a great company they tend to retain their top employees. My best advice would be to get the person named (ex. the DJ), in the good reviews because they're worth more.
When you start the process of planning and budgeting for your wedding it’s definitely helpful to understand what matters most on your day. If having a great party is more important then you might want to allocate more of your budget towards the venue, décor, food, drinks and entertainment when you starting planning. If high quality photos matter the most then have some flexibility that allows you to get those great photographers that may cost more. When you’re researching remember there are definitely some regional influences to factor in. If you’re getting most of your information from US based sources, but you live in Kitchener, Waterloo, or the Stratford area that information won’t necessary be applicable to your wedding. A bonus fourth great way to get some added insight is to ask a married couple what their favorite moments were at their wedding and what they might want to change. Now you have something you can compare to your priorities. Consider their reasons and decide if these could really matter to you. Again, every couple is going to be unique but just because something was important to them it doesn’t mean it will be as imperative to you. However, this does give you another bride’s perspective from the vantage point of experience. Hopefully these tips help you find those perfect vendors for that make your day extra special.
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