You're starting to plan your wedding, congratulations! Now where the heck do you start? Selecting your vendors is an exciting, yet daunting task. Today on the blog I'm breaking down my top tips for selecting your wedding vendors, what to consider along the way, and how to prioritize what's most important to you. I'm also sharing the Michigan and Texas wedding vendors that we've worked with that I highly recommend, like our favorite Texas photographer, Emily Boone (pictured)!
Set your budget: First things first, set your budget. You don't need to break down the cost per vendor just yet, but you and your fiancé definitely want to know what range you're looking at!
Figure out your priorities: After you know your total budget, it's time to figure out your priorities. Unless this is a no expenses spared wedding, there will be some prioritization to do! Is it more important to you to have the perfect photos or a rockin DJ? Videographer or catering? Every couple prioritizes different parts of the wedding so deciding what's most important will help the rest of your finances fall into place, and search for vendors in the appropriate price range.
Set your date: The order of this step varies depending on the couple. For some couples, this decision will be made based solely on availability of family or friends, while others will factor in the availability of their favorite vendors.
Do your research: Selecting your wedding day vendors is a big deal! You want to explore all options, which includes way more than Google. Consider cross referencing your favorite vendors on multiple websites, such as TheKnot, Wedding Wire, or even a local organization.
Ask around: Not sure about trusting online reviews? Ask your friends! Talk to friends who have gotten married recently and ask their opinion. Don't be afraid to reach out to other brides on Instagram, message boards, Facebook groups, or blogs, too!
Check referrals: If you can't find what you're looking for on Yelp or Google Business, ask for referrals! Your vendor will *hopefully* be able to provide a long list of brides who can speak to their experience.
Meet and Greet: Grab coffee or meet for a cocktail and get to know each other. Your wedding vendors don't have to be your best friend, but they will be spending a lot of time with you leading up to, and on, your big day. You want to make sure your priorities mesh!
Review the contract: Now more than ever it's crucial to review your contracts. Make sure you're comfortable with all clauses, and prepared to follow through! Pay extra attention to any reference to pandemics or stipulations around state regulations. Don't be afraid to consult a lawyer or other legal professional and negotiate if needed.
Act fast! As soon as you've made your decision, commit! Wedding dates are going quickly, as many 2020 brides are rescheduling to 2021. If you know you want a certain vendor, get your confirmation asap. If you're not quite ready, ask your vendor for the right of first refusal on your date. We did this with many vendors and every single one was so gracious and honored this by reaching out when someone else was interested.
Vendor Recommendations for Central Texas and Northern Michigan Brides
We could not be more excited to work with our entire Texas vendor team. We were excited to work with them pre-COVID, but after the craziness the last few months we're even more convinced that we picked the best of the best. For our last minute elopement ceremony in Michigan we didn't have a huge vendor team, but the ones we worked with were fantastic!
Central Texas Brides
Photography: Emily Boone Photography (pictured above). Photography was our #1 priority and we completely hit the jackpot. Not only are Emily's photos amazing, but she truly is the most kind and joyful soul. She took our engagement photos as well as our "redeem the day" original wedding day photos and they were stunning. We're already looking forward to our photos from our celebration in 2021!
Venue: Le San Michele. On our first date Ryan and I went to a wedding at Le San Michele, so when it came time to select our venue it was a no-brainer. Le San Michele is a private 12-acre estate with a stunning European feel.
Hair/Makeup: Molly Makeup + Hair. Molly is the ultimate glam squad! Before I found Molly I was a little nervous about finding the perfect person for my wedding day look and didn't want to feel overdone. When I had my trial she listened to exactly what I wanted and found the perfect mix of natural and glamorous!
Catering: Word of Mouth Catering. Word of Mouth has been so easy to work with. They walked us through the entire catering and rentals process and supported us throughout both of our cancellations. Our tasting experience was great and they helped us select every detail of our delicious menu.
Music/DJ: Texas Pro DJs. Although Texas Pro DJs was the only music vendor we checked out, we knew they were the choice for us before Ryan and I even met! The owner, Miles, was the DJ at a wedding we both attended separately, which was actually the couple that introduced us! We both remembered him and how amazing he was, and knew we had to have him for our own wedding.
Florist: Wild Bunches: On my first call with Wild Bunches they made me feel so comfortable. They asked all about my relationship and the vision I had for our wedding day and put together the most beautiful proposal. I can't wait to see our vision come to life!
Northern Michigan Brides
Photographer: Ashley Bassett Photography. We found her literally 4 days before our elopement wedding and we completely lucked out. Her photography is so gorgeous and she was absolutely wonderful to work with. It felt like we were hanging out with a friend and made us feel so comfortable, everyone loved her!
Florist: Cherryland Floral. Like with our photographer, Ryan's mom contacted them just a few days before the wedding day. We sent a photo of what we had in mind and the arrangements came out pretty much identical. Their work was stunning and we highly recommend them!