Every bride should ask herself this question when starting the planning process. There are so many options out there, it is very hard to know who you can really trust.
There are several ways you can check out potential vendors. First off, look in local magazines or national websites for florists, DJ, wedding planners, photographers, bakers, etc.
Make a list of those that look interesting to you. Ask friends for referrals. Then go to each of their websites, and look at all their work. Ask yourself if the website looks professional. Do they have just one or two events represented or many? Check to see if they have any "raves" from past brides. You will want to see the whole picture, not just what they have done in the past few months.
But by far, the most important thing you can do is to ask established wedding vendors who they think are the best in each field. The wedding community tends to be very tight. If you have worked in the industry for a while, you know most everyone. Not only do we know everyone, but we also keep up with what is happening with each other. We know who follows through time after time, and who doesn't.
If you start asking around, my guess is that you will hear the same names over and over, from many different vendors. And I do suggest that you talk to many vendors. Once you have narrowed your search a little it is time to contact each vendor that you might be interested in using.
Ask pertinent questions, such as: How long have you been in business? How many weddings have you worked in your career? It is also very important to ask what would happen if they got sick, or could not fulfill their contract. You might also want to know how many events they work in a single weekend. Contact several past clients and call the Better Business Bureau to see if there have been any complaints. I suggest that you take any or all complaints seriously, and investigate the matter with the vendor before making a decision and placing a deposit. Once you put money down, you will have a very hard time getting it back if you are unhappy.
Before you finally decide on the right vendor for you, make sure they can understand your ideas and vision for your event, and can give you what you want. It is very important to get everything in writing, down to the smallest detail. This will ensure you getting exactly what you think you are getting.
Just keep in mind, that years of experience and a good reputation are always a better bet than trying someone new with little to no experience, no matter how great they seem to be.
Written By: Alene Gamel
I do, I do! Wedding Planning & Consulting