How to Choose and Work with Wedding Vendors, Professionals and Service Providers

wedding vendors

With all the options for locations, food, decorations and more, what’s a newly engaged couple to do? True, there are many choices to be made about your nuptials, but here are some ways to make the process easier.

How do I start?

Begin by researching online. This can provide a great wealth of information including photos, numbers and previous experience. Another thing to do is ask anyone you know in the area who they would recommend for flowers, location, etc. It is possible that your maid of honor’s cousin just had an anniversary with incredible centerpieces from such and such company. And now you have an honest evaluation. See?

Wedding vendors – what is that about?

A vendor is basically any business or individual who will provide supplies or a duty at your event. This includes caterers, photographers, deejays, decorators, wedding planners, and others. You may need a few or all of these people present at your celebration. But how do you decide who to go with in each field? These are a few common ways to determine if they really are all that.


If they have been in the business for any amount of time, a provider should be able to give you reports from those who have used their services in the past. Some may even give you a way to contact these individuals and speak with them yourself.

However, no business is going to use someone who won’t represent them well. So you may want to go outside of their realm of influence, and see how they rate on the internet compared to other vendors.


When we were booking our deejay, we got invited to see the work in person. A lot of times, if your vendor is performance based, such as a deejay or photographer, they will allow you to come witness their skills. This is one of the best ways to figure out if they are right for your wedding. You can observe their style, presence, and communication preferences through a visit. If they don’t offer, ask!

See their credentials

A planner, caterer, or decorator will likely have some type of certificate to show you, such as being a graduate of the Wedding Planning Institute or some other formal education. If this is not the case, then they should at least be able to give you examples of their experience, and photos.

wedding planning

Vendors work with vendors

This is important – many big providers, like a venue or caterer, will have specific companies that they prefer to collaborate with. They do this because they will usually receive some kind of compensation for bringing in business. This can work in your favor. For example, if they venue always uses ABC Catering and so and so photography, these businesses will already be familiar with the layout and ins and outs of working with your location, making everything seamless for you.

Also, sometimes a discount will be offered to you for using their preferred companies. Some vendors will only work with other specific vendors, though, and this can be a problem if you want to use someone else. Overall, I would say look for a vendor who provides suggestions, but does not insist that you use their people. You, not your vendor, need to decide what is right for your event and budget.

Found my vendors! What’s the next step?

Once you have chosen these all important businesses for your special day, be sure to schedule in times to meet up and go over details. Get in writing exactly what is and isn’t provided, what costs extra, and whether or not they provide cleanup afterwards.

Then, add run throughs or previews to your calendar like cake tastings, meeting at the venue to talk décor, or times to give lists to your MC. With some careful planning, your event will be flawless.

Remember to ask lots of questions, don’t sign anything until you read the fine print, and see proof of each vendor’s work. Generally, the longer they’ve been in business the better, although you can also find some excellent newbies that do quality work for cheaper. Keep these tips in mind and plan that party!