Jan 6

How to Choose Your Wedding Vendors

Wedding planning can be all-consuming at times. You have so much on the to-do list that knowing how to choose your wedding vendors is just another thing on your plate! From picking the venue to finding that perfect dress in the perfect shade and the perfect style of bridesmaid dresses. Then there’s food, booking hotel blocks, and decor! The list goes on and on.

Your vendors can make or break your special day, so it is important that you book them well in advance (this means having a signed contract and deposit on record to reserve your date), do your research by looking at their reviews and past work if applicable, and meet with them to ensure that their style is a match for your event.

Photo by Maria Young Photos

Vendors to Consider

Some vendors you will definitely want to consider for your event include:

  • The Venue

  • The Floral Designer ( We’ve got you covered 😉 ).

  • The Photographer

  • The Videographer

  • Hair & Makeup Artists

  • DJ or Band

  • Ceremony Musicians (if different)

  • Caterer if applicable

  • Cake Baker and Decorator

  • Dress Shop/ Seamstress

  • Tuxedo Rentals

  • Event Planner or Day-of Coordinator

  • Officiant

  • The Sparkler Send Off

Each of these vendors will play an important part of your special day.

 
 
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The Venue will set the scene for your guests. It’ll provide a safe space with plenty of parking, clean and easily accessible restrooms, and of course the perfect photo spots for portraits and ceremony photos. Try to coordinate your venue location with the style of the wedding you’re planning- an elegant Black-Tie affair wouldn’t really pair nicely at a Barn. Likewise, a country theme wouldn’t pair nicely in a ballroom. Read the room!

Photo: Maria Young Photos, Venue: Martell’s Water’s Edge
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The Floral Designer will create the beautiful and epic photo opportunities to wow your guests. The flowers will be in almost every photo- ensure that they’re pretty! Your event floral designer can help you decide on a beautiful style to compliment your venue if you choose, just ask!

Photo: Alyssa Marie Photography
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The Photographer and Videographer has their own specific editing style- ensure that you’re in love with their past event photos in their portfolio because your photos will be edited similarly! The Photographer and Videographer will capture every special moment of your magical day. So be sure you have a list of items you definitely want them to capture- do you want sunset photos? Are you doing your first look down the aisle? Do you have a choreographed first dance that you DEFINITELY want them prepared to capture? Let them know these things!

Photo: Alyssa Marie Photography
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Hair & Makeup artists are similar to photographers & videographers in the sense that they also have their own style! Do you like their portfolio photos? How are the reviews? Do their past couples say that their hair & makeup looked beautiful all day? Do they book a trial? Will they travel to your getting ready location? Keep these questions in mind when booking your vendor.

Hair & Makeup: Daneene Jensen & Associates. Photo: Meyer Photo & Video Group
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DJ & Band can definitely set the tone for your big day. Do you want everyone on the dance floor all evening? Or, are you having a formal dinner and no dancing? Pick your vendor accordingly to ensure that they will help create the special event you’re dreaming about.

Photo: Meyer Photo & Video Group. DJ: DJ Prime
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Ceremony musicians (if you choose to utilize them) can really help set the tone of your ceremony precession and recession. Read their reviews and ensure that they’re a good fit for your ceremony.

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The Caterer!!!! One of the most important vendors. Guests will always remember the food that they had at your event. What does their menu look like? Do they have special dietary options for guests with allergies or restrictions? What’s included in their cocktail hour menu? Do they provide the cake? How are the reviews? Do they offer a tasting? Keep these questions in mind when researching potential caterers if it’s not included in your venue. And, also keep these questions in mind if the venue is associated with a caterer!

Photo by Meyer Photo & Video Group
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The Cake Baker/ Decorator is another important element of your big day. How yummy is their dessert? Will they put cake flowers on your cake- if so, how early do they need them- the day before the wedding? Do they offer a tasting? What else is on their menu?

Photo by Maria Young Photos
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The event planner and day of coordinator can be a great help when planning your big day. The planner should help guide you through the whole process to ensure that you have a stress and beautifully coordinated day. The planner should also have their own questions to refer to you that they’ve learned throughout their experience.

The Day-Of Coordinator will help ensure that your day runs as smoothly as possible. He/she/they will coordinate with your vendors to ensure that everyone is on the same schedule, that the vendors are aware of any changes to the plan, and help to keep guests in line if necessary. Your day should not require any stress from you- leave it to the professionals!

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The officiant will perform your wedding ceremony. Ask them about their service and how it usually goes. Will they incorporate any special ‘unity’ performances- like mixing sand, lighting a candle, allow you to say your own vows? Will the officiant come to your venue location?

The Sparkler Send Off is another fantastic opportunity for epic photos. Sparkler’s Online has two size options to best fit your guest needs. Lighting 200 guest sparklers requires a longer burn time to ensure that you have enough time to take epic photos like this one below! Check out their useful guide in planning your special send off here. Use code referral10 for 10% off your order!

My Very Own Sparkler Send Off. Photo by Meyer Photo & Video Group
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Other vendors could include:
  • Photo Booth
  • Cigar/ Whiskey Bar
  • Calligrapher/ Artist
  • Limo or Party Bus
  • Hotel Blocks
  • Floral Preservation (Good news! We at Garden in the Pines offer this service now, too!)
  • Dress Preservation
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Some general questions to consider when booking your vendors might include:
  • Do you book more than one wedding per day? How do you manage this?
  • Do you have a minimum-spend?
  • Are you available for my date?
  • What are your rates?
  • Do you offer rental items?
Photo by Kelly Sea Images

For more floral-related questions and planning content – check out my blogs below about booking your floral designer for your special event:

How To Find The Right Florist For You

Wedding Planning Timeline

You can also contact us to discuss this further, such as how our services would fit into your special day!

 

For photography-related questions, Meyer Photo and Video Group has a wonderful blog about booking your ideal photography vendor for your event. Check out some of her blog posts below:

6 TIPS FOR HIRING A NJ WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER

WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER COST – BEST RESOURCE

 

For more information about Sparkler’s Online, check out their useful guide below:

Wedding Sparkler Guide

Don’t forget to use code referral10 for 10% off your order!


We hope that your wedding planning experience is as stress-free as possible. Please leave us a comment with things you wish you would’ve known when booking your event vendors!

  1. Erika Brady says:

    I’m glad that you mention that guests always remember the caterers. This fall, my cousin is getting married, and she wants her special day to be very memorable. Maybe she can look into unique caterers, like food trucks or a coffee cart.

    • Garden in the Pines says:

      That’s such a great idea! We’ve seen our couples do taco trucks, breakfast sandwiches, donut bars, ice cream cakes- you name it! There’s a lot of fun you can have with this 😊

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