While as a country, we’re not back to feeling total economic contentment (but then again…I always take the ‘good times’ with a grain of salt), we are now enjoying low gas prices, lower unemployment, and all around higher consumer confidence. Thus, at the turn of this year into 2015, when holiday engagements give way to venue and vendor bookings in the wedding world, there was a continued year to year increase in more, and earlier, bookings.
Now more than ever, booking vendors is taking a fair amount of work and care. I’ve written a few tips to help you as you build your wedding ‘team.’ To illustrate a few other key points, we’ve added photos of a recent wedding we coordinated at Calamigos Malibu.
1. Vendors can’t clone themselves. I’m not trying to be a smart aleck – it’s important to take this fact to heart! There are weekends that are very popular – not just always holiday weekends, either – that some vendors double or triple book, and eventually they may run out of teams to send out (particularly planners, photographers, and DJs with boutique-sized companies). When your friend swears by her officiant or can’t stop raving about her photographer, call them as soon as you can – they may book up over a year in advance for many weekends, particularly summer dates.
2. Referrals rock – but be specific. Going online can be extremely helpful – reviews are a huge help to brides and grooms researching their vendors – but referrals from a friend, coworker, relative, or venue manager provide a built-in trust to the relationship before it even begins. That said, ask specific questions. Your cousin’s sister loved her DJ…but if you’re looking for a DJ with club experience and hers played the chicken dance, it’s not going to be a good fit. Be sure to ask about the vendor’s style and specialties before making an inquiry.
3. Prep well for the consultation. When meeting with a vendor candidate, bring relevant materials: A favorite playlist to share with a DJ, a family recipe you want replicated to a cake baker, an Ipad for showing your Pinterest board to the florist. Your communication will flow right into what’s most important to you about your big day and will help that vendor really get to know you and how best to work with you.
Above all, enjoy the process and know that there are tons of great vendors in the SoCal area that can make your day as perfect as possible. We’re always happy to refer our fellow vendors and all clients receive a curated, carefully researched, tried-and-true vendor list created out of our years of experience working with the best of the best. We’re happy to chat all things “vendor” at 310-562-3306 and firstname.lastname@example.org. And, for more helpful advice, read all of our #fivebiggestweddingplanningmyths, starting here. Happy planning!