1. Know your budget for each vendor: Knowing how much you can afford to spend will allow you to narrow your vendor options even before you start the interview process. While you are interviewing, share your budget with the vendor so that he can give you his best options for your price range.
2. Start your search by looking at advertisements: You can get some insight into a vendor’s style by look at the ads that he uses. Look for ads whose style and price matches what you are looking for. See what points he emphasizes for his business. Is he projecting that he is exclusive and expensive, approachable and moderately priced, or the best bargain in town?
3. Check out the vendors’ websites: This will give you even more insight into the vendors’ styles and prices. Preliminary shopping on the Internet will save you time and gas money!
4. Call and email for more information: This will give you an indication as to how interested the vendor is in your business. Was he available to speak with you right away? Did he promptly return your call or email? Was he genuinely interested in what you want? Was the information that was sent to you personalized?
5. Narrow your options to three vendors per category: Once you sort through the dozens of websites from vendors whose ads you liked, narrow your options into three per category. That’s the best way to start the interview process. Visiting more than three vendors per category at a time can get confusing. Don’t worry if you don’t choose one of the three the first time around…you can always go back and expand your search.
6. View samples of past work: Looking at photos is a great way to decide whether or not a vendor’s style matches your own. Added bonus: you might get some good ideas for your wedding from what other couples have done.
7. Take note of the vendors’ personalities: Choose a vendor who makes you feel at ease. If you are uncomfortable at any time during the interview, move on. There are plenty of high-quality vendors from which to choose.
8. Compare features and costs: Remember, the cheapest vendor isn’t necessarily the best bargain. Make sure that you know what you are getting for the price you will be paying.
9. Ask around: Check with other vendors to see what the “buzz” is regarding a vendor that you like.
10. Trust your instincts: If something feels too good to be true or if you feel uncomfortable for any reason, walk away.
Finding the perfect professional for your wedding doesn’t have to be a scary task. Just stay organized and feel confident in your ability to make decisions. If you need more guidance, you can find specific questions to ask potential vendors and more insight in The Perfect Wedding Guide Wedding Planning Workbook. It makes a great companion throughout the wedding planning process!