How to Choose Your Wedding Vendors

When planning your wedding there are so many factors, details and decisions to make throughout the process. It's all too easy to become overwhelmed! One of the questions I almost always hear is how to choose the right wedding vendors. So for all of the stressed out brides and grooms out there, take a breath and read through this simple and easy guide to choosing vendors that will help ensure your dreams for the big day come true!

One of the most important things to consider when choosing a vendor is your budget. Once your overall budget is set, chat with a variety of different vendors, vet the different packages they offer and prioritize your wish list. If you're pining for a top-notch photographer, for example, know that you'll likely need to cut back with the caterer, florist or someone else.

Make sure you do plenty of research. Former brides, your wedding planner (if you have one) and, of course, the internet are great resources. According to WeddingWire's 2015 survey, 87% of engaged couples read reviews when searching for vendors, so keep up the good work! Be sure to also ask a potential vendor for referrals, a portfolio of work or some samples you can go through. Even stationers like Wedding Paper Divas can send you a sample kit so you know exactly what to expect.

Before getting in too deep with a vendor, check dates. It's so disappointing to fall in love with a certain vendor only to learn they're not even available on your wedding date. Make sure you find out the availability for all your top choices -- this will also help you narrow it down!

With all the prep work out of the way, it's time to meet face-to-face. Getting that in-person time with a potential vendor is key to feeling out how well you mesh together and if they'll be able to bring your vision to life. The vibe is very important here!

Finally, before you sign on the dotted line review the contract very carefully. Keep an eye out for any hidden fees or overtime charges that might be required. Also make sure that all the details like pricing, location, timing and cancellation policies are in line with what you discussed. If you talked about additional services outside of their usual scope, get it in writing.

Overall, you want a team who understands your vision, communicates well and is compatible with you and your fiancé. Happy planning!