Vendor Selection: Stress-Free Secrets

Ian RamirezVendors, Wedding Planning

From the on-set, wedding planning can seem a little overwhelming. Of course, you’re super excited to exchange your vows, marry the love of your life, and celebrate with all of your friends and family. However, just thinking about the various tasks that you’ll need to complete before that day comes around can produce some stress. Nonetheless, we always encourage couples to remember that you have plenty of time! In most cases, couples have numerous months (even over a year) to plan out their big day. As such, there’s no reason to let stress sink in and put a damper on this fun process.

For those that may be visiting our blog for the first time, we always enjoy discussing various wedding planning topics here, and ultimately helping engaged couples with tips and tricks designed to simplify the planning process. Our wedding venue, Madera Estates, is located in Conroe, TX and over the past ten years, we have had the opportunity to work with hundreds of couples. It’s always fun to hear the unique love stories and learn more about the special day they have envisioned. As briefly alluded to above, this week’s blog is going to talk about the keys for avoiding stress with the planning process. In particular, we’ll discuss how this relates to the wedding vendors, as there are so many options for the different services. This is even more so the case in larger markets, such as Conroe, The Woodlands and Houston. With that all being said, let’s discuss a few stress-free secrets for vendor selection!

Photo on thumbnail courtesy of Kelsey Nicole Photography.

Utilize Recommendations

If you have friends or family that have recently tied the knot, a great way to narrow down your list is by prioritizing any vendors that were strongly recommended to you. Chances are if they are able to vouch for that particular vendor’s services, then it would likely be tough to go wrong with them! Plus, if you attended their wedding too, you may have some knowledge yourself that could influence your decision. Obviously, you’ll still want to do your own homework, meet with them, discuss pricing and so on, but this should definitely have the potential to earn that vendor a spot amongst the finalists.

Book Your Wedding Venue

Odds are one of the first (if not the very first) vendors that you book will be the wedding venue. Especially for the more popular dates/seasons, wedding venues can get booked up quite a bit in-advance. Trust us, we can tell you that statement is true! There are two primary reasons as to how this can help in future vendor selections.

Date Locked In – Once you have the venue booked, you essentially have your specific date locked in. With this completed, you have something tangible to share with other vendors and will have no trouble determining their pricing/availability. So, if you have 4 or 5 photographers you really like, this could very well narrow that list down some.

Preferred Options – As evidenced above, recommendations are an incredibly useful tool in the wedding planning journey. Not only can you consider the ones coming from your loved ones, but also those from your contacts at the wedding venue. Since they’ve likely worked with many of the local photographers, caterers, florists and other vendors on previous weddings, they can help steer you in the right direction. Plus, there’s a strong likelihood those vendors have experience working a wedding at that specific venue too!

Style and Theme

While any talented vendor is more than capable of adapting their services to meet a different style or theme, it’s also safe to say that many have a go-to speciality. So, if you already have a general aesthetic in mind for different components (whether it be the floral arrangements, wedding photos or anything else), that is also something to consider in the vendor selection process. Any guesses where the perfect starting point is to evaluate their styles? Social media, of course! From Facebook and Instagram to Pinterest and so on, the wedding world tends to be very active on social media. Luckily, for engaged couples, this doesn’t only provide you with a plethora of ideas/inspiration, but also can be a great way to get a general overview of that specific vendor’s style. 

Wedding photographers are the perfect example of a vendor of which you can learn quite a bit about from their social media feeds. While there are a number of factors that can dictate the final photo, a photographer’s unique style definitely plays into the finished product. Some may excel in those dark and moody shots, while others may have a knack for vintage-looking photos. Nonetheless, through their social media feeds, you should be able to see some real-world examples of their work. As a side note, on an unrelated matter, don’t forget to emphasize experience either! While a fancy social media page looks nice, you definitely want someone that has plenty of experience photographing weddings. After all, it’s an event that they need to complete successfully the first time!

Social Tags

We just got done talking about social media and how it can be the perfect place to get an idea of a vendor’s styles, but the truth is there are so many other tips and tricks that it’s impossible for us to not take the time to expand further! If you’re struggling with the sheer number of vendors in your area, we encourage you to utilize social media. It doesn’t necessarily have to make your final decisions, but it can definitely help you accumulate a list of 5 or 6 names to consider, as opposed to 50 or 60. Here’s some more tips worth trying out:

Look at the Captions – Say you have a wedding venue that you really like. Great, but where should you start the search for the other vendors? Look at the venue’s posts and check out the captions. Do they tag other vendors there that participated in the event? There’s a good chance many of them do! Maybe you’ll see a wedding cake that you absolutely love or simply are in awe of the photographer’s style. In any case, this can give you tangible ideas quickly!

Local Hashtags – This next one might be more relevant for bigger cities, but is nonetheless worth trying out. Take Houston, for example. Go on Instagram and search #HoustonWedding or #HoustonWeddingPhotographer. You can scroll through and if a photo happens to catch your eye, then you can dive deeper into their other work.

Come Tour Madera Estates

So…what do you think? Hopefully this blog post helped alleviate some of your concerns tied to the vendor selection process. Without a doubt, it can seem a little overwhelming from the get-go. After all, just Google “Wedding Photographer Houston” and see how many different options populate. While you could evaluate these options one-by-one, that can be incredibly time-consuming. In addition, you can’t ignore how many various vendors are involved in a full wedding day either. Florists, videographers, DJ’s, photo booth rentals, wedding cake creators, officiants and so on! Granted there are a handful of vendors that do occupy a greater portion of your budget (thus requiring more time and attention), but I’m sure you get the idea!

As briefly mentioned in the opening paragraphs, Madera Estates is a luxury wedding venue and event space located in Conroe, Texas, just north of Houston and The Woodlands. If you’ve yet to finalize your wedding venue selection, we would love to have you join us for a tour of our venue. Click the link HERE to view our online booking calendar.