Is Online Research a Reliable Way to Find Wedding Vendors?
If only there were a dating app for finding your perfect big-day pros.
Finding the best vendors for your personality, style, and budget is a tall task when you don't have the recommendations of a seasoned wedding planner to lean on. And since there's no dating app for finding your perfect match, it's largely a process that's tackled through personal recommendations and Internet research. Which begs the question, is online research a reliable way to find wedding vendors?
A Personality Match
Personality plays a big role in your working relationship with your vendors and you'll want to make sure you fit well together, which you simply can't tell from an Internet presence. While you might think you have an idea of a brand's personality from witty social media posts, you won't really know if you'll click until you interview someone from the team. The company's organization style and professionalism will come across faster in a phone call than in all the social media stalking you could possibly do. So, if you think you've found your match, pick up the phone and have a conversation to kick off the process.
A Style Match
One of the best things about Internet research is that you can see a sampling of your vendor's body of work. This is great for determining if your styles align with regard to photography, rentals, linens, flowers, and any other design details. You might also pick up on whether they're a style match based on the vendors and venues they work with regularly.
The majority of wedding vendors don't list their pricing on their websites or anywhere online. While cynics may suggest this is because they pad their pricing for weddings, the real reasoning is that every wedding is different and requires a customized price quote. For example, a wedding with 450 guests would require a larger staff for all vendors than a wedding with 100 guests would.
You likely won't be able to solve the mystery of a vendor's price point simply by looking at their website and social media, but there are a few indicators worth noting. If they seem to be leaders in their field, you can safely assume these vendors will be on the higher end. If, on the other hand, you stumble upon a website that shows only a very limited portfolio without a lot of variation, you can bet this vendor is newer to the industry and may have more flexible pricing.
It's easy to get sucked into spending hours reading reviews of vendors online, but it's really not enough to get to know the people you could potentially be hiring. If you're struggling with the decision to hire a specific vendor, reach out and ask them for references instead. Speaking with a former client about their experience allows you to ask the in-depth questions you need answered in order to make the decision that's best for you and your wedding.
Don't Judge a Vendor by Its Website
In an ideal world, wedding vendors would regularly update their websites and have every wedding they've ever produced on display. In real life though, these vendors are hard at work pulling off huge events on days, nights, weekends, and holidays. This often means that their website is lower on their list of priorities and isn't getting updating as regularly as they, or their potential clients, would hope. If you've found a vendor whose social media looks like your style and seems consistent, this is a good sign. Don't let an outdated website deter you, as long as you're able to get in touch with them easily and find communication to be important to their work style.
How to Simplify Your Research
It's easy to get overwhelmed in the land of never-ending online research for wedding vendors, so here's a tip. If you have at least one or two vendors you've identified that you'd absolutely love to work with, you can bet their tribe will be of a similar ilk. Check out their social media shout outs to see who they work with often and whether those folks might be in line with your style and budget. Or, you could always pick up the phone and ask them if they're available for your wedding and have any recommendations of other vendors they love working with.
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