Should you put a maximum on it?
Credit: John Dolan

Researching, meeting with, and selecting your wedding vendors is time consuming work. While you can do most of that sleuthing from the comfort of your home, at a certain point you'll need to come up with a shortlist and meet those pros face to face. Before you start making vendor appointments, here are a few things to know.

There's no set number of vendors to meet.

Meeting with one to three vendors per category is plenty, and sometimes more than enough. You should know that there's not a minimum or maximum-it's really whatever works for you. If you strike gold in your first meeting with every vendor, lucky you! If not, it's okay to meet with a few competitors before making your final decision. If you've met with three vendors in one category and still can't decide, you may be struggling with indecisiveness. It's often best to bring in an outside opinion in this case.

Be smart with your research.

Spending a little extra time comparing potential vendors will help you narrow down who you really want to meet with. Prior to meeting any vendor, you should have a clear idea of their price point, style, and compatibility. By the time it comes to having an in-person chat, you should really only be considering whether or not their personality is a fit.

Take recommendations with a grain of salt.

Just like every wedding is different, so are every couple's vendor needs. Your cousin may have used a videographer she really loved, but that doesn't mean that company is right for you. Be sure to do your due diligence and research any vendor recommendation-be it from friend, family, or venue-prior to meeting with them so you don't waste your time or anyone else's.

You don't need to meet every vendor in person.

The vendors you should try to meet prior to hiring are your wedding planner, photographer, florist, officiant, and catering manager. Many of the other vendors can be hired via phone calls and email, and there are plenty of instances in which a simple phone call or FaceTime session can do the trick. For destination weddings, you're less likely to be able to meet each vendor in person, so you may want to ask for a reference or two prior to hiring them.

Only sign clear contracts.

Whether you meet them in person or not, it's important to protect your own interests by having a very clear contract with each vendor. A clear contract spells out exactly what you can expect from each vendor, and it will be essential should you need to get out of a souring professional relationship.


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