When it comes to planning your wedding, you can have the best looking Pinterest boards and sharpest design vision in all of the land—but if you can’t find the right vendors to bring your ideas to life, your wedding-day dreams may fall flat. Vendor relationships, after all, are relationships—it’s all about finding people who fit with your personality and aesthetic preferences. From consulting online listings to tapping into planning pros, today we’re talking the best places to find wedding vendors who will deliver as promised on your Big Day.
Start by hiring a planner.
One of the major perks of hiring a planner is having access to a network of the best of the best in wedding pros. A great wedding planner will know which florist in your area is the best for that boho-vision of yours, and which rental company has the most decadent linens for the best price (hello, velvet table runners at a fraction of the cost). And, just as important, she’ll also know which vendors in the area don’t deliver as expected. Just note that, to get access to that sweet secret Rolodex of hers, you’ll need to hire a full-service planner.
Visit online vendor marketplaces.
Online vendor marketplaces are growing in popularity these days—most wedding-focused publications have one. Depending on your needs, style preferences, and price-point, you can find a publication that has wedding vendor listings for pros who might be a right fit for your wedding. Oh and—heyo!—Aisle Planner just launched our own online listing of insanely talented wedding pros. Check out our new online wedding vendor marketplace!
Talk to your venue.
Wedding venues have their own preferred vendor lists, so definitely be sure you get that information from your venue or on-site venue coordinator. It may also limit who you can work with—sometimes the list is people you have to choose from, while other times it’s merely a suggestion of their favorite pros in the area. Either way, make sure you show the list to your planner and have her vet the venue’s choices.
Creep on the Gram.
A great pro tip for finding wedding vendors whose style aligns with yours? Get ready to go down the Instagram rabbit hole. Find one vendor whose work you love, and then see who they’re connected to by spiraling into, what we’re going to call, a stalking-sesh with a purpose. Start with that epic florist you’ve had your eye on...and one hour and two glasses of wine later, you’ll have everyone from your calligrapher to your makeup artist picked out.
Talk to local friends who’ve tied the knot.
Referrals—especially from trusted friends—are always the best place to find wedding vendors...and bra companies...and brunch spots...and pretty much anything else. Talk to friends who’ve gotten married in the area and find out which vendors they worked with and who’d they’d recommend. Don’t just asked if they “liked” working with a certain vendor—ask them about what they did well, what they could have done better, how the communication process went, what to expect, etc. That being said, be cautious about taking referrals and running with them without doing your own vetting. Wedding planning is emotional, and different personalities work differently together. Plus, your friend’s aesthetic preferences may not be the same style you’re looking for.
Browse local print wedding magazines.
Print magazines—say what? Yes! When it comes to wedding vendor listings, don’t overlook local print wedding publications. While you’re probably not going to find your team of wedding pros in a national wedding magazine, you will in a local one—as it’s focused specifically on your area.
Overall, when it comes to the best place to find wedding vendors, there’s no one right answer. It takes a combination of consulting your pro planner, married friends, wedding publications...and social media feeds (of course) to assemble your wedding-day dream team.
Photo courtesy Atlanta wedding photographer Michelle Scott