What are the popular wedding vendors and how do you pick the right ones?

Now that you’ve created your wedding planning timeline, you know what to book, when to book it, but now you need to decide WHO to book. 

Which popular wedding vendors are you going to book for your wedding?

And, how do you make sure you’ve made a good choice that leaves you happy with your decision? 

Instead of being remorseful when you realize the videographer didn’t get your vows recorded, even though that’s all you asked for. 

(This unfortunately happened to our CMO at his wedding 😢 )

What do you need to know so you can make the right choice? 

And importantly, where do you find popular wedding vendors?

These questions and more will be answered in this post. 

Let’s get started 😀

1. Wedding Planner 

If you have decided that you want to work with a wedding planner, first, decide how much assistance you are looking for.  

There are three main types of wedding planners.

  1. Full-service wedding coordinators
  2. Month-of coordinators
  3. Day-of coordinators

Once you know what type of service you’re looking for, we highly suggest that you meet with a few planners before making your choice. 

This allows you to get a better insight into who they are and how they will help you plan your wedding. 

Make sure that you feel comfortable with them and have seen some of the weddings they have planned before.

The right wedding planner can be an amazing resource for the rest of your wedding planning. 

The wrong planner can just make your life stressful and be a huge waste of money.

Choose wisely.

Find your wedding planner here.

2. Venue

popular wedding vendors venue

The venue is closely tied to your wedding date. 

Depending on the venue you want, and whether or not it is in high demand, there is a good chance you will have to be flexible with your wedding date or be willing to shop around for another venue if your first pick is booked!

Things to keep in mind when booking your venue

1. Bring your camera or phone to snap pictures 

Taking pictures will help you when you go back and decide which venues visually are what you need for your wedding. After you go through the pictures it will easily help you in the selection process. 

2. Ask about decoration limitations.

If you have a specific style in mind, make sure to ask if the venue can provide it. For example, historic buildings may not allow you to have draped ceilings.

3. Find out what the maximum occupancy levels are for the venue. 

Compare it to your wedding guest list before sending out invites. If they don’t match, keep looking for venues or everyone won’t be able to celebrate with you on your big day! 

4. Is the set up at the venue included? 

If there are chairs and tables that are seen when viewing the venue, are they included in the venue cost or do you have to provide your own? Make sure you know what is included with renting your venue!

5. Look at the traffic areas or noise levels around each venue, especially if you have an outside ceremony.

It may have a beautiful view, but are there any loud noises or distractions that will ruin your wedding? You don’t want a plane to drown out your personalized vows!

6. Figure out their catering and alcohol policy.

Can you BYOB to the venue space? Can you have alcohol while you’re in the bridal suite on-site? Do they require you to use their bartenders to serve alcohol? Do they have a preferred caterer?

Don’t let them ruin your wedding day by taking away your champagne right after you pour a fresh glass with your bridesmaids! (Seriously, this happened to our CMO’s wife at their wedding! Yikes!)

Find your wedding venue here. 

3. Sign up for WedTexts 

Once you have your wedding date down, it’s time to sign up for WedTexts. 

You never know what life throws at you from crazy weather to a global pandemic. 

Guess what the only service is that can help you through changes to your wedding plan? WedTexts

When it comes to popular wedding vendors, WedTexts is a MUST-HAVE tool to help keep all your guests in the loop and sending out reminders before, during, and after your wedding. 

(Or, you could just spend twice the money printing change-the-dates and new invitations.)

Sign up for WedTexts here for free. 

4. Photographer

Whether you know it or not, you already have an idea of what type of wedding photography you like. 

From the magazines you have bought, pins you have pinned on Pinterest, or critiques of your friends’ wedding photos, you have a preferred style. 

Now you just need to find a wedding photographer that you mesh well with that is available on your wedding day!

Get an album together with your favorite sample wedding photography and start comparing them to your potential wedding photographer’s portfolio. If they’re a match, start the conversation to see if your personalities mesh well too!

Find your wedding photographer here.

5. Videographer 

Videography has come a long way in a short amount of time. 

Wedding videos used to be shaky at home quality, but nowadays videographers have taken their craft to a whole new level. 

Depending on your budget (and a videographer’s availability) you can get a high-end production quality video of your special day from all angles, with voiceover, your favorite music and aerial footage from drones!

Find your wedding videographer here. 

6. Décor and Event Design/Rentals

If your venue does not include the decorations for your wedding, you will have to decide how you want to decorate. 

You can certainly go an all DIY route and turn Pinterest inspirations into reality.

If that’s not something you want to spend your time on, there are popular wedding vendors that can design the entire event for you. 

These types of companies usually include lighting, draping, tents, flowers, chairs, tables, basically anything that you envision to help make your dream wedding a reality. 

Most companies will also be in charge of setting everything up and taking it down!

Find your wedding decor designer here. 

7. Floral Designer 

Flowers are an integral part of your wedding. 

You will likely have a bridal bouquet, bridesmaids bouquets, boutonnieres for the gentlemen and maybe even a small bouquet for your parents. 

Not only that, but they may also be used as your table centerpieces.

It’s a good idea to work with a florist near your wedding venue, so that the flowers do not have to travel far to their destination. 

You will also want to consider the meaning behind flowers, so you don’t accidentally choose a flower that while beautiful is typically used at funerals. We’re looking at you, white lilies…

Find your wedding florist here. 

8. Caterer

Again, your venue may have an in-house caterer or have a specific company that they prefer to work with. 

If not, you have all the options! Find a caterer that will fit your wedding style – from food truck to plated dinners. 

Take advantage of a taste-testing and a personalized menu, if possible. 

Also, be sure that they can accommodate your wedding size, and take into consideration any speciality options you may want to include (e.g. vegetarian, gluten free).

Find your wedding caterer here.

9. Entertainment 

I’m sure you know the age old debate: What’s better, a band or a DJ?

Well, it depends. You have to decide what works best for you!

Bands are wonderful for keeping the energy up with your guests, while a DJ will be a better choice if you want to ensure your favorite songs are played at your wedding.

If you are getting married outside, look into noise level restrictions in the community surrounding your wedding venue. 

This may impact your decision when choosing your entertainment.

Find your wedding entertainment here.

10. Invitations & Paper Goods

wedding stationery

Once you know your wedding date and location and have decided on an overall style, you can begin working on your paper information. 

True, invitations aren’t technically a wedding vendor. 

We still think this applies to this list because there are a ton of wedding vendors offering stationery from local shops, to Etsy, to websites like Vistaprint or Minted

Find your wedding stationery at Etsy, Vistaprint or Minted

11. Officiant

You may be surprised that not every officiant will agree to marry you at the location of your choice. 

When WedTexts CEO, Caleb, was planning his wedding to his wife, Kelly, they realized that while they are Catholic, they would not be able to find a Catholic priest to marry them at their outdoor ceremony.   

Because of that, they had to get creative and ultimately connected with Father Sean.

Here’s what he has to say about wedding officiants:

“Your wedding officiant ought first to be your wedding celebrant. He or she ought to be able to guide you through the mainline religious services with a reverence and respect for whatever tradition or traditions the couples wish to inform their wedding service. The officiant must equally respect and be able to lead a service that is secular in form. He or she ought to mirror the couples sensitivity to detail while revealing to all guests the couple’s story as expressed in music, scriptures, literature, poetry, and secular expressions. The officiant ought to be able to direct every word and movement toward the couple and the joy of the event.” 

Find your wedding officiant here.

12. Cake Baker 

Tbh, I love cake like a fat kid loves…well, cake. 

If you’re like me, you will not be satisfied with a boring white cake with sub-par icing. 

What better occasion to try all the cakes than planning your wedding?! Take full advantage and sample different cakes and icings and find what works for you. 

Similarly to flowers and the rest of your food, your best bet is finding someone near your wedding venue, so that the cake is as fresh as possible. 

Find your wedding cake baker here.

13. Hair & Make-Up Team

You know how to straighten or curl your hair and rock that cat-eye eyeliner, but are you really ready to do your own hair and make-up for your wedding day?! 

I didn’t think so. 

You probably have a vision for how you want to look on your wedding day.  

Once you find a few stylists that are available on your wedding day, check out your stylist’s social media to see what they’ve done in the past to see if they can make your vision a reality.

Then, make sure to ask if you can come in for a trial run (or several!) because just because a low pony may look good on a Pinterest model, it may not be the best fit for you.

Find your wedding hair and make-up team here.

Before you go off booking your popular wedding vendors…

If you find your wedding style isn’t mainstream and you want a popular wedding vendor that reflects that, check out one of our favorite blogs, the Offbeat Bride!!