How To Book The Best Team Of Wedding Vendors

Now, this is just my own opinion but I firmly believe that one of the hardest parts of wedding planning is choosing a team of vendors who you can 100% depend on. The last thing you want to worry about on your wedding day is the catering or the flowers or your videographers, so it’s important to put the time in to choose vendor carefully at the very beginning of your wedding planning.

Here’s a personal story: At my wedding we had a catering disaster and my mom ended up in the kitchen trying to make the chicken edible so that 60% of my guests had food to eat. It was terrible, and you know what was even worse? We never heard from the caterer again! What!?!?!?!?!?!?! No apology or anything! In retrospect this could have been avoided if I had taken additional steps to vet my catered, but 20 year old Sarandon apparently had other things to worry about.

I planned my own wedding before I started working in the industry, and since then I have learned SO MUCH from my work AND from my own mistakes. Sometimes I chuckle about the things I would have changed from my own wedding.

To help you avoid your own wedding-day fiasco I made this list to help you vet your vendors, so you can be certain you hired an A-Team for your big day.

Got more questions about choosing vendors? Leave them in the comments below or email me at hello@sarandonmaraphoto.com!

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1.) See:

Time to put alllllll those internet stalking skills to good use! When looking for photographers and videographers there are a few things you want to make sure you do. First check out all of their social media profiles, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. Look at what they post, but MOST IMPORTANTLY check out what they’re tagged in that other people are posting! You want to see what past clients are posting and what they have to say about the photographer or videographer. Secondly, check out their website and ESPECIALLY their blog. If they blog regularly you should be able to see posts from a variety of weddings and engagement sessions. This can help you see how they capture images and video in different lighting scenarios with different color schemes etc. Lastly, and most importantly (in my opinion), ask to see a FULL GALLERY or full wedding film. It’s important to see how they capture an entire wedding day from getting ready to the exit. You may like how a photographer captures details shots, but you might not like the way they light their reception shots, and those are important things to know BEFORE you sign a contract with them.

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2.) Taste:

Taste everything! You are going to be spending a pretty penny on food for your wedding and you want to make sure it is going to be good! Caterers and Bakers usually offer tastings, and you should take them up on them!

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3.) Read:

Read reviews! The good and the bad, but instead of looking at individual reviews look for trends! Does the vendor consistently get compliments for their excellent service, superb product, or amazing client experience? Or do you see a pattern of dissatisfied customers? One bad review shouldn’t sway you totally away from a vendor, you never know what could have happened or if it was just a particularly picky client, but a trail of one and two star reviews should catch your attention.

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4.) Ask:

Don’t be shy about asking important questions! Here are a couple important questions to ask photographers specifically:

  • Do you carry liability insurance?

  • How will my images be delivered?

  • Will I need to purchase my images separately? (some photographers charge for their package price, and then charge separately for the digital files)

  • What is your backup plan in case of an emergency?

  • What kind of resources do you offer during the wedding planning process?

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4.) Get Recommendations

Once you have a couple vendors booked you can ask them if they have any recommendations for additional vendors. I provide all of my couples with a list of recommended vendors from videographers to florists! If a vendor you trust is able to give you good recommendations of people they love working with you should be in good hands!


~ Images shot for Angelika Johns Photography ~

Sarandon SmithComment