Where to start... OK lets start with the photographer.There are SOOOO many photographers in this area and many are so very talented. I think my preferred photographer list is longer then any other vendor set. I am not going to start blurting out cost. I am just going to say that when you are researching look at the website! Do they have galleries of recent work? Do they have a blog? (In my opinion all of the good photographers have a blog. Why? Because they are proud of their work and it is easy to post some recent pics of their most recent weddings or events and give some personal narrative along with it. Not only does that give you a visual but it also gives you a small peek into their personality. Which is my next point. You will be spending an entire day with this person or preferably people. Do you want someone following you around that you really are uncomfortable with? Or maybe their personality just clashes with yours. No! I think not so make sure that when you meet with the potential vendor that not only do they have samples of their work to offer but that you like the person as well! ALSO I have heard this statement many times. "I am not paying X amount of dollars for someone to stand around and take pictures for 10 hours." Guess what.. Yes they are taking pictures for 10 hours, standing around? heck no! I have seen photographers climbing light post to get that perfect shot! Not only are they doing some creative maneuvering but once they get home they sit in front of a computer and edit for HOURS and DAYS even to make your photos look amazing. So keep in mind once the wedding is over the photographer is not just putting your pics on a disc or in a book and sending them off. They put in a huge amount of time on them after the fact.
Caterer. OK!! When you are searching for a caterer there are a few things that you really need to find out. One, do you like the food. DUH that is a no brainer but keep in mind you are feeding your guest a meal that should be better then going to a cafeteria lunch. Figure out what your budget allows for and make the best of it. Go taste the food and make sure that it is good quality food. Second, will the staff bus tables? Will they have enough staff? Will they do your captains call or place your plated meals? Do they pass Hors Devours? Do they offer rental items such as your china, glassware, salt pepper and sugar holders?, flatware? Will they cut your cake? Will they serve your cake? Do they offer bar tender service (if needed) will they pass beverages during a cocktail hour? Will they clean up?
Videographer.. Some may find this is an added luxury. In my opinion I think it is something that is definitely worth investing in. Videographers these days have the ability to capture the emotion and feeling with sound and put it together in a way that photos can not really do. You get the true capture of the tears and laughter and often it is put together in a seamless movie that you WILL enjoy watching. When looking for a videographer ask for a sample video. Also many videographers blog just as often as the photographers do. Check out the blogs! They will have plenty of sample videos to view. The same editing applies to video as did photo. They may even put in more hours I can not i know this for sure because this is not an area that I am an expert in. But I do know that to put video clips to music and timing it perfectly so that
it runs together just right has to take a ton of time.
Florist. I think this is an area that people really struggle with when it comes to cost. Lets start with choosing a good floral designer first though. There are a handful of designers here that I absolutely LOVE. First of all I think it is important to decide on what style you are looking for, traditional, modern, funky, contemporary, simple elegant,what makes you happy when it comes to your flowers? Then start looking at websites. I have a hard time when I look up a florist website and see an FTD standard template with 60 premade bouquets and arrangements to choose from. I really hate that to be honest. I love when I get a nice website with real photos of events they have done and a blog. (is it obvious that I am a blog freak?) I want to see their creativity and once again if they are proud of their work they post and talk about it. Also many GOOD florist will go over table top designs with you as well as all other elements of the events design. That is a time consuming process as well as the actual creating of the arrangements. So make sure you keep that in mind when you get your floral quote back. Flowers can be expensive. Most floral designers are not growing these babies in their back yard. They order them so keep in mind what time of year it is, are these flowers tropical? If so chances are they are coming from somewhere other then Ohio. Next when the designers order the flowers they do not come pre arranged. You have to pay these guys and gals to make them gorgeous. It doesn't just happen on its own. These people put hours upon hours into creating the arrangements so they are your visualization. So give them credit for that. Floral quote seem high even after taking all of the above statements into consideration? Ask the designer about using some other less expensive elements. Candles, branches, feathers, other items of texture. Many times they will rent these to you for a bit less then what peonies will cost in the dead of winter. Mix up your table arrangements, alternate flowers on one and some other object on another. Floral designers are super creative and talented people. They will help you create something that will work for you.
Beauty. I have posted on this before in a post of its own but I am hitting it again. Hair and makeup. DO A FREAKING TRIAL! These vendors expect this! I mean it is your wedding. Maybe you have never had your makeup done prior to this event. Maybe you have never had an up-do or a formal hair style. Take photos, tell them what you like! They can not read your mind. It is your hair and your face. The purpose of the trial is to TRY. Try different styles and looks till you find the one you love. Do not be afraid to ask these artists to do looks that you like. Once again, TAKE PICTURES. I know you girls search the web for hours at a time looking for wedding ideas. Print the pics you like and let them try it on you. Just because it looks amazing in the pic it may not be a style that works for you. DO you want to wait until the wedding day to find this out? NOPE.. Is the trial free you ask? Ummm no.. Some may include it in the price, many don't. Keep in mind this is time and their work that you are using from this vendor. Do you go into work for free? Heck no. So why expect anyone else to? Yes they are probably doing this because they love it. But keep in mind they are doing a JOB that they love. They also have bills to pay just like you do. One thing I would like to hit while on this specific vendor group is timing. If your wedding is at 4 don't go for your hair and makeup at 2! Chances are you will be doing photos prior to the wedding and hair and makeup take time. In my opinion the earlier you get it done the better off you will be. 4:00 wedding.. 8 AM hair 9:15 ish makeup. Those are start times if your whole bridal party is using the same person then time is essential. Your hair and makeup will last all day of if is done by someone who knows what they are doing. Once again look at websites.
That is all I am going to hit on tonight. Sorry if I seem harsh but I think brides need to know these things when trying to pick a vendor and they need to be told in a straight up manor. So there ya have it girlz and the random boi. I hope you find this helpful to some sort of degree.