Finding Inspiration, Part One: SoCal

Where do you find inspiration for what you do? I find it in the smallest of places and largest of landscapes. Read on…

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Finding Your Team: Building a Wedding Vendor Taskforce One Mimosa at a Time

You just got engaged, Congratulations! You’ve officially moved your wedding Pinterest board from secret to public and the frenzy of purchasing bridal magazines is ON. So now what? Where do you even start?

You probably know who your bridesmaids and maid of honor are, but what about ALL of the vendors that will help you throw the best party of your life? This is where your TEAM comes into play. I’m talking about cherry picking a group of individuals and businesses for your dream day. The best of the best. The Professionals. 

Budget is going to play a role in this dream team, but certainly does not dominate it. You can find the right people for all types of budgets. But, knowing your budget is key. Weddings are expensive, I get it, and a lot of couples underestimate what they will be spending on all aspects of the wedding. Perhaps your parents are helping you pay or maybe you’re paying for the entire wedding yourselves, either way you’ll have a number to work off of. I could go on and on about horror stories of couple’s wanting to save money and hiring all the wrong people. Don’t hire your Aunt Bev to be your wedding photographer if she’s not a professional photographer. Don’t create your own wedding invitations if you’re not skilled in graphic design. You get my point.

One of the first bookings you make should be your venue. Both ceremony and reception as they may or may not be in the same location. Venues can book up a year plus in advance so make sure to snag your dream location(s) early. If the venue is a popular site, they’ll typically already have a Preferred Vendor list. This is a list of other vendors that they enjoy working with, do an amazing job and have a great rapport with. Do your homework, but this list could help kick-start your search for the Best!

What are your thoughts on hiring a wedding planner? I think, in my humble opinion, that this is a fantastic idea! Most of the stress and OCD overload occur during the planning process as well as the day of the wedding. Seriously, hand over the baton and let someone else do the fretting. Whether that means hiring a wedding planner throughout the entire process or just the day of, you’ll thank yourself a million times over. A minor detail gone awry can set a bride into bridezilla-mode real quick. Having a trusted planner by your side will allow for a smooth day where you are relaxed, sipping mimosas and able to soak in all of the amazing details of the day.

There are so many people you’ll need to meet with, hire and coordinate with during this process. Your wedding planner will have an amazing list of suggestions for you and will help you keep that stress-less vibe flowing. From a stationer to florals to hair and makeup to photographer to videographer to baker to car service to musicians to DJ’s to…the list goes on…are you getting stressed? Please don’t! 

If you’re going off of a recommendation, stay true to what you like, what you want and what your budget allows. Here’s the thing, just because your college roommate used this person to custom design wedding jewelry doesn’t mean you’ll love that style and should too or because your fiancé’s sister hired a jazz band for their reception doesn’t mean you should too if jazz isn’t your thing. Maybe your cousin is an amazing makeup artist, then by all means hire her! Take the suggestions that work for you and politely say thank you and move on to those you know will not be a good fit. This is YOUR day and you get to decide how that looks.

Besides a preferred vendor list from various resources, do some homework of your own. Get inspired on Pinterest and Instagram. Follow hashtags that align with your wedding dreams, style and interests. You may find a gem in a sea of creatives on your own. Just make sure they’re legit and have a portfolio that is as well polished at their Instagram account. For instance, as a stationer, I may have clients from all over the state, country or world, because technically I don’t have to meet face to face with all of my clients. If I’m working with a bride that is not local to me, we have plenty of video calls, phone calls and email chats in order to build a great relationship. I’ll also send her samples of my work and direct her to my bridal testimonials. You certainly want to hire trustworthy people. How do you know you can trust them if you don’t actually get to meet them in person? Check out reviews on their website or schedule a live video chat to see if they will be a good fit for you. With a few exceptions, most everyone else you hire will be local and you’ll get a feel for their personality via email communication or in person meetings. 

Through your searches, interviews and decision making I strongly suggest gravitating towards hiring those you are inspired by, jive with and whom you won’t be supremely annoyed with while working together for the next year or so! There are a lot of talented people out there and the world is full of crafters and creators which is why it is so important to find the ones that you enjoy most! 

Curate the most amazing day, wear that dress like no one’s business and have the time of your life.