Four Key Vendor Decisions

Wedding Blog

Wedding planning insights from the experts.

Four Key Vendor Decisions

Jamie McGregor

After choosing your dream location, you’ll need to turn your attention to the other four vendors crucial to making sure your wedding day goes better than planned. When thinking about who you want to hire, consider the following tidbits to help narrow your focus.


1. DJ or Band?

If you prefer a band that plays all your favorites, make sure you also hire a Master of Ceremonies or emcee. Chances are the person you hire for his or her heart-melting vocals is better off sticking to song lyrics than making important announcements. Pacing your reception—and knowing when to make those announcements—is an important job entrusted to someone able to maintain the event’s overall flow with ease and professional decorum.


2. Interview your DJ

A DJ is one of the most important vendors you’ll hire for your wedding, and you want to make sure you know what you’re getting. Asking how they handle a slow-to-dance crowd, if they play the “chicken dance,” and if they’ve ever asked guests to kiss the person sitting to their left are all good markers for determining if he or she is someone you want to work with.


3. Past Experience

A good question to ask potential DJs is if he or she has worked with your venue before or knows the event team there. On such an important day, it’s critical that all vendors work together with professional ease. One way to narrow the search is to request the wedding staff at your venue if they have a preferred vendor list to share.

1. The Importance of Style

Making sure your photographer’s style is one you’ll like thirty years from now will go a long way to preventing future heartache. Remember that trends come and go; you’ll want someone who shoots in a traditional manner as well.

2. Hire Someone Who Shoots Weddings

Don’t make the same mistake I did: For my own wedding, I hired the daughter of a friend at a great rate (she claimed to have done a wedding or two in the past), and all the photos of me are cut off at the knees. I ended up with no shots of the train or hem detail on the dress, and hugely disappointed. Even if it’s a budget-stretch, make sure to hire someone with extensive wedding experience—you’ll be glad you did.

1. Repurpose

In addition to using seasonal flowers for your ceremony, ask your florist if they can find creative ways to repurpose them for the reception. Questions to ask are if they can easily be moved, and if there are extra charges to have someone stay to do that.



All those flowers you see in magazines that you love? Cut them out and bring them to the florist to kick start your brainstorming session! Better yet, start a board on Pinterest to log into during your meeting—your florist will love it.




1. While you can choose to have a tiered cake, cupcakes, or a sheetcake, most couples prefer a traditional cake to make that symbolically important “cut.” How the cake is created is what determines the budget. Sometimes the base of the cake is fake, and only the topper is real. Staff will keep a sheet cake in the kitchen to serve guests, and no one is the wiser as to where you purchased it—be it Costco, Albertsons, or a local bakery.  

2. Fondant or Buttercream?

Fondant—that thick, hard icing—won’t be eaten by most guests, whose taste buds more likely prefer a buttercream frosting. While fondant cakes are often more expensive, buttercream doesn’t hold up well on a hot, sunny day. If feeling daunted by the choices, ask yourself what you as a couple prefer, and you won’t go wrong.


Remember: The more you know your vendors, the more relaxed you’ll feel on your big day. Turn to friends and family for referrals, conduct some online research, and when the time comes, don’t be afraid to ask relevant questions—if they’re quality vendors, they’ll thank you for it.

Photo by Flowers by Meredith.