1. Bridal show. This is a popular place to find your vendors and it does have the advantage of bringing a lot of people together in one place. The drawback is that most bridal shows are crowded and your time to truly talk to a vendor is limited. Typically this is a good place to find 2 or 3 vendors to choose from and then interview them later….we do not recommend booking vendors at a bridal show.
2. Friends and family referrals. If you know someone who recently got married ask them to recommend vendors they liked…this is a great way to find a good professional.
3. Referral or quote sites. Sites like Angies List, Thumbtack, Wedding Wire, etc are good places to find vendors and get quotes. Be careful though, look for sites that do not allow the vendors they are reviewing to advertise. Angies List now gets 70% of their revenue in ad space from vendors they recommend. Our favorite site is www.thumbtack.com because you cannot pay to get reviewed or advertise.
4. Craigslist. If you are patient and can weed through the fly by night companies, craigslist can offer many options. Typically craigslist is a good place to find vendors just starting out. Because they are new it doesn’t mean they aren’t good…they just might not be established yet and will offer you a good price.
5. Online reviews. Be wary of online reviews…the saying is the “internet is the bathroom wall of the world”. Anyone can write anything without being held responsible for their words. Make sure you read all the reviews and feel free to ask a vendor about any bad reviews they may have.
6. Facebook and social media. Asking your facebook friends can be a great way to get good recommendations.
Where ever you find vendors, don’t book them sight unseen. Sit down with them, interview them, ask questions and see what they have to offer. Any vendor worth their salt wants to tell you why they are a good fit for you and won’t shy away from questions