Larry James' CelebrateIntimateWeddings BLOG

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

10+ Tips to Help You Choose the Right Wedding Vendor!

During my interview with brides and grooms, I often get asked, what are some areas that I can skimp on and what areas are really important?

That is a question that you as the bride and groom need to think about. What is important for you on your wedding? Some people want to spend all of their money on a wonderful photographer while for others the food is important. Others only care about the quality of the favors on the guest’s tables or the disc jockey. Whatever your most important area may be. . . don’t hire anyone less than a quality vendor.

JustMarriedAlways hire the best you can afford. The vendors that you choose for your wedding ceremony and reception will be the key factor in determining just how successful your wedding will be. I can personally tell you of weddings I’ve heard about that were total disasters because the bride and groom made there choices on price alone. That is rarely ever a good idea. Choose a vendor based on past customer reviews, not on price. Choosing the cheapest pricing could prove to be disastrous.

A true professional can be accommodating to your tastes while maintaining a level of control. They should offer advice where needed and help to ensure your wedding is as stress-free as possible and runs without a hitch. You can never have too many experts in your corner!

There are two important areas of your wedding celebration where price should never be a factor. A mediocre Minister and a unenthusiastic DJ can wreak havoc at your wedding. A lackluster minister with a boring ceremony – like most of the others you’ve heard – can leave the guests cold and uninspired and if the DJ isn’t a true “entertainer” the reception can crash and burn.

Your wedding reception DJ should be considered your “Wedding Entertainment Director.” A great DJ determines whether your reception is a hit or a miss! The minister and the DJ should be the very best you can hire. I know its cliché, but you really do get what you pay for.

Perhaps the primary deciding factor should be who performs the most memorable and unique wedding ceremony for you and your guests and what other extras do they offer in their package that other ministers do not. You will enjoy the comfort and assurance of knowing you are contracting with a first-class minister who comes with professional experience, impeccable integrity, commendable references, a gentle and enthusiastic spirit and a subtle, but delightful sense of humor (hmmm, sounds like a description of Larry James). 😉

This is your very special day. It will only happen once. I would never recommend that you make your decision on price alone. There are numerous other areas that you can cut back on when the $$s are tight.

weddingplanningchecklistThere are so many choices when it comes to vendors, but having quality and reliable vendors will help to make your big day even more memorable. Here are a few helpful tips when choosing vendors.

1. Hire a wedding consultant. Planning a wedding can be a stressful and often frustrating experience. Most brides and grooms have no idea of the many wedding details that are included in the fee of a wedding consultant. You want a stress-free wedding? This is the best tip I could give you. Wedding consultants know a lot of vendors and can tell you which ones are reliable and of high quality. The time and money saved is well worth the investment.

2. Ask for vendor recommendations. While some may be less expensive than others, you want to make sure that they are reliable. Call them first and get your questions answered and if you feel comfortable with making an appointment, then meet with the vendor in person and decide whether their professionalism and personalities match your own. Get to know ‘em before you book ‘em. The more detail that you can get about a wedding service provider, the better you will feel about making an informed decision. You’ll be a much happier couple on your wedding day if you do your homework.

3. Visit vendor Websites and Blogs. Use these resources to see if vendor’s reviews are current and review the comments that others are making. Attend bridal shows and vendor “open houses.”

4. Most important: Be sure that you really connect with them, feel comfortable and compatible with them and trust them. You need to surround yourself with vendors who make you feel good on the wedding day. If a vendor’s personality doesn’t match your needs, choose someone else.

5. Make a list of all types of vendors you will need for your wedding. When you find a vendor that feels right for you, hire them! He who hesitate often loses the date to someone else. Vendors who are the best are usually the busiest. You often to not need to interview 4 or 5 vendors who do the same thing.

late6. Don’t be late for vendor appointments. It’s rude! Often vendors will have more than one wedding appointment following your appointment. Time is money for most business people. If you see you might be a little early or late, have the courtesy to call and let them know.

7. Treat your vendor with respect and you will be respected. Not only does this add to the vendor customer relationship, but it also means that a vendor will be more willing to listen to and help you with problems and areas of their services that you don’t understand.

8. Don’t wait until the last minute to begin selecting your vendors. Prioritize your wedding vendors. You need to decided which vendor needs to be booked immediately. To be certain that you can book the wedding officiant or minister you want on the date and time you want; first, choose your wedding date, second, book the wedding venue, and third, book the wedding officiant or minister. These are the vendors that are high in demand and tend to get booked quickly so you will need to reserve their services immediately. When you find a wedding vendor you really like, book ’em! Great vendors book choice dates quickly.

9. Be prepared. Go to your vendor with a list of questions to ask and a list of your expectations and priorities. You should feel free to ask the most basic of questions without feeling like you “should know” the answer. Your vendors do this all day everyday for a living and it is their job to help you understand what they can do for you and how things work. Here are a few questions you should remember to ask a Wedding Officiant.

10. If you love a vendors work and want them to develop a plan to fit your budget you have to be prepared to be flexible. If they offer to lower their fee, chances are they will have to subtract a few things from the package. You may want to cut back on the wedding favors to be able to afford a vendor you “really” want. Because of the many details involved in planning, preparing and customizing my romantic wedding ceremony, a fee quote is available ONLY after a no pressure, no obligation telephone consultation and after I have spoken with you about the numerous details of your wedding that may affect the fee. Most of my wedding appointments last about 1 1/2 hours to be sure we cover all the details.

CalendarThose of us who are busy performing ceremonies often book wedding dates as much as 9 months to 12 months and more in advance. Check Larry’s availability for your wedding or renewal of vows ceremony!

As a courtesy to the vendor, always call the vendors you interviewed and let them know your decision. Some (including me) will place a temporary courtesy “hold” on the date and if another couple calls for the same date, they will call the couple they’ve met with to determine their interest.

Copyright © 2011 – Larry James. Larry James is an award winning, non-denominational wedding officiant and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. Pre-maritial relationship coaching is available and not required. You will find more than 460 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact:, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. –

wedding-tipsNOTE: All articles, “LoveNotes” and wedding tips listed in this Wedding BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.


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