Overwhelmed to Organized: Practical Tips for Selecting Your Wedding Vendors

Probably one of the most overwhelming parts of planning a wedding is narrowing down your vendor list. This is the team that will bring your wedding day vision to LIFE! The industry is saturated with vendors for every style and budget which can all become incredibly overwhelming. Not only is your time valuable, but the joy of this special season is too. That is why I wanted to share a few tips for to help you get started!

Set Yourself Up for Success

Before you even begin the search, I recommend taking a moment to get organized. This will help keep you from becoming too overwhelmed when the search begins. Additionally, if it’s within your budget to hire a wedding planner, I highly recommend doing so!

Create a Wedding Email

Many couples have found that creating a wedding specific email address helps them to keep track of all the vendor emails and communication.

Create a Central Location for Notes

Personally, I found Google Sheets works great because you can share the document with your fiancé! In fact, here is a free template to get you started: Wedding Vendor Chart

Determine Priorities

Discuss the budget with your fiancé and what services are most important. List out anyone who had offered to cover specific expenses. Note any dates that are best for payment plan transactions and discuss if you want to open a rewards credit card for your wedding expenses.

Create Templates

If you plan on inquiring with a lot of vendors, having an email template can be a huge time saver. Here is a Wedding Photographer Email Template as an example. In general, the more details you can share with a vendor, the better they can assist you!

Start with Your Venue

Many vendors require a set wedding date and location in order to book or even provide an accurate quote of their services. By setting that up first, you will be able to narrow down your search to available vendors.

Beginning the Search

It’s time to start filling in your list! I recommend only adding options to your list that you LOVE and seem to fit within your budget.

Ask for Recommendations

This is the easiest place to start. If you know anyone who has gotten married within the last year or two, ask for their vendor recommendations!

Search on Social Media, Pinterest, and Google

Use search terms such as: Houston Wedding Photographer, Wedding Photographer Near Me, Wedding Photographers in Houston, Texas. Adding in those descriptive words will help narrow down the options.

When looking at wedding websites such as The Knot and WeddingWire, keep in mind that vendors must pay to have their business listed on the first several pages. Just because they are paying to be first, doesn’t always mean they are the “best” option for you. If you see a vendor you like, be sure to look through their profile, reviews, Instagram, and website.

Also, keep in mind, many vendors will require a consultation before providing you a quote. Search their website for verbiage such as “Prices start at xyz” or “Packages start at” …that will give you an idea of whether or not they are within your budget.

Ask in Bridal Groups

Facebook is filled with communities specific to helping brides with their wedding planning. If you want a quick list of vendors, these groups will not disappoint. Here is what I recommend:

Do a search for “Bride to Bride (insert city)” or “Bridal Groups Near Me”

Create seperate posts for each vendor needed. You are going to get A LOT of responses. Sorting through a variety of vendors in one post can be very overwhelming.

Include specific details in your post to help eliminate vendors who are unavailable or not within your budget. Here is a a free Bridal Group Post Template – ISO Wedding Photographer!

If you have reservations about a vendor, search the bridal group for feedback or ask questions.


    Once you have created a list of about 6-10 vendors for any category, I recommend pausing the search to pick your “Top 3” and then setting up consultations.

    What to Look for During Consultations

    Professionalism | How do they conduct themselves? Do they lead the conversation well? How do handle wedding day attire, punctuality, and problem-solving?

    Personality | Do you connect well? Do they seem to genuinely care about you and your experience? Are they taking time to listen and understand your vision?

    Experience & Work Style | This is especially important for planners, photography, and videography. You want their work style to flow with the overall vibe you want your wedding day to have.

    Portfolio | Do they show you recent examples of their work? If not, be sure to ask!

    Contracts & Insurance | This is huge. Legal, professional businesses will have these in place to protect you and the business.

    Contingency Plans | What are their backup plans if things don’t go as planned?

    Trials and Samples | Always ask what samples or trials are included with their services. Do you get a complimentary or discounted appointment for hair and makeup trial?

    Fees | Do they charge additional fees for extra time or travel.

      Rivers Light Photography is based in Houston, Texas. Ashley is passionate about capturing timelessly elegant imagery for the modern couple.

      Leave a Reply

      Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *