November 12, 2020

Choosing Wedding Vendors: How to Make the Final Decision

When choosing wedding vendors, you might be struggling on how to make the final decision. Perhaps you’re torn over several vendors, or maybe just between two. Below I’ve shared my top tips to help you hire the right wedding vendors for your day.


1. Meet with Your Narrowed Selections

After you’ve contacted your potential vendors, schedule in-person consultations with your narrowed selections. If this isn’t doable, opt for Skype/FaceTime and lastly, a phone call. Email isn’t as efficient and you’ll never get to know these wonderful people only via text. As a professional, I couldn’t recommend this step more.

Bride and groom walking down a tree grove road with mountains in the background. Full Belly Farm Wedding on Martha Stewart Weddings by Cavin Elizabeth Photography 

2. Consider the Connection

How much did you click with each vendor? Did you hit it off with one and not as much the others? Were you comfortable with them? Think of it like dating. Who would you want to see again? As I mentioned earlier, this step doesn’t matter so much with rentals and vendor categories that you wouldn’t interact with much during the planning process or the wedding day.

This is incredibly important with your photographer, planner, and all of the other vendors who you’ll spend a lot of time with for your wedding. It’s vital that that connection is there, as it puts you at ease on your day.

Bride and groom smiling at each other. Bride's hair in low bun with veil. Circular ceremony arch with silver dollar eucalyptus, white dahlias and roses. Estancia La Jolla wedding shot on film by Cavin Elizabeth Photography 

3. Discern Their Value

How much value does each vendor provide? Don’t just consider their cost and services on paper. Look a little deeper at exactly what each vendor can do for you. Making you feel 100% at ease is value in itself. Value is perceived differently by everyone, so find out what’s valuable to you and who will provide the most of it for your wedding.

Groom rubbing noses with the bride. Engagement photo outfit ideas with a formal black suit and black dress. Torrey Pines beach photos on film by Cavin Elizabeth Photography. 

4. Discuss Budgets

Obviously budgets are important and you don’t want to go over-budget too much or at all. Having said that, be prepared to shift the budget or expand it slightly for a vendor you love. If that means you allocate 2% more to photography and you take away favors (which, let’s be honest, are rarely taken home by guests), then do it! You’re not limited to the formulaic budgets set by leading wedding resources. Customize it to reflect what’s most important to you and be willing to tweak it during your booking process.

Bride in a white robe and bridesmaids in soft grey robes getting ready. Wedding at Rancho Bernardo Inn. Film photo by Cavin Elizabeth Photography 

5. Imagine Your Wedding Day

Does thinking about one specific florist creating your wedding day arrangements make you feel excited and at ease? Awesome! Does the thought of DJ Johnny make you a little uneasy? Move on! Think about specific vendors in terms of how well you can positively imagine them on your wedding day.

Couple walking down the aisle after the ceremony, Ceremony on grassy lawn with white chairs, aisle arrangements with ivory, pink, and lavender arrangements, ceremony white draping with large arrangement of roses on top of the arch, Lodge at Torrey Pines wedding, film photography by Cavin Elizabeth Photography 

6. Make Your Choice

Don’t wait too long to make your final decisions. Go with your instinct and email that vendor that you’re ready to book and which package/collection/order you’d like. Get super excited to be working with your dream vendor team!

Bride in pink strapless Marchesa Notte gown holding bouquet in a cactus garden. Groom in blue suit and pink tie to match his wife. Balboa Park San Diego Anniversary Photos by Cavin Elizabeth Photography 

7. Book Quickly

Time and time again, some brides will take too long with the contract or retainer and the date will be snatched up by another bride. As vendors, we can’t wait forever or else we’d lose out on a wedding for the date. Get it done, brides!