Who is a wedding service provider? It’s anyone you partner with to make your dream wedding come true.
The first part of wedding planning involves selecting your wedding service providers. Think about it: In order to set a date (which is often the very first order of business), you have to decide on a venue that can either accommodate the day you have in mind or, depending on your flexibility, determine the date based on their availability. Either way, you’ll be dealing with service providers shortly after the proposal-something that’s probably brand-new territory for you and your partner.
That’s why we’ve put together the following guide to help you navigate your service provider search with ease. As you peruse our suggestions below, keep one thing in mind: Always trust your gut.
Regardless of their flawless portfolio or glowing online reviews, a service provider isn’t right for you if they don’t make you feel secure, confident, and excited about your choice. This often has nothing to do with the service provider’s work or work ethic. Just like with romantic partners, you won’t vibe with everyone—and that’s perfectly okay.
Determining if a service provider is, in fact, perfect for you should feel natural. But we know you’ll want to make this decision based on more than just a feeling.
Our tip list will give you an idea of what you need to know about selecting the best possible big-day team for your wedding.
- Know what your priorities are.
The first thing you and your partner need to do is to decide what your wedding priorities are. Are the flowers super important to you, or the location? What about food, photography, or music? Once you’ve prioritized everything, put together an overall budget before you start looking for service providers so you have a general sense of what you can allocate for each service.
- Picking the best team for your big day.
The service providers you choose for your big day could make or break your wedding. A top-notch service provider will spend all the time necessary to solidify your vision and create a plan to make your vision a reality. They’ll jump in on your big day to smooth out problems before you or your guests even realize a problem exists. When choosing your service providers, look for professionals that will work within your budget and keep your style and personality in mind.
- Carefully choose your venue first.
When you start looking for your venue, make sure they will allow you to hire whichever service providers you choose. Some venues may only let you work with specific providers. You’ll want to choose a venue that’s flexible so that you can work within your own budget and style. You don’t want to be prohibited from bringing in your own band, florist, or photographer.
Also choosing your venue first helps in narrowing down on other providers eg caterer, tents and décor/florist because of logistics.
- Be cautious of too good to be true packages/prices.
Just like with anything else, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Be sure to consider the value you’re getting for the money. For example, if a provider is only charging Ksh.50,000 while everyone else is charging Ksh.100,000, there’s probably a good reason why. They may not have much experience, their equipment could be subpar, or maybe their package only includes the basics and you’ll have to add on a lot of extras to get what you want. Look for service providers at a fair market price and consider the whole picture before you commit.
- Be sure to spend some time on their website.
A wedding service provider’s website is their chance to make a good first impression on prospective clients, so don’t dismiss it. An outdated website is not a good sign. Look for an up to date, easy to use website with great photography and solid branding. This is a competitive, creative industry and any provider you’re considering should show that on their website.
- Take advantage of Social Media.
Social media can be an extremely valuable tool when it comes to choosing your service providers. Look at the comments and reviews on their pages to see how other couples felt about their services. Once you have found a few service providers that you like in a certain category, go through your needs with each one to see who has the best value add. They should also be open to your requests and be easy to communicate with.
- Don’t be shy about asking for referrals.
Ask your friends and family for referrals. Chances are some of your friends have already gotten married—and referrals are some of the best ways to find great service providers. Don’t blindly accept your loved ones’ referrals, however—make sure their personal and wedding styles match your own. You can also get in touch with your prospective provider’s previous clients to get a sense of who they are, beyond their portfolio.
- Look for service providers that share your vision.
Don’t try to make your service providers fit into your vision. Instead, look for providers who already do what you love. For example, a florist who naturally creates tight, circular floral arrangements isn’t the florist for you if you’re going for a big, bold, overgrown look or a photographer who does posed magazine shoots isn’t going to give you moments and emotions of the day.
- Trust your gut and don’t overwhelm yourself.
If you’ve really hit it off with a service provider, mark them as a strong candidate. But if you don’t, listen to that feeling—and cut them loose.
Limiting the scope of your research is just as important. Don’t look at too many providers, start with one to three options and if you’re not loving anyone expand your search. Sometimes too many options can feel paralyzing.
- Stay within your budget.
You created your budget for a reason, but allow some flexibility without overspending keeping in mind there will be some unexpected expenses along the way. There are lots of service providers out there, so shop around until you find the one that suits your needs and budget. Be upfront with them about how much you can spend and look for a service provider that’s transparent about costs. Ask to see photos of weddings they have done that are within your price range.
How early should you start planning?
As you can see, finding the perfect service providers is going to take time. The best thing you can do is start planning early, anywhere from 9 to 12 months in advance is best. You don’t want to have to make compromises just because you’re running out of time. We hope this information on how to choose the best wedding service providers for your big day proves helpful in your wedding plans.