Itâ€™s one of the most significant and emotional days of your life, and it’s your moment in the spotlight, so of course you only want the best in the business surrounding you on your big day. Here are a few practical tips to keep in mind to ensure that you cross all your Tâ€™s and dot all your Iâ€™s before signing on the dotted line.
Keep in mind that there is a vendor out there to suit every budget. Prioritize what you value most, be it dÃ©cor, food, or entertainment, and set parameters accordingly. It will make the process of selecting vendors much more objective.
Research. Once you have a budget in mind, research, research, research. Select at least three vendors in each category and let them know your specific requirements, and ask for a cost estimate.
Interview. When you have a few vendors that fit the bill, explore each one to find the vendor that suits your personal style and taste. Speak to each vendor, meet them in person, ask to see samples of their work, and of course ask for references and follow up with each one with a phone call. A great question to ask some vendors is why they got into their line of work, and what they like best about it. It will give you some insight into what they value most, and will allow you to see if its in line with what you are looking for.
Review. Once you have selected your vendors and are ready to sign a contract, be sure to outline each of the vendorâ€™s specific responsibilities as well as the payment method and plan. Avoid vendors who insist on being paid in full up front; most vendors will want an initial deposit and then the balance on the wedding day. Finally, be sure to ask the following questions:
o Are taxes and gratuities included in the price quoted? Are there any additional fees that may come up?
o Who will actually be managing your event? Will it be the lead event planner, the principal photographer, the main DJ? Be sure that the person you spoke to and approved will be the one handling everything. If the person contracted to be there cannot make it, who will come?
o If staff is required, ask how many they will bring. How will they be dressed?
o Find out if your venue will be holding any other events on the same day as yours, and whether there will be any overlap. Will you be able to see/hear the other event?
o Find out if the venue has any restrictions in terms of dÃ©cor that can be used. Ask if they plan on doing any remodeling in your event space. You donâ€™t want to fall in love with the site and then have it look different on your wedding day.
Finally, a good wedding vendor will be upfront and honest with you about their style and capabilities, and they will let their work speak for them. Go with your instincts and choose vendors that work well with your personality. After all, you will be working with them extensively for the better part of a year in most cases. And on your wedding day you want to be sure that you have people there that can carry out your vision without your supervision. â€”PRIYANKA PRAKASH
Priyanka Prakash is the founder and lead event planner of Fifth Avenue Events, a New York City based company specializing in South Asian Wedding Planning.
Photographer: Hana Ahmed
Makeup: Devan Crittendon
Styling and Clothing: Apna Andaaz
Assistance: Farah Nawaz