Hi Ladies, for anyone who has recently got engaged, congratulations and welcome to the wedding wire community! I hope you find these discussions useful, I sure have since getting engaged!
I want to give some tips for interacting with venues and other vendors. You might be starting to think about who you will hire for your big day, and it can be daunting! I'll start off with venue tips, but some of them may also be applicable to other vendors.
1. Have a rough date in mind - if you don't have a date yet, you can still reach out to venues but ideally have a month/season that you want to get married in. If you have a dream venue, it's sometimes better to have a more open idea about dates so they can accommodate you. If you're more lenient with venues, it can point you towards a date if you have a rough idea.
2. Have a rough guest count - Again, the number doesn't have to be dead on, but know roughly how many people will be there, including you and your fiance. This is so you know the potential venue will be able to hold everyone.
3. Ask Questions - Wedding Wire articles give a good idea about what you should be asking venues/vendors, The link to articles is here: Wedding Wire Articles also use this time to ask about your non-negotiables.
4. Don't be afraid to have non-negotiables - these can be anything, from you need an outdoor ceremony space to wanting a specific type of flower in your bouquets. In any case, no matter the reason, these are things you need to have and if a venue/vendor can't accommodate, it might be a sign to go with someone else.
5. Don't be afraid to talk to multiple vendors for the same thing (i.e. Photography) at the same time - You are kind of a job recruiter when it comes to booking vendors, in that you are looking to hire someone for your wedding. It's totally ok and recommended to reach out to multiple vendors and get comparisons on prices, services, etc.
6. Trust your gut - If you get a feeling that a venue/vendor is sketchy, trying to take advantage of you, won't respond to your emails etc. don't be afraid to walk away!! They need your business more than you need them. This is a reason why it's good to talk to multiple vendors so if one falls apart, you can jump to the next in line. It does take some time to hear from some venues/vendors but if it's been almost a month without communication, move on!
7. It's never too early to look or even book venues/vendors - One thing I've learned, is that you can never book too early. Even if you are looking at 2020/2021 dates, you can book venues and certain vendors now. A secret I'll share with you, some venues/vendors increase their prices every year to keep up with inflation. I got my venue at 2017 prices for my 2019 wedding when I booked 2 years in advance and saved some serious money. You're also more likely to get your star venues/vendors if you book them early since they are more likely to be available.
8. It's you and your fiance's day - Don't let your parents/aunt/vendors/anyone tell you what you want! Only you two know what you want for your wedding so stick to your guns.
Sorry for the long post, but I hope this helps some people in venue/vendor searches. Wedding Wire also has a database of venues/vendors that you can go to find inspiration. Let me know if there is any other tips that I may have missed!