Top Tips On choosing The Best Wedding Vendors


The fifth step.


Top Tips On choosing The Best Wedding Vendors: We have given you the First Step to plan your perfect wedding in our ‘Bride-to-be Just Engaged and Completely overwhelmed. Read This’ (here) and the second step of ‘Guests First, Budget Second (here), our third step which is talking about the all mighty budget planning (here) and finally the 4th Steph ‘Deciding on your wedding venue is big’ (here). Now we are moving to the fifth step: Vendors. 

You may not be able to hire all the vendors for you all the things, and that’s fine. Do your due diligence. You wouldn’t hire a plumber because he “has a good vibe”, do your research! Get a contract and read the contract.

The first step is to look at vendors that you can afford to hire.

Who comes first? The photographers, officiants, DJS and so forth. Then look at vendors that can only do a limited number of weddings a day (say, caterers). Your final books should be lower cost and lower- priority items, along with vendors that can service multiple wedding one day (florists and cake bakers).

When negotiating with these vendors remember that they are small businesses and you will need to offer something in return such as, fewer services or shorter hours.

When contacting suppliers you need to include the following:

You need to give your supplier as much information as possible about your day.

In general I would include the following (DOWNLOAD THE CHECKLIST AS SEEN HERE)

  1. The day of the week and date (including year!) of your wedding
  1. The venue locations of your ceremony and reception
  1. The timing of your ceremony and reception
  1. What services you need from this supplier
  1. Your maximum number of guests attending
  1. Ask if they have a minimum spend requirement
  1. Ask for all taxes to be included
  1. Ask for any travel fees to be included
  1. Ask for their services guide

10. Ask for their booking form / and terms and conditions to review

‘[When looking at a vendor’s website.] “The voice they use tells a lot

about the couple they’re trying to attract.’- Bridechilla

Rental tips:

1. If you’re going to upgrade spend your money on nicer linen.

2. Get chairs that are comfortable

3. Order what feels like a lot of glasses (never skimp on glassware- running out of glasses can really kill a party)

4. Order extra linen so the cater can put clean linen on the table after dinner (no one wants to look at dirty stained linen)

5. Order some extra plates and utensils

6. Triple check the day, time and location for both delivery and pickup on the final invoice.

Other items you may need to rent:




Port a loo

Hiring a wedding planner:

Hire a wedding planner if you or your partner work sixty hours a week and simply don’t have time to plan this thing. You can afford a wedding planner if you can reserve 10 per cent of your budget. The wedding planner will be in charge of finding a venue, hiring vendors, sourcing rental items, buying or creating décor items, creating planning timelines, creating day of timelines and creating floor plans.

Hiring a Day-Of-Coordinator

This person will assist a month before the wedding and will review vendor and venue details, create a day of timeline, come with you for a venue walk through, confirm all vendors, run a rehearsal and manage the day of the wedding.


Fee includes being present on your wedding day and organizing/submitting all legal documents PA + Microphone provided by the celebrant and included in their pricing PA + Microphone provided by the celebrant but at an additional cost PA + Microphone must be supplied by couple A number of face-to-face meetings usually included; extra meetings charged at additional fee Additional fees charged if they are required to purchase an outfit that suits couples dress code Travel fees may apply



1 or 2 photographers (also known as a second shooter) Photography coverage charged by the hour and/or you choose from packages that include a number of hours Some photographers offer unlimited coverage hours (also known as all day coverage).

Some photographers limit their coverage until the start of your reception. Additional fees will apply if you want to extend coverage into your reception. Some photographers charge extra fees after certain times: such as 9pm, 10pm or 11pm Some photographers offer editing (ie: photoshopping) on all images Some photographers offer editing on only a selection of images (you may get to choose or the photographer will choose for you).

Some photographers who use film won’t offer editing at all.

All photos may be provided to you in both colour and black and white.

Some photographers will provide all photos in colour, but only a selection of photos in black and white Photos are provided in an online slideshow.

Photos are provided in low-resolution digital format (ie: web images for Facebook etc.) 

Photos are provided in high-resolution digital format (ie: printable images) Albums, fine prints or canvas prints Some photographers may also have an online portal where you, your friends and family can go online and purchase high-resolutions photos to organise your own prints. Some photographers offer a ‘real-life photobooth’ where they set up a backdrop and camera on a tripod Travel fees may apply to your area.



1 or 2 videographers Most videographers provide you with a final edited film.

Some videographers also provide you with a raw copy of the film (ie: all the footage unedited) Length of the final edited video will impact cost (not all videographers will offer you a choice in how long the final edit is).

The number of hours the videographers works is usually determined by the length of edited video you choose but this may differ Videographer may use more than one camera to film the day.

Film image may be photoshopped as well as edited down in length. Videographer may record audio only from the camera (lower quality). Videographer may record audio using a line in to the PA system being used (PA may be provided by your celebrant or your venues). Groom will be required to wear a lapel microphone during ceremony to capture audio (higher quality). Videographer should have purchased the copyright to songs used in your final film edit. If not the songs used


M U S I C I A N S, D J A N D / O R M C

Charged by the hour and/or packages with additional hours that can be purchased Most Musicians/DJ include all sound equipment in their standard cost, sometimes microphone also included Some Musicians/DJ include lighting setup within their standard costs Some Musicians/DJ lighting equipment, PA systems or microphones can be hired at additional costs Some Musicians/DJs will offer MC duties at an additional cost Some DJs will also offer a combined DJ/MC package Travel fees may apply



Some florists offer set bouquet packages/ set bouquet costs based on the size of bouquet (small, medium, large); your choice of flowers is included Some florists custom quote bouquets based on the size and flowers you want Most florists custom quote on all other arrangements such as table centerpieces, floral arches, cake decorations based on size of the arrangement and flowers you want Some florists have a hire range (vases, props etc) available to hire at additional charge Delivery and setup/installation fees may apply Most florists will speak with you the week of to finalise the flowers to use in your set up (based on what is available that week)



Some stationary designers will offer one concept with a set number of changes included Some stationary designers will offer multiple concepts for you to choose from with a set number of changes included Further changes charged at additional cost Some stationary designers include printing cost in overall quote Some stationary designers printing is charged at an additional cost Some stationary designers do not offer printing, you are required to arrange this yourself Hand designs will impact costs (calligraphy, hand drawn designs/sketches)



Rather than seeking a supplier quote, this will require you to do some retail research and compile the cost of purchasing items outright, or purchasing the materials to make them. Unlike all your other research, this research is going to be compiled in your ‘DIY Projects Estimate’ tab of your wedding workbook.


For purchasing items be sure to factor in:

  • the purchase price
  • shipping price (if buying online)
  • cost of transporting to and from your venues
  • cost of paying someone to set it up/pack it up for you
  • plus the time it will take to arrive to you (not a financial cost but certainly a stress!)

If making from scratch be sure to also factor in:

  • all the materials the items consist of (for example with a chalkboard you would need MDF board, undercoat paint, blackboard paint, chalk)
  • all the tools you require to build the item (eg: paint brushes x 2, paint holder x 2)
  • any accessories you might still need to purchase/hire to complete the item (eg: an easel for the chalkboard to sit on) or accessories to transport the item (eg: buckets to fill with water and hold your DIY flowers)
  • and if it is a wedding favour, base these figures on the maximum number of people you are intending to invite.

Your final styling option is to do it yourself.

Rather than seeking a supplier quote, this will require you to do some retail research and compile the cost of purchasing items outright, or purchasing the materials to make them.

Unlike all your other research, this research is going to be compiled in your ‘DIY Projects Estimate’ tab of your wedding workbook.





To secure your suppliers you will likely be asked to do one of the following:

  • sign and return a contract plus pay a deposit
  • fill out a booking form via the suppliers website plus pay a deposit
  • or read their terms and conditions then pay a deposit

Remember our discussion about contracts from phase two. Read them in full and ensure you understand exactly the service and conditions you are agreeing to.