Black Tie Budget Bride: Choosing the Right Vendor

July 03, 2018 by Colleen White

There are a lot of reasons people say wedding planning is hard. There’s a lot of time and energy spent into planning what is supposed to be the best night of your life. One of the toughest things (for me) with wedding planning has been choosing our vendors.

Vendors are the companies and people that make everything a reality. From florists and photographers, to your venue and caterer. They provide all the necessary elements that a wedding contains.

When I first started wedding planning, I would scroll through different big name wedding websites and search what “recommended vendors” they listed on their site. Majority of them all had incredible reviews. It was rare to see anyone with below a four-star review. Needless to say, this made my planning difficult. If you have a wedding planner, this whole process is probably a lot easier. But since I am trying to pull of a black tie elegant wedding on a budget, a wedding planner was not a resource I had.

The process that worked best for me was this: I would scour through pages and pages of Baltimore wedding vendors, read their reviews carefully, browse their website and if I was still interested I would contact them. After communicating back and forth, I met a few different vendors.

It was really important for me to meet face-to-face with my vendors before hiring them because I wanted to truly know the people I was working with who would be handling all of the essentials of our wedding day. It was time consuming but honestly, it worked out so well for me.

For some services, I met a couple of different vendors and for other services I only met with one. I learned that while you may like one vendor better than the other on paper, meeting them in person can completely change your mind.

One vendor in particular, I had yet to meet in person but was pretty positive we were going to choose them. But after meeting them in person, I could tell that our visions were not in sync and that it wouldn’t be a great match. I then was able to meet with a different vendor for the same service and we meshed so well! It just proves the point that online presences can be deceiving.

While it was a tedious and time consuming process, I am happy I took the time to do the research I did. I feel so confident in the vendor team for my wedding and know that we are all on the same page. Now I just get to wait another three months until it all comes together.


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We are feeling extra giddy this year as Baltimore Bride celebrates two decades in the business. I’ve been lucky enough to be a small part of this magazine since 2006 and managing editor the past few years. read more >>

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