When it comes time to plan for your special event, things can get a little crazy. Finding vendors who will make your event unforgettable and at a fair price is important. But with so many different options available, it can be difficult to know where to even start. Take a look at the five most important things to look for in a vendor!
Use our vendor platform to find local vendors, complete with contact information, pictures, reviews, and more. Once you have a list of potential vendors to compare, you can begin the selection process.
Schedule appointments with the most popular vendors as soon as possible. You can determine this by calling them and asking for their availability. You can also contact local vendors through a form right on mipadrino.com/vendors/!
If possible, try to meet the vendors in person. This way you can get a better sense of who they are and how they conduct business. Also, try to dress well and be on time to any meetings, in person or otherwise. This way you show the vendor that you respect their time.
Set a budget in advance.
Even if it is not the final budget, it is always a good idea to have at least a range you feel comfortable with. This way you don’t fall in love with vendors that are out of your price range or can’t accommodate your event size. As you comparison shop, you will get a better idea of how much the whole event is going to cost you.
Find out what you like and dislike! Do you want an amazing DJ? An out-of-this-world cake? Quality pictures that you will look back on for years to come? You may have to pick and choose if your budget doesn’t allow the best type of each vendor.
How attentive is the vendor?
While comparing vendors, pay attention to how the vendors respond to you. Are they quick to respond? 24-72 hours is a fair response time, you don’t want to wait a whole week for a response. You want to work with vendors who consider you a priority.
Do they ask enough questions to find out what you really are looking for in your event? Pick a vendor you feel comfortable working with. Don’t pick a vendor with a personality that you can’t work with.
Ask for client referrals.
Ask the vendors for contact information for recent clients who can vouch for their services. Many vendors work together in a given region. Ask vendors you have already booked if they have worked with someone before and see what they have to say. You may get a discounted rate!
You don’t always get what you pay for. A $3,000 photographer might do okay work, while the $1,000 photographer could take pictures that blow you away. This is why it’s important to talk to previous clients or look through previous work.
Get everything in writing!
As a paying customer you have a right to know what is included in the final price. The vendor should itemize everything for you. For example, if you know that you want orchids, garden roses and hydrangea in your centerpieces, then all of that should be listed by the florist. If you think this is a little over the top, don’t worry: this protects you if the items you requested are not provided and/or if there is a dispute.
When looking through the contract, ask for clarification if anything seems unclear. Make sure to double check late fees in case your event runs later than expected at the venue. Read the whole contract!
Don’t be afraid to negotiate.
You never know unless you ask. However, don’t ask first thing for discounts or lower prices. Develop a relationship with the vendor and then talk to them about how their services can fit in your budget. Ask your vendor, “I really love your work, is there anyway we can get the budget closer to $____?”. See if there is anything you and your vendor can do creatively to bring the price down, such as having you do the set-up and tear down.