The Everything Guide to Choosing a Fabulous Wedding Vendor

Forward by Daniella: Crafting your dream team of wedding vendors is a huge undertaking! It's easy to get overwhelmend and sometimes difficult to narrow down all the things you actually need. To help make the vendor selection process easier for our couples, we teamed up with Grace from Blushing Brides to bring you the top things you should look for when choosing your vendors. These fabulous ladies have spent the last 10 years in business working with countless clients fulfilling all their wedding day beauty needs. We are thrilled to share their favorite tips with you.

So, the love of your life asked, and you said yes. That’s incredible! This is definitely the start of an exciting time full of every single emotion imaginable. It’s also a time for some serious decision making.

What kind of cake should we have?
Who should we sit next to your grumpy Uncle Gus?
Should the ceremony be at a church or on a beach?
And what about my hair, up or down?

Decisions…Decisions…Decisions…

In our ten years here at Blushing Brides, we have seen the gamut of brides. From traditional to quirky, ornate to rustic, we’ve seen it all. In fact, we’ve been the go-to hair, makeup, and nails vendor for the eastern seaboard for the past decade and have performed over 19,000 services over the years. We’ve done as many as 12 weddings in just one day and because we have a team of 21 artists, we have even flown as far as Puerto Rico to be at a bride’s side!

We’ve seen the good, the bad, and the interesting over the years and we have a lot of experience with knowing what to look for when hiring a wedding vendor.

Here are our top tips:

Get Referrals

If you absolutely loved your fiancé’s friend’s centerpieces, ask her who did them. If the cake at your cousin’s wedding was beautiful and delicious, get the digits to her cake artist. Referrals can be your best friend when it comes to planning a successful wedding. You’ve seen their work first-hand, you’ll get an accurate account of the quality of their service from your personal contact, and you might even get (or help your friend get) a referral bonus (I mean who doesn’t love a discount or free gift?). We absolutely love referrals. It’s fun to stay ‘in the family’ so to speak!

Shop Around

Who says you have to go with the ‘it’ vendor that everyone in your hometown used? If you want to pave your own way, do it! Take some time to shop around. It's super helpful to accept good advice and referrals but also be sure to look at a few different vendors who will provide the same service. Compare their prices, the product, their customer service experience, their reviews, and of course, trust your instincts. If a vendor simply feels great and has the receipts to back them up, go for it! Even if your SIL-to-be insists otherwise. Remember, this is your big day!

Read Reviews

Website reviews are helpful. Yelp, Weddingwire, and the Knot reviews are great! You want to see a vendor’s record before spending your hard-earned money with them. Unbiased reviews can help you see a full scope of the work your selected vendor does. From their customer service to their timeliness, their professionalism, and more, reviews can give you an accurate view of a company beyond the fancy sales pitches and website graphics.

Ask for a Trial Run

You don’t want any major surprises on your wedding day, so be sure to ask your vendors if they’ll provide a trial run of whatever service they’re providing. Ask to taste the meals you’ll serve your guests. Have your decorator create a mock-up of the tables. Request that the florist creates a scale version of the bouquet you will carry. And of course, always do a trial hair, lashes, nails, and makeup run. You need to see your artist’s work and you need to ‘live’ in the look for a few hours to ensure you’re comfortable and that everything stays in place. In the past 10 years, we’ve done over 1,100 trial runs with brides and their wedding parties.

Hair by Blushing Brides artist, Nicole Andrews.

Make sure your vendor LISTENS

While your vendor may have been around the bridal block a few more times than you, it’s important that you choose a vendor who truly listens to what you want. Sure, they may have ideas and suggestions and they may even put the kibosh on your grand idea to enter into the centuries-old sanctuary on a swing hanging from the rafters with a plume of smoke following you, but still, they need to listen.

There’s nothing worse than a wedding vendor with an agenda. Make sure the company you hire listens to your ideas, accommodates your needs, and isn’t pushing a plan that may be predicated on making more money or fitting into their vision, not yours. If it’s got to be their way or the highway, jump on that highway fast and take the next exit to a brand-new vendor.

Hair and makeup by Blushing Brides Owner, Grace Mahoney, photo courtesy of Karen Kelly Photography. 

Look for that ‘family’ feel

While having professional staff to run a wedding is great, you need to make sure that your vendors give off a warm and inviting feeling. No one (including you!) wants to get the cold shoulder on a day full of love and joy. While meeting with your vendors, ask them who will be coming to the venue and try to meet them in advance. If the customer service they offer doesn’t leave you feeling warm inside, seek out another vendor. One of the things we often hear from our brides is that we ‘feel like a part of the family’. Our artists make jokes, play with the kids, and even help out with errant zippers and spilled drinks when needed. Your vendors should be warm and friendly and show a good balance of expertise and friendliness.

Photo of Blushing Brides artist Nicole Andrews and her bride courtesy of Katie Kaizer Photography. 

Simplify

Sometimes, honestly, less is more. It’s wonderful to look through bridal magazines, and websites and dream of all the things that could be, but it can also be overwhelming. Overwhelming for you, for your wedding party, your fiancé, your guests and most especially your budget. It is possible to have ‘too much of a good thing’ so remember when you’re doing your research, meeting with vendors, and making plans for one of the most special and important days of your life, simplicity can go a long way.

Have Fun and Enjoy the Process

Weddings are an exciting time and we want you to enjoy every minute. This is a time to celebrate love and the coming together of two people and their families. Your vendors are your support team during these busy months. It’s their job to help alleviate the stress and burden so that you and your fiancé can truly enjoy the process.

Photo of the Blushing Brides team courtesy of Allie Revely/Allie.photo.

It’s important to have a reliable team of experts on your side. We’ve driven as many as 6 hours each way to be by a bride’s side on her big day. We’ve never canceled an appointment (in 10 years!) despite flight cancellations and fender benders (yikes!). The vendors you select, no matter how popular they may be, should make you feel like you’re the most important client on their roster. In addition to making a beautiful centerpiece, crafting an eloquent invitation, or pouring the perfect gin martini at the reception, your vendors are here for you…and they should always be taking steps to help you enjoy as much of this process as possible.

We hope these tips have helped you know what to look for in a wedding vendor. We know that this is an exciting (and sometimes scary!) time but rest assured, your day will be everything you want and more. We’re certainly rooting for you! If you are in need of a quality vendor for hair, makeup, and nails that is organized, personable, reputable, and makes you feel and look your best, please visit us at Blushing Brides to learn more or to book us for your big day!

Grace Mahoney

Grace is the Owner/Founder, CEO, & Head Artist of Blushing Brides, the preeminent and award-winning bridal hair, makeup, and nails vendor in New England. She is also the leading bridal beauty business educator in her area. Visit www.blushingbridesboston.com to learn more.

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