Hiring Professional Wedding Vendors

Leona has the honor of appearing on WBKO to speak with Tina Jennings today on MidDay Live. We will be discussing many topics, but the major focus will be on two different lists of vendors: recommended must have vendors and recommended but not necessary vendors. Everyone has a budget and these lists will allow brides to see what the importance of each vendor is.


Photographers- Your photos are the only lasting memory of your big day and if done poorly then your memories will be ruined. Professionals may seem to cost a lot but you are paying them for their time before the wedding, the day of the wedding, and the tedious time it takes after the wedding to edit the pictures and design your album. They have a multitude of backup equipment so if something goes wrong with one, they won’t have to pack up and leave. They have been trained to handle any lighting situation and still catch the raw emotion of your big day.

Venues- You need somewhere to host your celebration whether it be a tent in your back yard or a country club.

Bakers- Cakes can be a piece of art when done professionally.   They will pay attention to detail and match your event.   Many brides use their cake as their wow focal point of their reception.   Groom's cakes are fun, but not necessary.

Music- Reasons to hire a professional DJ or band rather than an IPod: They can introduce the wedding party and be the MC for the night, announcing the first dance, the beginning of the toasts, etc. It's also easier for them to pause the music and play certain songs when needed.   If you do use your IPod don't forget about a sound system and mics!

Florist- Doing arrangements yourself is not as easy as it seems!! It is time consuming and can be frustrating.   Florists pay attention to detail and everything that you have talked about prior to the event.   Also providing all the corsage and boutonniere pins!

Caterers- Time and money are the two main things I can think of here!   You want your guests to have the best experience they can have, and I always tell my brides that the ENTERTAINMENT and the SERVICE are the two items a guest will most remember.   Make sure your caterer has plenty of staff at the beginning of the reception.   How many tables will one server be over?   How many bartenders do you have?   I recommend 1 for every 50 people at the beginning because everyone is going to be at the bar filling their glass.

Transportation- You need a way to get from A to B!

Invitations- Stationary is the first thing that your guests are going to see about your wedding.   The formality of the wedding can be conveyed in the wording and the style.   The font should match everything else that is going to be printed later on, like the programs, etc.   A professional will have more options and be able to guide you towards the look you are going for.   AND you won't be overwhelmed looking through thick books!

Videography- The video is a time capsule.   It allows you to experience moments that you didn't get to during the event. Pictures are wonderful but they can't capture the speech your sister gave, or the way your dad twirled you around the dance floor and got chocked up at the end.

Wedding Planner- It isn’t as easy to plan a wedding as you think. It is overwhelming, stressful, and extremely time consuming. Hiring a wedding planner allows you to relax and enjoy being engaged. If your planner is also a designer they can take your vision and create something beautiful!   Also, wedding planners have relationships with local vendors which help you find the best vendors that fit your budget and that are going to do a great job at your event.   If you would need a plan B for any vendor, I have heard of wedding planners conjuring up some pretty amazing tasks on the spot!


Calligraphy- Just thinking about addressing 150 envelopes (times 2 if you are using inner and outer) makes anyone tired!   If you can have someone else do it for you then I would definitely opt for that.   They looks professional and beautiful and are a great way to set the tone for your wedding day.

Photo Booth- Adds extra entertainment, the pictures can be used as favors and guests enjoy to captures their own memories.

Lodging- Added benefit of being in the bridal party can be staying in a hotel or gathered at someone's house for the night before the wedding.   How great to wake up on your wedding day with all your best friends and eat brunch together.   Ladies - don't forget to eat!!!   If you have a big enough place it can allow you to get ready there and use it as a staged area before your ceremony while you are hiding out from your guests!

Dance Lessons- I love it when my couples take dance lessons.   They give you a chance to decide what dance would be best for you both, so that neither party (usually the groom) would have any stage fright.   Your guests will thank you for providing something other than swaying back and forth and it will give you both confidence to start and end your dance with a bang.

Specialty Linens- There is nothing that makes a room more than specialty linens.   I love all the different textures you can rent these days and all the different colors to match your look.   Make sure you get floor length because if you are spending money on beautiful linens you don't want to see the ugly bottom of the tables.   For a standard 60" table that seats 8 you would need a 120" linen.

Lighting- Lighting creates a mood and adds personality.   Who doesn't want their wedding to seem romantic or joyful as soon as the guests walk into the reception area??   With lights they can be used to spotlight special aspects including your cake, flowers, and dance floor. Using colored lights shining up the walls or even patterns can make beautiful backdrops, better than plain walls!

Rentals- There are so many things that you can add to your ceremony or reception area if budget will allow.   Think white crisp couches or mahogany chiavari chairs.   Special candelabras that go along better with your look or an arch that you fall in love with.   I could go on and on but that is for another post another day!