May 21, 2024

Your Wedding Vendors Checklist – How to Find & Choose Wedding Vendors for Your Big Day!


I am a destination wedding + elopement photographer based in the Midwest but open to traveling anywhere your love story might take me! Thanks for being here on my little corner of the internet, stick around a while!



As a wedding photographer and someone who is planning her own wedding right now, I know how overwhelming but also very exciting this process can be. One of the biggest decisions you’ll have to make is choosing your dream team of wedding vendors. Having a great team to support you and make the magic happen can really make or break your wedding day. That’s why I’ve prepared a wedding vendors checklist! It’s here to guide you through picking the absolute best team so your day can be as relaxed and joyful as possible!

Choosing Your Wedding Venue

Okay, before we dive into vendors, I wanted to talk about choosing your wedding venue. Your venue sets the entire vibe for your big day, and yes, it can totally make or break your photos. It will be the backdrop to your ceremony photos, if you have the ceremony and reception at the same location. The venue’s grounds will be the backdrop to your couple’s portraits and ALL the other photos, and of course, all the celebrating you’ll have captured during the reception.

So think about the style you’re going for and whether the venue fits the theme. I also recommend choosing a venue with good natural light! You’ll want to ask about guest capacity parking, noise restrictions, and if they have any décor rules. And also definitely visit the venue in person, too, if possible!

bride and groom first dance

Finding Your Photographer & Videographer

Choosing a photographer and a videographer isn’t just about liking their portfolio and style – it’s also about liking them as people! You’ll spend a lot of your wedding day with them, so it’s important to find someone whose values align & personality matches with yours. Meet with them, chat over coffee or a video call, and make sure you feel comfortable and excited about how they’ll be part of your day!

When you’re choosing your photographer, make sure you understand and love their photography style. Most photographers will only edit images in the style you see on their portfolio, so make sure you like their art! Also always ask what’s included in their services, so you know what to expect, what the turn around time is and what add-ons you could get!

Support Local Businesses for the Details

For things like florals, stationery, rings, and other details, consider hiring local vendors! Not only are you supporting small businesses (yay!), but you’ll likely get more personalized service. With all the vendors, make sure you ask to see their portfolio and check out any reviews!

When you’re choosing your florist, share your color scheme and vision with them. Also discuss your budget and see what decoration and floral options they can offer you. You should also see if they offer rentals (you might need the vases, arches, etc.)

When it comes to stationary, things like invites, menus, save-the-dates, find a designer you love, and discuss their timelines! You also want to clarify their process and how much input you have, so your vision comes to life and matches the vibe of the rest of your wedding.

Choosing Your Caterer

Food is another important part of your wedding day, because fed guests are happy guests! Choose a caterer who uses fresh, local ingredients and can adapt their menu to suit your dietary needs and preferences. Schedule tastings with potential caters to make sure the menu tastes as good as it sounds. Make sure you discuss any dietary restrictions and whether they offer kid-friendly options, as well.

You should also get quotes for their bar service or dessert stations, if you’re not booking those separately. Some venues already offer an on-site catering service, so double check with the venue whether they offer that, and whether you can still bring your own caterer, if you’d like.

black and white candid bride and groom kiss

Finding the Best Entertainment

Whether it’s a DJ or a live band, make sure they can set the mood and get everyone up and dancing! If you have kids at the wedding, consider hiring kids’ entertainers so your littlest guests would have fun and their parents could relax a bit too!

When hiring a DJ, check whether you can get a sample playlist, whether they take song requests, and also ask whether they’d act as the emcee to keep the event flowing!

Consider Hiring a Wedding Planner

Hiring a wedding planner is one of the best investments you can make for your big day to make sure the planning process and the day of the wedding is as stress-free for you as possible.

A great planner will be your right hand from the moment you get engaged. They’ll help you envision your perfect celebration and take care of the rest of the wedding vendors checklist, helping you find vendors that aligns with your style and budget. They manage all the nitty-gritty details, things you might miss, and they are especially important on the day of. With a good wedding planner, you won’t even know if things are not going as planned, because they are on top of everything for you!

Featured Wedding in the Blog: Bailey & Mason

Bailey and Mason had a gorgeous spring wedding day at Prairie Winds Event Center in Orange City, IA. I love capturing couples madly in love, and their love for each other really shone through in every photo. The elegant spring aesthetic to their wedding day was so beautiful, from the florals (from an amazing local flower farm – Holland Flower Farm) to the green bridesmaid dresses. Their celebration was full of love and laughter, and it was so much fun to be there to capture it!

Dress: Chrysalis Bridal Salon

Jewelry: Pat’s Jewelry Centre

I Hope This Wedding Vendors Checklist Has Been Helpful!

I hope these tips help you feel more prepared and excited about choosing your wedding vendors. Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions and go with your gut!

If you’re still looking for your dream wedding photographer to tick off your wedding vendors checklist, and you’re considering me, YAY! I’d love to meet you! You can learn more about me here! If it sounds like I’d be the perfect photographer for you, then inquire with me here. In the meantime, discover more tips and tricks and beautiful sessions on the blog!

Cassie Beth Photography | Destination Wedding Photographer