Hello friends! Today’s blog is for everyone planning a wedding and who are still in need of vendors! I know it’s hard to find exactly what you’re looking for, especially on a certain budget, and I know a lot of you head to Facebook pages to find these things! It’s hard asking what you want on public pages, and it’s hard wording it to get the attention of the people you want. I totally get that! So I am here to help you figure out how to ask and get what you’re looking for!
I think most of the time a bride or groom might have two vendors that they know for sure they want. For example, you might have the venue you definitely want and know the photographer you have to have! And then they don’t have specifics for the rest of the plans. My biggest advice to you all when putting together your wedding budget is to sit down together and each say your top 3 things that matter the most to you on your wedding day. Then once you do that, help each other during your planning process achieve those goals! So, for instance, my top 3 things for my wedding were a killer DJ, the biggest veil, and a place for all of our bridesmaids and groomsmen to stay the night before and after the wedding. We made those our priorities, and didn’t worry too much about everything else so they could be more on a budget.
A lot of people head to Facebook wedding pages to get ideas and opinions for vendors. And I am constantly on all the pages I know, trying to give out my recommendations of people that I love and trust. But while I do that, I see a ton of things that could change and that I could help you in how people write posts to help actually grab the right vendor for you!
The biggest mistake I see over and over again is when people say “reasonably priced” when they post on community boards. I have no idea what “reasonable” is to you. I pay $55 for a shampoo bottle because it’s the only thing that can tame my hair. But then, I know some people hear $55 for shampoo and scream “ARE YOU KIDDING?!” So, for me that is reasonable, because I’ve tried everything else below that mark and it doesn’t work for me and that is why I have chosen to pay $55 for shampoo. Then I decide to skip getting my nails done and just do them myself so I can afford the shampoo. Give and take! Find what is reasonable for you, and what you are willing to pay a little extra on!
So, when you post asking and looking for your certain vendor, make sure you say how much you are willing to pay for the product you are looking for. Then people who see the post can truly help you find someone that is in your price point instead of you wasting all of your time, and others, emailing people then receiving super high price points.
Things that you should see and do in every single one of these posts are always: the venue, the date, and the budget you are trying to stay under because that truly is the best way to get what you are looking for.
What I see people post: “Hey I just got engaged and we are looking for a wedding venue that is reasonably priced!” That doesn’t give me or anyone else any helpful information to help you out!
Try to add in the vibe that you want for a venue! For example: Rustic and barn, banquet hall, house of worship, country club, hotel or resort, historical venue or monument, restaurant, botanical garden or arbor, treehouse, national park, museum, heavily forested, etc!
Also I suggest you add in how many guests you are wanting in that venue and time of year you are thinking! You could also let people know if you are wanting lodging included, a getting ready space included, and if you need any special accessibility options. The more you say, the more you will be helped!
This is a great post by a bride and groom looking for recommendations:
“It’s our turn! I’m a wedding photographer so the look and feel of the venue is extremely important to me. I’d prefer clean/modern, white and black with natural wood tones, and good light. My fiancé and I are looking for a venue with on-site lodging (preferably cabins). Most of our guests would want their own space – no large house with several beds in a room or anything like that please! We’ll have 30-40 guests, all traveling. Mountain views are a must! We’ve checked out Sage lodge, Copper Rose, 320 guest ranch and a few others but the rooms/cabins are out of budget for most of our guests. Waiting on a response for Chico and Rainbow Ranch, which seem to have a bit more affordable lodging. I would love any suggestions for venues west of Billings!”
PHOTOGRAPHY and VIDEOGRAPHY:
Please remember that a lot of times, all you have after your wedding day to tangibly hold onto are your wedding photos. You will be showing your future family these pictures the rest of your life! Photography is also a tricky one where if you put a post on a Facebook group looking for a photographer, you will get a LOT of hits from people selling their business to you. So, it’s best to be as specific as possible to make sure that you get what you want!
The words to use to explain the different kinds of photography: Photojournalist, Classic and Timeless, Dark and Moody, Vintage, Fine Art, Black and White, Warm, Studio, Editorial, Film. etc. Feel free to add these words into a google search like, “dark and moody wedding photography” to see if it’s your style. If it isn’t, keep searching!
I also suggest to tell people a small piece of what you think the most important thing to capture is in your post. Maybe you really want a lot of candid’s, maybe you’d like to make sure you get a ton of pictures of your children, or that someone knows how to pose same sex couples, or get your skin tone correct, or that they know how to work in really dark spaces with flash, or we are having a religious ceremony and really want someone that will respect that. All of this matters and is incredibly important while looking for the right person to capture your special day!!
An example of a post that is going to get you a thousand comments from any and every one: “Getting married on June 3rd 2023 and I’m looking for a photographer.” That does nothing for you, and you’ll end up wasting time going through comments you don’t need to go through.
An example of a great post to find what you are looking for: “Looking for a photographer for our June 3, 2023 wedding in downtown Bozeman, MT. We are looking for a modern high-contrast style, and would love to find someone who does film or direct flash photos. (photo is our photography mood board) My fiancée is also a bit camera shy so I would really appreciate recommendations for photographers who can help coach and pose us.” BE SPECIFIC! IT WILL MAKE EVERYTHING EASIER FOR YOU! 🙂
HAIR AND MAKEUP
I think the best way to find your style for your wedding hair and makeup will be on Pinterest. Go ahead and get on the app, search wedding hair and makeup, then put in your hair type and there will be a style portion. Start going through them all and see if you like the overall feel of one versus another. There are so many options including: Boho, minimalist, glam, vintage, classy, funky, casual, elegant, fun, etc.
Just know that a lot of hair and makeup artists won’t be able to your venue if it is ONLY the bride looking to get her hair and makeup done. It costs so much more for them to get all their stuff there for just one person. So maybe ask if your bridal party are also interested in getting theirs done too. If they do, your stylist is more likely to come to you! If not, you might have to go to their salon on the morning of the wedding and get it done there.
An example of a post that is not helpful: “Looking for a hair and makeup artist who is available for September 17, 2022 wedding in Paradise valley for around 8 ladies.”
When you are asking on Facebook groups for a hair and makeup I think the best thing to say is: “Hey, I am getting married on September 17th 2022 at Bodhi Farms. I am looking for a hair and makeup artist to come to Bodhi Farms that morning, and do hair and makeup for the bride, four bridesmaids, two moms, and one flower girl. I have coily hair and am looking for a minimalist up-do with a veil. I have some acne scaring, so I am looking for someone who has experience and past work to show me how they helped cover that up on a wedding day. I would love to for a glam makeup look with a red lip.” BAM.
(Also, a quick tip, they go by HMA!)
I actually think finding a florist is sometimes the hardest one to ask about, because we all agree that flowers are beautiful, but we normally have no idea which ones are in season during a wedding, what flowers we like, and what our floral style is. I had never thought about this before mine!
So, this a great one to build a small mood board with so you can post it with your request for a vendor! Really get into the details of everything you are wanting. Are you barebones? “I just need 4 groomsmen boutonnieres, 4 bridesmaids’ bouquets, a bridal bouquet, and corsages for two moms.” Or do you want flowers on your arch, and some flower girl petals? Maybe you’d like table center pieces for 20 tables, or a cake topper of flowers? There are so many options and things to think about for this one!
Maybe you are going the DIY way of ordering from Costco or a local farm, so you could always ask if there any floral arranging classes for you to take too?
Example of what NOT to do when posting: “Getting married on July 2nd 2022 at Camelot we want a reasonably priced florist”
Best way: “We are getting married July 2nd 2022 at the Camelot Ranch, and we are looking for a bright color pallet (see the mood board connected) for 3 bridesmaids and groomsmen, some arch decoration, and flower petals for the flower girl. I would love to include some lillies in memory of my grandmother. We are trying to stay under $5,000. Let me know your recommendations please!”
I’m always pretty surprised how nonchalant people are with who they want to marry them on Facebook. I know that you’re just trying to be legal, but this person is facilitating your big day! They can really make it or break it in my opinion! This is the person who is MARRYING YOU! Be picky and specific!
What I normally see when people post: “I am looking for a wedding officiant for Thursday, March 3 at 3:00 pm at Hyalite Canyon. If you are interested and available, please PM me. Thank you in advance.”
How to get the best candidate for you: ” We are getting married on March 3rd in Hyalite canyon. We are coming from out of state and would love to have a small consultation before to meet our officiant so we can get to know them, while also having the wedding ceremony. We would love a blend of humor and a reminder to really take everything in. We are not too terribly religious anymore, but I love the 1st Corinthians verse! If you have any ideas on who could blend all those things together we would love them to email us at …..”
DESSERT and TREATS
Desserts and treats are a very popular ask on Facebook groups! There are so many ways you can go now with desserts and treats! I highly suggest telling the group what the dream has always been for you! Is it a three-layer cake that is hand painted? Homemade pop-tarts? S’mores? A specific pie for you then little baby pies for everyone? And so much more! Please cater this to what you and your partner want. Don’t just do a cake because it’s the traditional thing to do. If you don’t want a cake, don’t do a cake. No biggie! Your day, your treats. Make sure you love your sweet treat. This is also a great time to bring up if you have any allergies you are worried about, or if you are gluten free or celiac. Some bakers have their certain niche of baking!
An example of a good post for this one: “Hi all! We’re having a ceremony in Belgrade, MT on 7/26/2024, and we’re looking for someone to make our cake and desserts! My wife and I live in New Mexico, but since she’s from Montana, and it’s so incredibly beautiful there, that’s where we will be having our ceremony. We are going to be in the Bozeman area in early August, and would appreciate recommendations so we can try to schedule cake testings’ while we’re there!”
It would also be good to add in there if you do have any specific desires you already know you want!
Wedding Planner or Day of Coordination
Holy cats you guys! I just cannot believe that we are all trusted to just plan an event with all of our loved ones! It can become a part time job so quickly to plan a wedding! I feel you! I highly suggest having someone on your wedding day to be the go to questioner answerer so that you can enjoy your day. A wedding planner will be helping you thorough all the choices before your wedding day, while also contacting vendors in your budget, and being there on your wedding day to help move the day along. If that is too far out of your budget a lot of people get a day of coordinator! They will have a quick meeting with you a month or two before your wedding and get downloaded with everything that you have planned. Then they normally show up at your rehersal dinner and help you line everyone up and run you through what the ceremony will look like. Then on the wedding day will be your go to person to moving the wedding day along, and fielding all the dumb questions.
Make sure to throw in what kind of coordination you are looking for, how much your guest count is, and where it is.
Not the best: ISO Day Of Coordinator for July 6th 2023 (a thursday) at Y Knot Barn in Pony. We are looking for someone who offers small packages. We will be doing all our own set-up the day before.
Real post that is so helpful: ” ISO a Day-of-Coordinator for my upcoming wedding. The coordinator I originally booked is no longer available so I’m once again on the hunt! Open to somebody new to the industry and looking to build out their portfolio. Trying to stay within my original budget as I’ve booked all of my other vendors based on the price my original coordinator was charging.
Date: Thursday, August 24
Location: Copper Rose Ranch, Livingston MT
Est. Guest Count: 25
I hope this helps you all! I just want your time to not be wasted since you already have so much to do! Be very specific and make sure you talk about what you really want and need before going out there to ask others. Good luck!!