So, you are engaged and are starting to plan your dream day. For most brides this can be very daunting. Choosing the perfect wedding vendors are very important. Your vendors are the experts who will bring your wedding vision to fruition — but with so many different options available, it can be difficult to know where to even start. Here are a few tips when choosing your wedding vendors:

1. Do your homework with your fiancé and set a ballpark budget in advance.

Set your budget and the number of guests first so that you don't fall in love with a venue or vendors that are out of your price range or can't accommodate the size of your group. Even if you do end up spending a little more than you had anticipated, it's better to lay out your expectations in private. You don't want to put yourselves in an awkward situation where one of you wants to book but the other is concerned about cash flow, and you're arguing about it in front of the wedding planner, DJ, or whomever. As you comparison shop, you'll get a much clearer picture of how much this is all going to cost you. It's also important to discuss your major likes and dislikes. That way, you're both on the same page about what your must-haves are.

2. Determine if your personalities mesh well.

Let's say that you and your fiancé evaluate their work and find that it's top-notch and in line with your wedding style. Great! Another not-so-obvious consideration is whether you have chemistry with this person. You'll be entrusting them with an important service (not to mention the significant monetary costs involved), so it's crucial to be comfortable around them. Remember, you'll be interacting with them on what will likely be the most emotional day of your life, so you want someone who will be able to put you at ease, not stress you out even more.

3. Ask for client referrals.

The old adage of "you get what you pay for" isn't always necessarily true. This is where other brides' testimonials come in! Ask vendors to provide contact info for recent clients who can vouch for their services. Don't forget to pay it forward when you're married by writing glowing reviews, along with thank-you notes, for those who went above and beyond to make your big day special. Since many vendors work closely together in a given region, you could also ask others you've already booked if they've worked with this particular person before and if they would recommend them.

4. Get everything that's included in writing, down to the smallest detail.

In order to truly understand what's included in a quoted 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. Although this might sound slightly over-the-top, this information will safeguard you in the event of a dispute or in case the items you requested aren't available during that time because of unforeseen issues. When reviewing the contract, look out for any hidden costs (wording such as "additional costs may be incurred" and "plus the cost of setup and delivery" are dead giveaways). Ask for clarification if anything is unclear. You'll also need to know their policy on late fees in case the ceremony or reception runs later than you expected.

Once you have your dream team of vendors in place, give them clear directions and let them do their jobs while you enjoy your loved ones, and more importantly, the beginning of your new life with your partner. Happy planning!

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