So you're engaged and planning your wedding, how on earth do you decide what vendors to be a part of your day? There's so much that goes into your wedding day between the catering, cake, hair and make-up, photographer, etc. It can be a lot to figure out on your own ! That's why I put together a list of my favs and a guide to help you choose the vendors that'll be the right fit for your wedding day.
First off we'll start with choosing a florist. Depending on your wedding size and style this can be a massive part of your wedding day, but how do you choose the florist that is right for you?
To start you'll want to figure out the decorating style that you are going for and what you're envisioning for your wedding day. Look at your venue, see what the décor looks like that is already there, and then start to piece together a vision board on a site like Pinterest for what you would like your space to look like the day of.
Once you have a general idea of what you're looking for try to find a few florists whose work resembles what you're looking for. Look for things like style, do they form bouquets in the shapes that you like? Are you planning to have traditional center pieces, or something a little more modern? Scroll through hashtags on Instagram like #chicagoweddingflorist to find inspiration and different florist options for your day.
Now that you have a few options in mind start reaching out to them to see who's going to be a good fit for you. Check out their reviews to see what their previous clients experiences were like. Ask them to see a full wedding example and their portfolio including boutonnieres, table-scapes, whatever you envision for your wedding. And lastly, show them some inspiration and examples you have for your wedding day to see if they are able to provide what you're looking for.
One Of My Favs
The Local Petaler run by owner Jen Turriff is a floral designer serving the western suburbs and is based in St. Charles Illinois Specializing in custom floral design for weddings and events, The Local Petaler creates beautiful bouquets, décor and installation pieces for the weddings within the western suburbs. Their work is legitimately incredible, I highly recommend you check them out !
Hair, Extensions and Makeup
Next up we have hair and extensions. This is key to any wedding day, we all know that looking good means feeling good and that is exactly how we want you and your wedding party to feel on your wedding day.
Just like finding a florist, (and pretty much any wedding vendor on this list), you'll want to start by checking the reviews of some businesses that you're interested in. It's the quickest and easiest way to get a rough idea of what you'll be working with and how your experience will go. Along with their reviews, check out things like their Instagram and website to see a full portfolio. If you have a diverse wedding party with different skin tones and hair textures, you will want to make sure the stylist you choose has experience working with all different types of people.
Once you have your businesses that you're interested in lined up you'll want to start reaching out to them to see how they'll work with you. Talk about the vision for not just you but also your wedding party, and how many people will be involved. Is your Mother-in-law getting her hair done? Is your Grandma? You will want to have a rough number of people so your stylists can give you an accurate quote.
One of My Favs
Lindsay specializes in invisible bead extensions and bridal hair. She is SO talented and I LOVE any opportunity I have to work with her. Based in St. Charles Lindsay serves the Chicagoland area and the Chicago Suburbs. Check out her work and feel free to reach out to her if you like what you see.
Table Rental, Décor, and Balloons
Last thing before we move onto your foods, lets talk about the set up for your wedding day. Tables and chairs, balloons, other décor, whatever you're looking for you're going to want to find a vendor that can get you exactly what you want for your wedding day.
We'll start again by checking the reviews for some businesses and once you find a few that you like we can start looking into what they provide. The set up that goes into a wedding can take a lot of time and labor depending on the size you're going for. You're going to want to ask about the set up and tear down for everything that the business will provide, are these included in your service or is it something you'll have to handle yourselves?
Are there any objects from the wedding that you keep or any that you return? And if there are some that you return are you in charge of that or will the company handle it? Whether you're looking for a more hands on company or want to handle more of it yourself, make sure you find a company that fits with that want so you're all on the same page.
One of My Favs
Nicoles Magic- @nicoles_magic
Nicole does some seriously amazing balloon setups and other décor installations for weddings. I'm always down to work with her as she's super friendly and does incredible work ! Check out her Instagram for some inspiration !
Onto the foods ! First up we have one of the most essential parts to any wedding, the cake. The cake is typically a large part of most weddings so it's important to find an option that tastes good, looks good, and is good for you and your guests.
Again start of with your reviews and find a few places that seem to have what you're looking for with some positive feedback from clients. Once you've narrowed down your options you're going to want to start tasting some options, (yum !) You'll also want your cake vendor to be able to provide a cake that you like the look of since everyone will be looking at the cake at some point in the night. Lastly you'll want to make sure that your vendor of choice can accommodate any dietary restrictions that you and your wedding party/guests may have. You don't want anyone to miss out on cake time !
One of My Favs
This specialty cake shop in Bloomingdale has been in business for 11 years serving customers throughout the western suburbs. They specialize in custom desserts for events throughout the Chicagoland area. They make the cut for my list of favorite wedding vendors because they make some truly gorgeous cakes and they live up to their name being seriously delicious !
Let me tell you that while not quite as much of a focal point as the cake, deciding on the catering for your wedding is no less important. The reason your catering is so important is because it's the main meal that all of your guests will be eating. That makes it tough since you'll want to find something that as many people enjoy as possible.
Once you've started your search and you've gotten your list down to a few options through looking at reviews it's time to start trying out some of your favorites and seeing what they provide. It's good to have options at your wedding since not everyone likes the same food, so try to find a place that offers a few different plates that you like. You'll want to make sure they can provide food in line with any dietary restrictions you and your guests may have as well.
One of My Favs
El Molcajete on 3rd - elmolcajeteon3rd
I LOVE some good Mexican food, and El Molcajete has so many delicious options for you to choose from. Located in Geneva this traditional Mexican restaurant has great options for catering including 3 kinds of fajitas, 6 different tacos, and other sides specials and appetizers to choose from. I highly recommend you check them out !
Last but not least on the wedding vendors list you may want to choose a company to provide grazing boards for your wedding reception. Grazing boards are a great addition to any wedding, everyone loves snacking and most companies will provide grazing boards that add quite a bit of style to your wedding day.
Check the reviews of the options that have caught your eye. Make sure the experience is in line with what you're looking for so you can start your taste testing. Along with the taste and finding options that fit within your dietary restrictions you'll want to choose a vendor who's style fits with that of your wedding.
One of My Favs
Sage and Jam- @sageandjam
When it comes to beautiful gazing boards, nobody does it better than Sage and Jam. Delivering to the Chicagoland area Sally and Jennifer run Sage and Jam and provide both delicious and beautiful grazing boards for their clients, they're also just super cool people ! Take a look at their Instagram and you'll see exactly why they made the cut for my favorite wedding vendors list.
See what I mean when I said there's a lot that goes into a wedding and planning out your vendors? It can be seriously overwhelming if you let it. I hope this list helps you put things in perspective and know what to look for when you're choosing your vendors for your wedding day. One last tip for choosing is to ask your photographer for their help and opinions with who you should go with, they're the ones in the industry and meeting all these other vendors after all. I'm always down to help my clients in the right direction to choose vendors that best fit them, if you're interested in having me photograph your wedding check out my investments page and let's get this party started !