Q: We need to start hiring vendors for our wedding and we’re overwhelmed by all the choices. How do you recommend your clients choose a vendor that is well suited to their wedding, personality and budget?

This is a great question! An internet search and your friends and family are often the best places to start. Do you remember loving someone’s wedding pictures on Facebook or being blown away by a cake? People love to hear their guests’ rave reviews of their wedding and would likely welcome a chance to share their finds.

While word of mouth is how many wedding professionals grow their business we also spend much time online. Read wedding blogs, follow professionals on Twitter where you can get an idea of their personality and what projects they are working on. Pick up local magazines.

Narrow down the search by starting with the style and aesthetic you’re drawn to. Request vendors’ availability and pricing early in the process. Falling in love with vendors that are not available or in your price range is disappointing and counterproductive. Schedule time to meet the vendors on your list and come prepared with questions. Taste cakes, visit spaces, read testimonials, check references. If you hire one vendor you love and trust, you can ask them for recommendations.  Venues often have lists of trusted vendors who have worked at their space before, but use this as a guideline and starting point only.  Invest the time into selecting vendors that share your vision, understand your priorities, respect your goals and complement your personality. Some planners offer a la carte services and can help couples with specific tasks.  You could hire a planner solely to help you hire the right vendors.

Bottom line: follow your gut, invest in what’s important to you, and then trust your vendors to do their job well.