How to Book Vendors from a Distance for a Destination Wedding

A reception table set up on a beach at a destination wedding.

Choosing your wedding vendors is a large decision, not to mention that there are so many things to think about and consider before you sign on the dotted line with each vendor. This process may seem even more complicated and intimidating if you’re having a destination wedding and planning your event from a distance. While the idea of making these important decisions without even meeting some of these vendors may seem daunting, there are a range of steps you can take to ensure you’re making sound decisions for your big day. A complete guide to doing so is below, helping you put your fears to rest during this exciting time.

Begin the Selection Process

As you’re beginning the process of selecting your destination wedding vendors, choose a handful you like and begin speaking with them, gathering pricing information and really narrowing down your top picks. But you’re probably wondering where to even source your vendor options from. We’re breaking down some expert tips to help you find top tier vendors from a distance.

Use Social Media to Find Wedding Vendors

A young woman looking at her phone to find wedding vendors via social media.

Social media is a big part of our lives, so why not use it to make big decisions in creating your dream wedding?! To help find some solid choices for vendors, start on Instagram. After all, what better place to shop for a wedding photographer than a photography app? Try using hashtags to find what you’re looking for. For example, if you’re having in a wedding in the Bahamas, try #BahamasWeddingPhotography to discover real-life examples of vendors and their work.

If you have a venue already picked out, search via the location tag of that place to find other real-life weddings that took place there and what vendors are tagged. This is a great way to get a feel for how you want your wedding to look, particularly within the space your wedding will take place, and to find vendors that can make that happen. Think of social media as a wonderful planning and discovery tool as far as your wedding goes—because that’s exactly what it is!

Read Online Reviews

Once you’ve found some vendors you like, you’ll certainly want to read up on what others who used their services thought. Rely on popular wedding review sites to learn about their service, personalities, and pricing. Real-life reviews are a fabulous testament to the experiences real-life couples have with wedding vendors. Many people also include photos from their wedding in relation to the vendors, further making review sites a good resource. Read at least 10 to 15 reviews per vendor to get a good idea of what their work, reliability, and service is like.

Reach out to Your Top Choices

Once you’ve completed the above two steps, reach out to your top couple choices for each vendor category. You’ll want to share the date of your event and budget to find out if they’re available and whether they’re in your price range. Once you do that, you’ll have a better idea of whether or not they’re a viable option for you.

Set up Phone Calls

A young woman talking on the phone to a vendor for her destination wedding.

Set up phone calls or even video calls to better get to know your vendor choices and see if their personality matches what you’re looking for. Especially for vendors like your officiant, photographer, and videographer, you’ll want their personalities to make you feel happy and comfortable. That’s because they’ll be on-site and working closely with you that day. For such an important day, finding people to work with that fit your needs is endlessly important.

In preparation for these calls, it’s a good idea to send your inspiration for what you’re interested in ahead of time. For example, for a potential florist, make a Pinterest board of your floral preferences and inspiration for your own event and share it with them so that they can be best prepared for the call. Also, in preparation for these conversations, have a list of questions ready to ask and also have a list of your top wedding priorities thought out to make the most of the conversation. If you’re seriously considering a vendor, you also may want to ask to see an example of their contract to review before you make your decision.

Make Your Choices

Now that you’ve done your research, talked prices and availability, and have gotten to know the personalities of the vendor options, it’s time to make your choice. With all of this information, you should be well-equipped to make a knowledgeable choice, even from a distance. Inform your vendor choice in writing that you want to work with them and then retain copies of the signed contracts for your records. Also, don’t forget to give non-chosen vendors the courtesy of letting them know you went with an alternate option at this time.

As long as you follow these steps, you should be able to make great choices surrounding your destination wedding vendors as you go through the booking process, even if you’ve never met them in person!

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