TLIC’s Guide to Selecting Your Wedding Vendors

TLIC’s Guide to Selecting Your Wedding Vendors

Table of Contents

the role your vendors play

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The secret to a perfect wedding is to put together the best team of wedding professionals to work their wedding-day magic behind the scenes. 


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wedding planner

It can be very stressful to plan a wedding. There are so many choices to be made and details to take into account. If your budget allows, working with a professional wedding planner will relieve you of a lot of work and stress, allowing you to relax and enjoy the journey of wedding planning. To ensure your are choosing the best wedding planner for your special day, here are five questions to ask: 

  • Is my wedding date available? 
  • What type of wedding planning services do you offer? / How many meetings will we have?
  • Can you work with our budget?
  • If I work with your company, will the planning and design process be collaborative?
  • Can you walk us through the process of selecting other vendors and how we would be involved?

BONUS TIP: By hiring a wedding planner for your wedding, you will gain access to their extensive network of other qualified wedding professionals that they have strong ties with. Their recommended list will contain the vendors they have not only collaborated with before, but also invested their time in building a strong relationship. Your planner trusts this vendor enough to put their reputation behind who they are and the service they will provide for your big day. Ask your wedding planner about the selection process and how they recommend the vendors who will work best for your wedding.

floral & decor

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The flowers you select—along with the florist you hire—will play a significant role in creating one of the most stunning visuals of your wedding day. There are countless options when it comes to your wedding flowers from your bouquet and your ceremony decor to your reception centerpieces. It’s important to find a florist who shares your vision and whose design style matches what you are dreaming of for your wedding day. 

To make sure you are selecting the perfect flowers and the best setup arrangement for your wedding, before signing a contract, ask the following questions:

  • How do you put together a flower proposal or mood board?
  • Will my flowers be in season for my wedding?
  • Do you deliver and set up the flowers?
  • Do you charge any extra fees?
  • Do you have photos and references so I can view your floral style?


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Also at the top of the biggest budget regrets is guest favors. This may surprise you, however, they are expensive and (as many couples admitted) not worth it. Small wedding trinkets and presents for your guests are a thoughtful way to show your appreciation to those who came to celebrate your wonderful day with you.

Many of your guests will forget to take their special favor home, which results in a large amount of leftovers and wasted money. Instead, giving your visitors a memorable experience is priceless!


hair & make-up


Those tiny accessories and jewelry items can add up quickly, especially if you only intend to wear them for that one special day.

So many brides regret spending so much money on jewelry (and shoes!) and advise choosing something that you can wear multiple times instead.

Another choice is to borrow one or two particular items from a close friend or family member to represent the customary “something borrowed” concept.


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Many couples expressed regret about their food budgeting choices because they knew their guests would remember it.

Any great wedding needs delicious cuisine, and you want to make sure that nobody is hungry throughout the entire day. Your guests will go home content… and full if you set aside a little bit more of your money for extra appetizers, desserts, and treats!

Also, consider whether you would like to provide an open bar for your guests, prefer to have a bar available and allow guests the choice to purchase alcohol, or perhaps you may even decide to have a dry wedding. Whatever route you go, just imagine what type of atmosphere you would like to create for your guests.

Photo & Video

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By far the #1 regret couples have is not investing enough into their memories. When the clock strikes midnight and you’re off to your honeymoon, nearly 80% of your investment evaporates. After spending weeks, months and sometimes years planning and investing your finances into this special day, after a whirlwind of a few hours, it all becomes a beautiful memory. 

Throughout your wedding, you are pulled in so many different directions and there are inevitably many moments you will miss. Capturing the candid reactions, smiling faces, and happy tears of your friends and family is priceless. Having these moments captured and investing in your wedding legacy is something your future selves will value you than you can imagine. 

 When mapping out your budget priorities, remember that with certain vendors, in this case photography and videography, the cost of the investment determines the quality, experience, and value of your media. At the time, saving a significant amount of finances for what on the surface looks to be comparable can be a costly mistake. 

When searching for the team that will be responsible for your once-in-a-lifetime memories, here are some keys to consider – 

  • An organized and experience photo & video team play a huge role in your timeline and moments running smoothly
  • Weddings are full of emotional and intimate moments. Choose someone who brings positive energy and who you feel comfortable with and connected to. After all, this person will be experiencing your entire day with you! No one wants a “Negative Nelly”
  • Technology is advancing constantly. When considering the team responsible for your media, pay attention to the quality of their work and how your memories will age throughout your years. Yes, you might be saving now, but in 20 years, if you are reminiscing through out-of-focus photos and a grainy, choppy film you will find yourself regretting why you didn’t invest more into remembering the beginning of your forever
  • Always ask about their policies for adding additional hours of coverage. After coordinating the timelines for 80+ weddings, I have yet to see a timeline need less than 8 hours of coverage. In order to capture getting ready moments and details all the way to your last dance and sparkler send-off, 8-10 hours is the average time your photo and video team needs to be scheduled for. 
With Photo & Video, when making this budget decision imagine future you sitting down to reflect and relive the greatest love story ever told – yours! What price would you put on the value of sharing your memories with future generations? 

get started - vendor roster!

list of wedding vendors

Ready to assemble your Vendor A-Team? To help you select the best vendors for your day, keep their details including main contact, package features, and pricing organize (do you don’t confuse your candidates). Writing all of these facts on the same page will also help you compare each category of vendors together. Pro tip: Make a list of Pros and Cons to help you narrow down the best vendor to bring your wedding dreams to life! 

So how do you create this master list? 

Click here to grab a copy of TLIC’s Vendor Tracker!  

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Thousands of couples in the DMV reach out to us each year to capture their wedding.

Join the wait list to temporarily reserve your wedding date.