HIRING YOUR VENDORS:
It should not be an a-la-carte, start at square-one each time kind of thing. Your team should be built.
From your Venue to your entertainment to your photographer, videographer and more.
If you're searching for each one independently by asking random facebook groups you'll get a list a mile long for each category. The ones you select may not know each other and have to jostle for what could have naturally gone smooth had your team developed a relationship before.
VENUES: Your venue has already done most of the work for you. They have a referral list. Ask them. But also, ask them how they develop that list. If vendors have to pay to be on it, it's junk, but at least a starting point of those who know the property. Ask them specifically who they see in their venue often and who they love working with. The DJ is who they hand the reigns over to after dinner, so they will absolutely speak up about the best.
DJ's: Your DJ's work with different photographers every single gig. They know who's out there hustling to get the best shots and who's in the corner eating cake. They know who's messing up the timeline by trying to get group shots when they just opened the dance floor and who was efficient and professional.
PHOTOGRAPHERS: We work with the Venues, we work with the DJ's so we can cross-reference support. Also, for videographers we know who will be by our side trying to get all the right shots and angles or who will step in front of our camera and block the most important shots of the day with no regard.
BUILD YOUR TEAM . . . Create a team that knows each other and works like a finely tuned machine. Lean on your vendors for support as you plan. Reach out to ask about other vendors. That is NOT bothering us. We would absolutely prefer a call or email about that before a wedding than to have someone who's not as good at the wedding. If our day goes well, your day goes even better.