Planning a wedding is a very local affair. While some details can be found across the country – invitations, favors – most of the vendors you hire will be based near your wedding location. Even if you’re getting married abroad, you’re more likely to hire local vendors – photographer, baker, florist – then fly someone halfway around the world.
The best way to find vendors for your wedding is to ask friends and relatives who have recently said “I do” what they thought of their wedding vendors. You can also get recommendations from the location you are holding your reception at and other vendors you are hiring.
Another great resource is local wedding magazines and businesses that feature a variety of vendors in one place – like The Bridal Bar in Los Angeles and San Diego or The Newport Wedding Gallery in Newport, RI. If your hometown doesn’t have a similar establishment, you can also attend wedding shows – like the Great Bridal Expo which is held in dozens of cities, or look through wedding magazines and Web sites for other shows in your area. Hiring a local wedding planner is also a great idea especially if you're not familiar with the area you are getting married at - destination wedding planners are a huge help.
Bridal salons, stationery stores, florists, caterers and other vendors may all know of upcoming events in your area so don’t be shy about asking them for recommendations or sign up for their mailing list so they will email you about upcoming events that they are participating in.