Our Top Vendor Priorities
I have been so excited for this post ever since we started Let’s Cut the Cake, our newest series on AJ and I planning our own wedding as a pair of wedding photographers! Over the next year, we’ll be sharing our process and inviting you in on our decision making and witnessing trial + errors! It’s called Let’s Cut the Cake because that’s what AJ and I will be doing on May 16th, 2020!! Can’t wait to have you all along on this crazy long, messy path that is actually planning a wedding.
Today is probably my favorite because I get to gush about all of our vendors that we’ve picked so far!
Last week, we went over the best way to prioritize the order in which you pick your vendors. And now it’s time to dive into who our priorities were and who we ended up picking! P.S. if you haven’t downloaded your vendor priority checklist, grab it below!
First things first – the most important vendor in our eyes.
First Vendor: Full Service Wedding Planner
Who we chose: Ashley with Much Ado Austin
So what do you get when you take two high school sweethearts, throw them in the wedding industry for three years, and then ask them to plan a wedding?
Short answer: too many choices and lots of indecision.
So while we might not need as much hand holding (I said might, Ashley. Please still hold our hands) as someone not used to all the industry shenanigans, we still need help.
And let’s be real. A full service planner was always a necessity if you have tons of time, are semi type A, and have been a part of a lot of weddings. Aka me.
If you’ve been following along, I’m sure you’ve already heard me rave about how much Ashley has helped us so far. I know there are about a million more things she’s going to help us with down the line. But I’m already so grateful!
I definitely have to say that Ashley had an unfair advantage because we knew her already and already vibe with her so well.
I think it’s so important that you get along really well with your vendors! Not only will it make your day obviously more enjoyable, it’s important to feel like your vendors know you and have your back on everything.
But most importantly we chose Ashley because she has experience. You can just tell that she absolutely knows what she’s talking about, knows what you’re going through, and can take charge where she needs to.
We knew we wanted a full service planner (vs just a month of coordinator) to help us with not only the planning and logistics, but the styling too! Ashley does it all! That’s what we were really looking for.
Now for the number one question I have been asked: “Who the heck is going to shoot your wedding??”
Second Vendor: Photographer who provides a full fledged experience
Who we chose: Paige Vaughn Photo
I have fake laughed too many times when people ask if we’re shooting our own wedding. Ugh.
Paige was also a no brainer, and also someone who unfair advantage. Paige came into our lives almost a year and a half ago and we got to know her really well after she shot our proposal.
And while I know Paige very well and know her process really well, there was definitely something more to it.
I think a proposal of any type of shoot takes a lot of trust and responsibility, and AJ put that in Paige implicitly! So together we knew we could trust her for our wedding too.
Plus, the curtain is already unveiled on all the “secrets” of her client experience, so to have this vendor relationship be a friendship already saves us both a lot of effort.
Surprise surprise, it kind of makes sense that as photographers we were going to do things differently.
Paige is going to be a bridesmaid in addition to our photographer. What the what?? I will absolutely be going into more detail on that later, so stay tuned. But the short version (so you don’t worry about us overexerting our sweet friend) is that Paige will have not only a second shooter but a third shooter! So that she can kick back after (and during, duh) the ceremony!
Third Vendor: Beautiful white-walled venue that won’t break the bank
Who we chose: Sunset Ranch
This was a toughie because we are so familiar with many many venues in the hill country area. There are so many beautiful ones to pick from. I promise this was not an easy decision.
What I definitely knew I wanted was white walls because there is nothing better for photos! That was an absolute requirement.
I also wanted to make sure the bridal suite was big and bright enough. And that it had an easy transition from indoors to outdoors.
So how the heck did we end up so outside of Austin? We are both from Austin and love it to death, right??
Our decision to go into Fredericksburg was both coincidence and two fold. One, venues actually inside Austin are $$$! You probably could have guessed that. But since we’re paying for this ourselves, the venue was something we didn’t want to shell out too much on.
Second, I really wanted a venue I could see with fresh eyes. Something brand new to me, where I wouldn’t already picture a photo in my head everywhere I turned!
We were lucky on both accounts that Sunset Ranch is a brand new venue. Lucky because one, it was extremely inexpensive because we were the third wedding to be booked there! And two, because I haven’t seen a million photos from it yet!
I’m going to dive into the specifics more of the specifics of what makes it so great in a few weeks! 🙂
Fourth Vendor: A super fun band aka Super Fleek
Who we chose: Super Fleek
Ohh Super Fleek. I love this band so much. Ty is a friend of a friend, and an amazing human being. He’s such a talented singer and performer.
So needless to say this decision was also kind of a no brainer.
I knew I wanted a band vs a DJ. (I’ll also dive into that more later). So when we were introduced to Super Fleek last year it was like “duh”. This awesome band that tours all over, also does weddings, just happens to specialize in 80s hits. Check check check!
And like I mentioned, if you know one of your favorite, must have vendors are in high demand – you book them ASAP! That’s why this decision was one of our quickest!!
So these are the 4 things we have picked out so far!! After last week when we talked about how to figure out your vendor priorities, I’m happy I got to share our thought process! And I got to rave about these vendors a little bit.
Our next vendors we’ll be picking out are our caterer, our florist, and our dessert baker!!!!
I’m so excited to have y’all along with us as we get rockin and rolling!
As always if you have advice for us in any capacity (literally, i’ll take anything!) please comment below or shoot me a DM!