March 30, 2023
As a wedding photographer, one of the desires of my heart is that my couples are at ease when planning their wedding. I am honored to sometimes be one of the first vendors that my clients choose to hire, and one of my goals for them as a couple is to make sure they are educated on making the most of their money when planning their wedding. A huge part of this is choosing the best wedding vendors in Indiana to not only get the most for your money but also to help turn your dream wedding into a reality. That goal is what made me decide to put this article together, so if you’re ready to learn more about the best wedding vendors in Indiana and how to get the most for your money, this blog is for you.
Let’s Be Real
I want to take a moment and be transparent here with everyone. Wedding planning can be very fun but at the same time very overwhelming, especially in the early stages of planning. There will be lots of discovery calls with vendors that you and your partner will be involved in and you two will be working together to put together THE BEST team to make your dreams come true. So who makes the cut? You want to find the best Indiana Wedding vendors that will execute your vision, take care of you and your guest, and make sure that they have your best interest at heart. Building this team of wedding vendors is SO important to your experience, and the time and money invested into building this vendor team will pay off.
Where to Start When Finding Your Indiana Wedding Vendors
Now that you’re engaged, it’s time to start planning!! First things first. Dream about your wedding day!! What do you envision your dress to look like? How do you want to feel when you walk down the aisle? How does your partner look at the end of the altar? This is the time to be selfish and understand that your wedding is all about YOU and your fiancé. It’s important that you both are on the same page, so dream and talk about your wedding day together. Once you have the vision in your head of what your wedding day will look like you’ll be able to start finding your Indiana wedding vendor dream team to make that vision a reality!
The excitement of planning a wedding can often leave couples finding and handling everything on their own. You start researching wedding venues, photographers, cake designers, and everything all on your own in your excitement, and you should be excited as it’s YOUR wedding! It’s important to keep things in perspective and be strategic with your planning though, remember wedding days are expensive. According to a 2023 article written by the Knot, the average couple in the US will spend around $30k-$40k on their wedding in 2023. With that cost in mind, being intentional with your money, and finding the right wedding vendors in Indiana to make the most of that money is key. Let’s take a look at two of the most important vendors of your day, your planner and venue.
Finding an Indiana Wedding Planner
Rule number one, hire a Wedding Planner. When putting together your dream wedding in Indiana, a wedding planner really is a non-negotiable vendor as they will be able to guide you through the whole planning process and actually end up saving you money in the long run. Most couples think that it’s best to find your wedding venue first, but in reality you should be hiring your wedding planner first. With a wedding planner you’re able to give them your budget and let them guide you with finding the best place to host your wedding all while making the most out of your money.
Wedding planners know ALL of the ins and outs of the wedding industry in their area, and will have the best recommendations for the rest of your vendor team. They have experience working with venues and vendors that serve various wedding sizes, and are the best point of reference when planning and making decisions for your luxury wedding day. They often have been to many of the venues in the area, and work hard to curate a list of the top venues in the area that fit their clients’ vision.
When looking for your wedding planner in Indiana, it’s important to hire a one that you can fully trust that they have your best interest at heart. Know that will advocate for you, have your back, and present solutions to you that are going to have the most positive impact on your wedding experience. IF a wedding planner cannot be a part of your wedding investment, opt for a wedding manager that you can hire to work with you. A wedding manager begins working with you at least 60 days before your wedding and helps to ensure your wedding day goes on as planned.
Finding an Indiana Wedding Venue
Choosing your wedding venue is another very important vendor to book when planning your dream wedding in Indiana. When you begin your search for your wedding venue, you will want to first decide on the area you hope to get married in, when you hope to get married, along with how many guests you want to have on your wedding day. Many venues have a guest cap, and some have a guest minimum, so having a rough guest count is key.
Along with guest count, you will want to make sure the venues you are looking at fit your vision and style for the wedding, what is included in your wedding day, and what their vendor policies look like. Do you have to use a preferred vendor list when choosing your vendors? Do they have a food and beverage minimum? Are there service charges? Do they have a wait staff on site? All of these questions factor into what your wedding planning process will look like, along with what your actual wedding day will look like.
Finding the Rest of Your Indiana Wedding Vendors
After you’ve found your wedding planner and your wedding venue, you will have locked in your wedding date, and you can begin looking for the rest of your Indiana wedding vendors. By now you have talked through how much you plan to invest in your wedding with your wedding planner, so they will begin to curate a list of vendors in each category for you and your partner to look through. You will be looking for the following wedding vendors when planning your day: photographer, videographer, DJ or live band, decor and wedding designers, hair and makeup artist, and a caterer (if not included in your venue).
When looking through vendor lists and getting to know the vendors and their craft, it’s important that you know what to look for when vetting each vendor. These are the people that are going to help bring your vision to life, so make sure you know what you would like out of your experience with each of them, and make sure their products and services align with that vision.
1. Choosing an Indiana Wedding Photographer
Your wedding photographer is SUCH an important vendor for you to hire for your Indiana wedding day. They’re the person that will freeze time, and document the memories that you will look back on for the rest of your life. In the wedding industry we joke that you will spend more time with your wedding photographer on your wedding day than you will with your spouse, and it reigns true!
When looking for a wedding photographer make sure you like their editing style, the way their past clients are posed in pictures and the way they document wedding day moments. Make sure they offer you a wedding photography timeline (I know I do!) to ensure that you are on the same page for photos throughout the day. Along with this, be sure you enjoy talking to your wedding photographer and mesh well with their personality too! Your photographer is providing photos as well as an experience to capture and guide you through all the best moments of your wedding day.
2. Choosing an Indiana Wedding Videographer
Much like a wedding photographer, your wedding videographer is a vendor that will also be working to document the memories that make up your Indiana wedding day. The major difference though is that they will be documenting the movement and words that make up your wedding day. Think about a time when you wanted to just hear someone’s voice one more time! That’s the emotion you get from your Wedding Videographer! When choosing a videographer look through their videos and take note of the types of moments that they capture for your video. Then think through your wedding day, the toasts that will be shared, the dancing, the intimate moments, and try to picture them documented in the style that these videographers have for their past clients.
3. Choosing an Indiana Wedding DJ or Live Band
Your DJ or MC RUNS your reception. These are the people that MAKE your wedding night. They run the flow of the evening, they read the room and know what is needed to hype up your guests or wind things down. Your MC gets to know you and your partner and what you want your wedding night to feel like and then works with ALL of the members of your wedding vendor team to make sure your evening runs exactly how you picture it. They decide on the music, they run any activities you might have, they dismiss tables to eat if needed and they communicate with all of your other vendors so that they are where they need to be when working together on your wedding day.
When choosing your DJ or MC and live band, be sure to check out reviews that they might have online from previous clients. Look at their social media to see videos from past weddings to get a feel for their work and make sure you get along with them from the get go. Your DJ or entertainment are crucial wedding vendors for your Indiana wedding as they create the feel for your reception and it is their job to entertain your guests and keep your reception on time.
4. Choosing an Indiana Wedding Designer and Florists
When choosing designers for your wedding day, it’s important to approach these vendors with a vision of what you want your wedding day to look like. Wedding designers and florists not only help with making everything in your space look breathtaking, but they also help with creating the overall feel for your wedding that you are striving for. The work they do for your wedding day creates conversation amongst guests, helps with the overall flow of the wedding evening, and elevates the venue space to transform it into a space that feels like you and your partner.
When finding florists and designers in Indiana for your wedding make sure that these vendors have the experience and the tools to create your vision for your wedding day. You’ll also want to make sure that they are both communicative and helpful throughout the inquiry process as this will reflect how they treat you throughout the rest of the time you work with them.
5. Choosing an Indiana Hair and Makeup Artist
As you look through options for hair and makeup artist teams for your wedding day, you will want to start with a vision of how you want to look for your wedding. When researching, find an experienced wedding make-up artist. What I mean by that is to hire an HMUA that has a portfolio of bridal makeup. Another thing to consider when looking for your makeup artist is the type of look you are going for. Are you striving for glam? What type of look do you prefer to have for your makeup? Do you want lash extensions or a specific contouring style? Do you want an updo style or effortless curls? Once you have an idea for what you want your hair and makeup to look like on your wedding day you can begin to look through vendor options for your Indiana wedding day.
Having a hair and makeup artist for your wedding day streamlines your morning, and allows you to relax as you and your friends and family are preparing for your wedding day. When searching be sure that the artist has examples in their portfolios that are similar to what you’re looking for for your wedding day. Along with skill examples like makeup and hairstyles, you will also want to be sure that they have experience in speed and working with brides that have skin tones similar to yours and your wedding parties as well as hair textures similar to yours and your wedding parties’.
Other Indiana Wedding Vendors for Your Day
Now that we covered the vendors that are must-haves for your wedding day you may want to consider hiring these other vendors for your wedding. A Caterer, Cake Artist, Officiant, and Stationary. While not necessary for every wedding, these Indiana wedding vendors can elevate the experience of your day and be a huge help in making your dream wedding a reality. Catering depends largely on your venue and what they provide/allow, but no matter what people need food!
You’ll also need an officiant for your ceremony, make sure you have a connection with them, and don’t forget to tell them to step out of the way when you have your first kiss. As for your cake artist and stationery, these vendors really do elevate your wedding day experience and can be a huge part in achieving the vision of your day. It’s important when hiring them, like with all your Indiana wedding vendors, that their work and level of professionalism line up with what you’re paying for!
Now I know that was a lot, but reading through it all it’s easy to see why! There are SO many things you have to think about when putting together your Indiana wedding vendor team, and also a ton of vendors out there for you to consider. As I mentioned hiring a wedding planner first is a great first step to putting this vendor team together, but I do have a photographer I can recommend. Head to my contact page to send me an inquiry and you’ll have one vendor checked off your list who you now will help you create your dream wedding day.