So many of my clients come to me with this question. Who would I hire? I didn’t know how to answer it for a while, I hadn’t been in the wedding industry that long and didn’t feel I could refer just anyone without knowing for sure that if it came down to me needing that service, that I would hire them myself.
I have photographed over 30 weddings this year and now feel that I can honestly suggest my recommendations of what other vendors I would hire if it were me needing their services.
First, let me say I would never hire someone who was not operating legally as a business with proper licensing and insurance. These folks could leave you stranded on your big day! Venues often require outside vendors to carry their own insurance and provide proof of licensing. You may realize your photographer is at your wedding but has been denied the right to work on the property when the venue director asked for their credentials! Yikes! Play it safe, check into each and every vendor you choose to work with. Ask them for a copy of their proof of insurance, and their business license. You can also search their business name for Florida based businesses on sunbiz.org.
So let’s start off with who I consider one of the most important vendors of the day, the DJ. Your DJ will be the one to set the mood for your reception. They are your best chance of keeping your guests engaged in the party and on the dance floor. I have observed that when your DJ is not engaging and active in entertaining your guests the night tends to end early as your guests start to head home after you’ve cut your cake. The few DJs listed below are ones whom I have worked with and would consider hiring if I were in your shoes. They each have their own strengths and as with all vendors, each has their own personality that fit better with different folks. I highly suggest you take your time in finding the right one for you.
DJ Matt Gray – This gentleman is so generous! Matt offers top dollar DJ services for bottom dollar rates. I couldn’t believe what he was charging after working with him. He is extremely professional, with great equipment and well groomed. He is engaging with his couple and their guests but doesn’t overpower them by being on the mic all night. Another huge trait I see with Matt is that he works with your other vendors! This is huge, especially with the photographer, to ensure all of those amazing memories are captured.
An equally important person to include on your big day is a wedding planner/day of coordinator. Yes, you can DIY your wedding, if this is truly how you want to go, I suggest finding a few DIY brides who have been through it. It is not for the faint of heart. After several weddings both DIY and with a planner, I can say that those who opt for a planner are ten times less stressed, remember much more of their day, and enjoy their night. Those who choose to wing it on their own, or ask a friend/relative to day of coordinate tend to be near a break down at any given moment, are constantly interrupted with small concerns that tend to cause unproportionate anxiety for the concern. I hear phrases like “I can’t wait until this is over” “I’m freaking out” “This is so stressful”. These brides are the ones who explain how excited they are to receive their photos because they were so busy being their own coordinator that they missed their own wedding.
Cannizzo Events- Alyssa Cannizzo will take care of you. She treats each event as if it were her own and puts every effort into putting the day in perfect order. I have worked several weddings with her this year and know that things will run as planned when I know it’s a Cannizzo wedding. I have watched her handle unfortunate events like thunderstorms and make it seem as if the plan was never scrapped at the last minute! She is organized, polite, and most importantly, a problem solver!
So let’s talk about cake. I LOVE cake.. I struggle with turning down that piece of wedding cake so often offered to me at the end of the night! I try to say no to avoid eating cake every weekend 0_o but like I said I LOVE cake! So I do occasionally give in and accept. I am no expert but I know there are a lot of factors that go into the kind of cake, frosting, and structure of a cake so it is always best to listen to your cake person and heed their warnings because cake disasters definitely happen! I have met so many amazing bakers and tried so many amazing cakes.. I’m a huge fan of unique flavors, especially if they include a story as to why they were chosen. I recently worked with a couple who chose to incorporate peanut butter and jelly into their cake! The story behind it was that earlier in their relationship they ate a lot of pb&js while working through school and saving for a life together. The cake tasted amazing and brought so many of their guests to tears by hearing their story.
Tru-Cakes- Martha, and Julie are a mother-daughter team who have made some truly amazing cakes that I have gotten my hands on! Their cakes are absolutely gorgeous, and they don’t sacrifice flavor for that beauty. They are truly passionate about their cakes and put every effort into them. Everything they make is made from scratch! They even make their own fondant! Which is rare! They do that to ensure every part of the cake is full of flavor!
PLEASE BARE WITH ME AS I CONTINUE TO ADD MY FAVORITE VENDORS TO THIS LIST. CHECK BACK LATER FOR NEW VENDORS!