One of the biggest stress of about-to-wed brides (and grooms) is where to find wedding vendors or rentals or venues. It’s common to see couples still searching, even as late as a week or two to their wedding – sometimes because they started searching late because they thought it would be easy or because every vendor they spoke to was already fully booked for their wedding date. AND to add to the stress, sometimes these couples have searched ‘everywhere’ they knew and asked everyone they knew. Where else should they look? If you’re in this situation or if you still have some planning time, I totally ‘feel’ you – that’s why in this post you will discover our best wedding vendors tips AND the best 11 places to find tried and tested wedding professionals/ vendors and suppliers. Scroll down and enjoy!
MORE: Disappointed by Her Wedding Photographer: Bride Shares Her Story (So You Can Learn From Her Mistakes)
Why this Article and Why Your Choice of Wedding Vendors Can Make or Spoil Your Wedding?
Can I tell you one secret? Shhh!! A team of good wedding vendors can make a wedding planned with small money look fabulous; and a team of bad wedding vendors make a wedding planned with millions of Naira look like trash. That’s why you need to shine your eyes when finding vendors to hire. Choosing a bad vendor can make even a N10 million wedding flop. Bad vendors will stress you before your wedding, and you could get hypertension from seeing your wedding go out of control right in front of you. We have even heard stories of Nigerian weddings where vendors were paid some money upfront, yet they did not show up at all on the wedding day, or sent an apprentice/ learner. We don’t want that to happen to you.
In a previous article, I shared about how someone I know was seriously disappointed by their wedding photographer – several months after the wedding, still waiting for their pictures; and the digital/ soft copies he showed them were terribly bad. I also shared a similar trending story that happened in Singapore and showed some of their very-bad wedding pictures that the bride posted on Facebook. Below is the link to the post, if you want to see it later.
Top 11 Places and Ways to Find Good Wedding Vendors
#1. Ask Friends and Family
Word of Mouth – just ASK. Ask around and you’ll find them – ask friends and family to refer you to good events/ wedding vendors. Ask staff of event centers – they know vendors that worked in weddings and events of people who used their event halls. In addition to asking people face-to-face, you can also use emails, Facebook messages to ask more people – to save time, a fast way is to post one single email/ Facebook message to many (use the platform’s feature for doing that).
#2. Ask your Church/ Worship House
You can also ask facilitators of your pre-wedding counseling classes – they see weddings every week and know a couple of wedding professionals from past and recent weddings of couples who attended the per-marital classes.
#3. Ask Other About-to-Wed Brides/ Grooms
You can find other about-to-weds at your pre-wedding sessions where many other couples attend – just make friends and ask if they have found their own vendors (caterers, photographers, hall decorators, wedding gown seller and so on) and ask them for names or list of good ones they know. Joining special online forums for about-to-wed brides/ grooms is also a great way to meet other people getting married around same time as you – and you can post a question asking like ‘who knows a good wedding caterer in Lagos’, and you’ll be surprised to get replies from other brides like you. You can also ask for advice and opinions to help you make a critical wedding-planning decision, like ‘what is a good wedding colour combo that will combine with red’. NaijaGlamWedding’s brides’ club is a good one – it’s free to join.
#4. Attend Wedding/ Event Fairs Happening Near You
Events and wedding professionals are always looking for places where they can meet about-to-wed couples looking for their services, and wedding fairs and events trade shows allow them to meet more potential customers. The first step in finding good quality wedding vendors is to make a list of vendors in your area; then ask them questions one by one to eliminate those that are not a good fit for your needs. Attending wedding fairs in your state/ city is a nice way to find wedding vendors – WEDEXPO Is a popular one in Nigeria, and there are many others. There are also trade shows for cake bakers.
MORE: Top Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing a Wedding Photographer (this post will save you stress and disappointment)
#5. Ask Wedding Vendors
Find one wedding professional and they will lead you to the rest – this is a fact. One of the fastest ways to compile a list of potential wedding vendors is to ask other wedding vendors – they are all in the same wedding industry. In their course of work, they have met countless numbers of other wedding vendors, and so they know the good ones and the bad ones. If you’re short of time, hire your first vendor and ask them to recommend the others (HINT: Be the one to choose who to hire). They should provide you more than one vendor option per vendor type – for example: they should name 3 or more caterers, 3 decorators – so that you will choose from those. Hope you get the gist? By the way, wedding planners do vendor searching as part of their job when hired (it’s optional), thereby taking the stress off you.
#6. Nigerian Wedding Vendors Listings
A vendors listing is simply a list of wedding vendors in one single place. This kind of resource is very helpful, as it makes it easy for about-to-wed couples to QUICKLY see wedding vendors located near them, and those that are available to travel anywhere.
We created a Nigerian wedding vendors list for our readers, with the help of the wedding professionals and vendors in our NaijaGlamWedding wedding communities. The need to compile this Nigerian wedding vendors listing arose because every now and then, we receive emails from readers in Nigeria and abroad asking us to refer, recommend or suggest specific vendors in this state or that state, or even in specific cities. They ask something like: where can I find a wedding planner in Ibadan, a decorator in Kaduna and more. This list is regularly updated with new wedding vendors and vendors across Nigeria. You can find the vendors listing by clicking below:
#7. Nigerian Weddings Featured on Websites and Youtube
Almost always, at the end of featured wedding stories here on NaijaGlamWedding blog or on BellaNaija.com, or on Naij.com or sometimes on LindaIkejisblog.com, or even on Madivas. In such articles, you will find a list of names of the the wedding professionals, vendors and suppliers/ shops that the couple hired.
Here’s what you should do whenever you read wedding stories or watch via Youtube: make a list of the wedding service vendors you find from different wedding blogs and different wedding stories, especially weddings that happened in the same state/ city/ country that you’re about-to-wed. Later you can contact each one to find out if they’re a good match for your price expectations and other things. Other blogs that regularly feature Nigerian weddings include: nigerianweddingblog.com, weddingdigest.com, kemifilani.com. There are many other websites that feature real-life Nigerian weddings, you can ask friends and family for more.
RELATED: Simple Things to Do to Avoid Having a Lousy Wedding (point #4 shares some typical wedding-day dramas caused by choosing bad vendors.
Yes, Instagram is a very good place to find wedding vendors, especially photographers and makeup artists. Here’s how – Just do a hashtag search for wedding-related thing such as #nigerianwedding or #naijawedding etc (hope you get the gist?). Next, explore the photos and posts one by one. You’re sure to find loads of beautiful pictures from Nigerian wedding – usually, wedding photo posters mention names of the photographers and sometimes, names of other professionals that helped put the wedding together. In most cases, posters tag the wedding vendors or shops., a lot of photographers and makeup artists inscribe their names on wedding photos they snapped of clients before or during weddings, making it easy for you to find that vendor if you like their work/ what you see. Another way to find names of wedding vendors (for photos you like) is to check the tags in the post description and comment area – click the picture to go to the page, so that you can directly contact the tagged photographer, wedding planner, decorator or so. Talking about Instagram, you should follow us there – we are @naijaglamwedding – follow us and tag us with your pictures, or some say hi.
Facebook is also a good place to research wedding vendors. Here’s how – Once inside Facebook, do a simple search for ‘nigerian wedding’ or ‘photographer’ or makeup artist. Next, look through the search results and open the most relevant links one by one – see what they are saying (to get a hint of what clients, others are saying about that vendor). You may even take it further to message a client that the vendor tagged, and ask a few confirmatory questions. By the way, many Nigerian wedding professionals have Facebook pages where they regularly post pictures of their works from recent weddings they covered, so that prospective clients can easily spot them.
Another way is to ask in Facebook groups; people do this regularly by posting questions like: ‘who knows where I can find an Alaga/ venue decorator in Surulere, Lagos’. People are always willing to refer you to those they have used or know, although you sometimes find some people using that opportunity to advertise themselves. When you do this, check back for answers and pick relevant replies, so that you can contact the recommended vendors, ask a few questions and make a decision. Some wedding related Facebook groups are:
- Nigerian Wedding Vendors Marketplace (Group)
- Nigerian Wedding Vendors Group
- Nigerian Wedding Pictures Group
#10. Online Directory of Events and Wedding Professionals
This simply means a contact list of every type of wedding vendor, compiled in one single place. On this blog, we will soon create an online Nigerian-wedding vendors directory here at NaijaGlamWedding where you can find and search for any type of vendor that caters to Nigerian wedding, including those based in Nigeria and abroad. The vendors list will have their contact information, and it will be searchable so that you don’t have to look through a very long list and waste time before finding any type of vendor in your area. I know a couple of other Nigerian wedding websites that have a vendors directory listing – SugarWeddings.com and WedDaily.com have. A wedding vendors directory provide names and contact details of wedding professionals and service providers, sometimes organized by category of services to make it easy for you to search.
#11. Facebook Groups for Events/ Wedding Professionals
There are a number of Facebook groups where events and wedding service providers and wedding accessories shops visit daily to advertise, often showing off pictures of their work, with their contact information. You can post a question asking something like ‘I need an affordable wedding hall in Abuja’, or ‘Looking for an Enugu based makeup artist for December wedding’ or Í’m looking for an Alaga in Washington DC’- and you’ll be surprised to see actual wedding vendors replying with their contact information – ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS CHOOSE AND CONTACT SOME/ ALL, AND LATER VET THEM TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT ONE FOR YOUR EVENT. Now, here are some free-to-join Facebook groups to start with – they are where wedding and event professionals (based in Nigeria, some based abroad) frequently hangout:
- Nigerian Wedding Vendors Marketplace (Group) – here, there are even photographers and vendors that cater to Nigerian weddings abroad. The best part is that on this group, Nigerian wedding vendors are regularly posting special discounts that they don’t post elsewhere.
- Nigerian Wedding Vendors Group
- Nigerian Wedding Pictures Group
So, my lovely, that is our wedding vendor tips on the 11 best places and ways to successfully search and find local wedding service providers or vendors that delivered okay at other Nigerian weddings. I’d like to know, what other methods and places are you using to find wedding vendors? Tell us in the comments section below. OR if you’ve witnessed any showdown from bad wedding vendors, let’s hear your story with us in the comments.
Finally, make sure to find and follow us everywhere o – we’re on Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Twitter, Pinterest – come say hi or tag us with your pictures (#naijaglamwedding). Now, comment below 🙂
Photo Credit: Instagram/ AkintayoTimi (wedding photographer)