If you’re planning a wedding, you’ve probably come across subscription networks meant to help you find vendors and plan online. In theory this is a great idea, but in practice directories like The Knot or Wedding Wire guide you toward vendors who pay to be featured. This limits your options and adds extra costs that are difficult for small businesses to absorb.
Luckily, there is an awesome, free tool that can help you find and book wedding vendors. Even better, you’re probably already using it.
With a little knowhow you can use Instagram’s search features to find vendor profiles and get even more detail than the directories provide.
Vendors post most of their work on Instagram. With a few clicks you can see years of work history. Click that follow button and you can keep up with current work to make extra sure that you love their style and artistic vision before reaching out.
Unfortunately, Instagram does not have a taste feature yet, but you can get a good feel for basically everything except catering just by scrolling on your phone.
So how do you find these vendors?
Instagram has dominated the hashtag game, encouraging people to tag almost everything (#youknowitstrue). Wedding vendors are no exception, and we will add all of the tags applicable to our work. I suggest starting with your location.
For example, to find a wedding florist in my area, I would search #seattleweddingflorist. Type that in, and you will get a page full of florists in your area. Scroll through and see what stands out to you.
If you already know your venue, search by that to find vendors who have worked in that space. I recently had a wedding at Woodinville Lavender, so hashtags for that specific location would be #woodinvillelavenderflorist or #woodinvillelavenderweddingplanner.
You can also search by style to get ideas and get a better clue of what you want. Try #bohoweddingflorist or #upscalechicwhiteandgreenwedding. Play around with the hashtags to get the results you want: #whiteandgreenweddingflowers or #modernweddingbouquet.
Have a friend who married in the past eight or so years? They probably posted about it on Instagram, and many people name their vendors with a little thank you note or repost. Click through and you can see what else that vendor has created.
Bonus: your friend will probably give you an honest review if you ask.
Find the Instagram feed of a wedding vendor in your area, any area of expertise, and they will most likely tag other vendors they’ve worked with.
So, if you’ve already picked out a photographer, take a look through their posts. Love that bouquet? There’s probably a florist tagged on that photo. Tap! And you can suddenly see a ton of that florist’s work.
If there isn’t a tag, leave a comment and ask, “Who made that bouquet?” No one in the wedding vendor world is so big that they won’t answer their comments. Also, they’ll probably answer faster if it’s a comment left hanging there unanswered in public rather than a DM.
That’s it! With just a little finesse to your search, you’ll have access to a wider range of vendors and find the perfect match for you and your style. #happysearching!