4 Tips for Choosing the Best Event Vendors (Plus 2 Bonus Tips!)

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Anytime is a great time to host an event at The Gables at Chadds Ford. Whether it’s a corporate meeting, a graduation party, a shower, a wedding or any other occasion, our talented special events team will not only create a memorable day, but will also direct you to our most trusted vendors.

Why are they trusted? Because we’ve put them to the test and they’ve delivered, time and again. Here are four ways to spot top-notch vendors:

1. They Reply to Your First Inquiry Quickly

Sure, that seems obvious, but you can tell a lot about a vendor’s responsiveness by how quickly they attend to your initial call or email. You want someone who is eager to speak with you and will give you immediate feedback on availability. If you have to chase vendors down from the start, chances are you’ll have to stay on top them. An event has many moving parts, starting from the day you choose the date until the last guest exits the venue. A vendor’s job is to not only perform flawlessly, but also to make your life easier during the process.

2. They Give You Options

No event is the same, so no vendor should offer a one-size-fits-all approach. Look for someone who is willing to discuss options, which may include packages. Packages are generally tried-and-true combinations that have pleased customers in the past and touch on a variety of price points. Still, a vendor should be willing to discuss and price different scenarios if your event has special requirements or you have personal preferences.

3. Their References Love Them

No one is going to provide a reference who isn’t pleased. So when you check references—and you should—listen for raving fans. Truly happy references are those who can’t say enough about the company, those with whom they worked, the end product (photography, music, desserts, etc.) and the entire experience. If you’re getting a boilerplate answer, ask for specifics.

4. They’re Show-Offs

As in, they show off their work! Review examples online (or in person) to make sure you love the photography, videography, musical talent, DJ skills, lighting, invitations, A/V equipment, decorations, flowers, etc. Food vendors should be more than happy to provide a tasting, especially if you have special requirements, such as gluten- and/or dairy-free or vegan, for your event.

Bonus Tips to Enhance the Process

1. Know What You Want

It’s difficult to find a good match until you determine your needs. Sit down with your team if it’s a work event or your family and friends if it’s a personal event and brainstorm. Sketch out the day from start to finish, and reach out to our special events team if you need assistance. Once there’s clarity, the rest will start to fall into place.

2. Go With Your Gut

Vendor impresses you, but isn’t the lowest price point? Your gut is telling you something. In our experience, it’s often prudent to listen! Sometimes you just hit it off with a vendor, or are blown away by their work. Honor that feeling, and have a further conversation with the vendor if pricing is an issue. It’s often possible to work out a new proposal that meets your budget and gets you the vendor you want for your important day.

We’re extremely discerning about those we recommend for events at The Gables, which is why we’ve compiled a growing list of exceptional vendors. We can provide recommendations for cakes, child care, custom invitation design and printing, event lighting, A/V equipment, event styling and design, floral, hair and makeup, hotels and accommodations, limousines, music and DJs, officiants, photos, photo booths, tuxedo rentals and videos. Contact us and let us know how we may be of service.

The Gables at Chadds Ford is nestled in the heart of the historic Brandywine Valley. Our combination of fresh seasonal cuisine, rustic yet elegant charm and enchanting outdoor dining will keep you coming back time and time again. The Gables is also the perfect venue to host your next special event, whether you are planning a wedding, rehearsal dinner, baby shower or corporate event.

Nina Malone

Photos, top to bottom: The Gables at Chadds Ford; Southern Chester County Chamber of Commerce; Allison Barto; The Gables at Chadds Ford; Pixabay; Bigstock