If you’re having a fairly traditional wedding, you’ll need to find, interview, negotiate with and hire a number of wedding vendors and make some fairly substantial purchases. This is undoubtedly the most challenging part of the whole planning process because it requires an extensive amount of research, some negotiation, coordination and paperwork.

This is quite the comprehensive series where we break down the process from start to finish.

The smart guide to finding and hiring your wedding vendors. From the best sites to search, questions to ask and tips on contracts, this is a must read if you are just getting started with your vendor search.

How to negotiate with vendors: Negotiating is never fun, especially for the newbie. Here are 28 tips for effectively communicating and negotiating with wedding vendors.

How to fire your wedding vendor: Because sometimes, they just don’t work out.

Wedding vendors broken down. We’ve got some specifics on vendors by category. Read on for the most important things to know when working with the following people, businesses and projects.

  • Bands & DJ’s: Should you hire a band? A DJ? Do your own music? Here’s how they break down.
  • Bridal Salons: 10 things you need to know before you set foot in a bridal salon
  • Cakes: How to save on wedding cakes, cake alternatives and questions to ask your baker.
  • Florists: An overview of wedding flowers and florists with tips on preparing for your first meeting, questions to ask and contract advice.
  • Hair & Makeup Artists: Understanding what you are paying for, questions to ask and making the most out of your hair and makeup trial.
  • Photographers: Typically the hardest vendor to book, there are a lot of things to think about when searching for and interviewing potential photographers.
  • Transportation: If you’re looking to rent a limo, shuttle, trolley or any sort of transportation for your wedding day.
  • Videographers: It’s the vendor that most couples are on the fence about, and also the one they regret not having.
  • Wedding Planners: Do you even need a wedding planner? What kinds of planners are out there and what makes for a great wedding planner?