Finding your wedding vendors.

especially at a time when you’re sheltered in place, can be a challenge. Though introductory Zoom calls are incredibly informative and give you a real sense of who you’re considering working with, we encourage you to get to know the experts—and use industry insider resources to do it.

Keep an eye out for collectives that showcase the industry’s best and organize talents in one, easy-to-reference place. Through a discerning vetting process, the just-launched Ethos West Collective is curating a collection of super-talents to form a hub of esteemed Black wedding professionals—from planners and photographers to cake makers and beyond. Ethos West, founded by Lea Stafford, Chanda Daniels, and Erica Estrada, is aimed at highlighting the best of the best. Their roster of talents, all of whom champion inclusivity in the industry, are slowly being announced on the collective’s Instagram feed and will be organized on-site in the coming months.

Scouring our lists of the best planners, photographers, videographers, event designers, and florists is always a good idea, but once you’ve landed on a short list, getting to know the people behind those businesses is key. The Wedding Biz, hosted by Andy Kushner, features in-depth interviews with event industry thought leaders. While the podcast is designed by an industry vet for the industry, it’s another way to get to hear the voices and stories of luxury creatives you’re considering working with for a year (or more) of planning.

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