In an effort to secure your preferred vendors, prioritize your interviews with the professionals that need to be present on your wedding day. For instance, your photographer will probably only be shooting one wedding per day however your stationer or linen supplier can obviously service more than one couple per any given date.
While interviewing, always ask for references, review contracts line by line and be upfront about your budget. Many vendors will customize their services to fit your needs and budget, so it is important to be honest. This will save time and frustration for all involved.
NOTE: All vendors require a non-refundable deposit to hold your wedding date or start services. Be prepared to put out close to 50% of your entire wedding day budget during the beginning of the planning process.