How to choose your wedding suppliers may seem like a simple task at first but the amount of choice can be overwhelming. You may know what you like but it can still be hard to find suppliers that can deliver this, as well as being the right match for you.
The following 10 points will take you through the areas to consider when choosing your suppliers.
1. Take your time
You need to have an understanding of your wedding vision in order to know which suppliers you are going to need to hire in order to deliver your vision. For example, planning a marquee wedding will involve different suppliers to an already established venue. So, take your time to consider what you want for your wedding before getting into discussions with suppliers, as you could waste your time speaking to suppliers who do not fit your vision or agree to a different style from your original plan.
2. Prioritise the suppliers you need to book first
I would always recommend getting your venue sorted initially, this is because your venue can affect the other suppliers that you choose. Please read my Choosing your wedding venue blog for more information on this.
Once your wedding venue is chosen you should then think about what is important to you. To some couples it is getting an amazing wedding photographer, for some it is getting creative and high-end catering, for others the band is so important.
Once you have your priorities I would research your wedding suppliers in this order to ensure you are not disappointed.
Once you know what you’re looking for you need to research your wedding suppliers. In order to be able to shortlist them you need to get to know their services, what they do and how they do it. So read reviews, look through their website, has their work been published? Follow their social media accounts and get to know them.
4. Find out their experience
I’m not saying you should only work with suppliers with decades of experience. There are very talented suppliers who don’t have years of experience, however you should have an understanding of what their experience is so you can see if it will match your expectations. For example, if you have a complex plan for your wedding day then you will likely want someone with years of experience who can advise you on the best way to make it happen. But lots of experience isn’t necessarily crucial for simpler plans or those that you can see (in your research) the supplier has delivered before.
5. Send an enquiry
Once you have completed your extensive research then you need to send the supplier an enquiry. Please try to give them as much information as possible so you can increase your chances of getting the most appropriate information back.
Organising a consultation face to face (or on video call) is a great way of again getting to know the supplier and getting a sense of whether you are a good fit for each other.
6. Get a quote
Your wedding plans will likely change multiple times between this stage and your wedding day, so suppliers’ costs will also change. But it is important to get an idea of cost (for your current requirements) so you can ensure they are the right level for your budget.
7. Get it in writing
Ensure that any discussions on services and prices are followed up in writing to protect yourself and to keep track of any changes and their impacts on your budget.
You should also read the supplier’s terms and conditions thoroughly to ensure you understand next steps and any restrictions that they may have.
Once you have researched, got an idea of services and costs you will need to shortlist. Please don’t just go for the cheapest option, often (but not always) you really do get what you pay for. Prices often reflect experience, skill, professionalism and the quality of work. When it comes to your wedding day you can’t put a price on piece of mind!
For some suppliers they will be able to offer you samples of their work to help you make your choice. For example caterers can offer tastings, cake makers will often send sample boxes and stationers can sometimes send you samples from standard stock (if you’re not choosing a bespoke design). Seeing/trying a sample can help you ensure that you are getting what you want.
10. Make your choice
Once you get to this stage there is nothing left to do but choose your wedding suppliers. You should base this choice on all of the above points – so consider their skill, their communication and customer service, their experience, their product which matches your vision, their costs, their rapport with you. This should all be taken into consideration when making your final decision.
Of course, if you don’t have the time to go through these stages and to conduct all of this research then a wedding planner would do this for you (in their Full Planning service) for each and every supplier. If you want to discuss how I can help you choose your wedding suppliers then please do book a call with me.