You might feel like finding a team of wedding suppliers who you like, trust and can afford is like looking for a needle in a haystack. It’s crucial that in addition to liking their portfolio of work, you also like them on a personal level as they are going to be working with you on the most momentous and, possibly, stressful day of your life!
Begin by asking friends and family (especially newlyweds) to recommend suppliers as a personal recommendation is always preferable. They can also let you know if there are any companies you should avoid. You’re more likely to yield local suppliers as well, which will save the cost of sourcing a national company who charge travel costs.
Magazines, blogs, wedding directories are all great sources too of course. Take the time to look at the kind of weddings suppliers have worked on and what couples had to say about them, rather than just the size of their ad.
Social media is also an excellent tool for finding wedding suppliers. The wedding industry has a huge presence on Twitter and most wedding suppliers now have their own Facebook pages too, allowing you to find out more about them and interact with them virtually. Instagram is great for seeing real snapshots of suppliers work and lifestyle too.
Check the ‘About Me’ page of a supplier’s website and have a look at their blogs to see their most recent work and get a feel for their personality as well. It’s all very well if their work is amazing but you’re going to share a really important day with them, so ultimately I believe you want to get along with them.
Suppliers fall into two camps: those that you will mainly be interacting with in the lead-up to the day and communicating with remotely, (e.g. stationers) and those that will be spending their time with you on the actual day (e.g. photographer).
Arrange meetings or at the very least Skype with at least 2 or 3 of each type of supplier – more than that is likely to get overwhelming. Utilise the opportunity to get to know them and how they work, including their processes before and after the wedding.
Don’t forget to acknowledge those you don’t want to work with – a polite no thank you after receiving a quote is much appreciated.
Be honest about your budget and plans for the day. Wedding businesses are experienced at working with a wide range of budgets and will want to save your money and their time from the outset. It’s easier for them to give you their best advice on what’s achievable if they know what’s available.
Sign contracts with your chosen suppliers which detail the service they are providing, payment processes, whether they’re insured, their contingency in the event of cancellation or equipment failure and whether they need anything specifically on the day such as food or somewhere to change. I always recommend that you provide food (preferably a hot meal) to any supplier working for more than 4 hours. Read the contract carefully and question anything you are not sure of.
Read the small print!
Be considerate of your suppliers’ time. They will be working on many weddings at once, so keep them updated and notify them of any major changes. Check how long they need to do their job leading up to the day and on the day itself and put together a timeline so everyone is clear on the timetable of events and your expectations.
Finally, if you’re really happy with everything they did for you on your wedding day, take the time to send them a little thank you note. Client testimonials are invaluable and knowing you were happy with their work is hugely appreciated.
Don’t have time to research suppliers, still feeling overwhelmed by how much there is to do? Get in touch today to arrange your complimentary consultation to discuss my full wedding planning services and the London Wedding Suppliers I would suggest for you!