You’re planning your big day and have hundreds of exciting ideas. Your notebooks are filled with scribbles and your vision board is bursting with potential colour schemes. This is one of the most satisfying aspects of wedding planning. Allowing your imagination to run riot, visualising everything from the dress and the flowers to the decor and food. What could be better? Especially if you’re with your bridal party and there’s some fizz on the go! However, where do you start with researching the best wedding suppliers to deliver your vision and dream day?
Firstly, use this blog to help you now narrow down your essential wedding day requirements. What’s your next step? Finding the very best suppliers for your nuptials. With so much choice out there the task can be a little daunting, to say the least, and you will need to be super organised. Plus, you want your suppliers to be reliable, good value for money and experienced. But before you start to panic, the process needn’t be stressful; all it takes is patience, (lots of) research and my help!
Here’s a useful guide on what to consider when researching potential suppliers. Remember, wedding planning might be serious business, but it can be fun! Settle down with a latte and let the magic begin.
Timing is everything
I can’t stress this enough! The more time you give yourself to plan, the easier and more satisfying your journey will be. It also means you have a greater chance of securing your first choice wedding suppliers. We all know how rushing around can mess with our thought processes: we make rash decisions because we’re running out of time and we feel pressured to choose suppliers we’re not happy with.
The best time to start planning is now! Get a lovely notebook and pen (gorgeous stationery always helps, doesn’t it? I would highly recommend The Wedding Blueprint Planner) and start making notes and lists. If you’re super techy, create an all-singing, all-dancing spreadsheet. Organising your thoughts in one place from day one will do wonders for your mood: instead of constantly worrying you can really enjoy the thrill and excitement of the planning process.
Pick a budget and stick to it
From the out set you will need to agree on a budget and keep tabs on it!
It’s tempting to throw caution to the wind and splurge on flowers but you might end up having to cut corners on your wedding stationery.
Research, research, research
I say this a lot but research is crucial to sourcing the perfect wedding suppliers.
First things first, try not to go with the first vendor you speak to, unless they’ve been strongly recommended by your most trusted friend. It’s wise to get at least a couple of quotes for the sake of your budget. Plus, you’ll want to pick a supplier that appreciates your vision and who you gel with.
How to research without losing your mind?
Speak to friends and family – word of mouth is an excellent way to both find and appraise suppliers. An honest assessment from someone you trust is a gift, so ask around! Also using suppliers you have already booked and your venue to ask for recommendations can mean you are assembling a team of like-minded professionals.
Online – this will give you a real flavour of the ethos, reliability and popularity of your chosen supplier. How up to date is their website? How often do they post on social media? It might seem trivial but a company on top of its marketing is generally pretty organised and professional. It’s important for them to show their business in the best light so look out for up to date photos and examples of their work as well as plenty of testimonials.
While you’re online, check out wedding-related blogs, directories and wedding websites for recommendations. Online forums are another effective way to get the low down on suppliers. Hitched, Coco and Bridebook are great places to start.
Wedding fairs (restrictions may apply) – wedding fairs are a fantastic means of getting up close and personal with some of the most talented suppliers. You can have a proper conversation, ask plenty of questions and get a sense of how you could work together. Your relationship with your supplier is important!
After you’ve carried out extensive research, shortlist your favourite potential suppliers. This method will save you days and days of phoning, emailing and chasing dozens of companies. Shortlisting will focus your mind and your choices.
The next stage is to get in touch with your shortlisted suppliers. Remember to give them the following information:
- Your name and that of your intended
- Wedding date and location as well as some idea of your theme etc
- Your contact details
- What you require from the supplier – give as much detail as you can.
Then, it’s time to ask them:
- Their availability
- Their pricing structure and payment terms
- Their terms and conditions
- How you can book
This should lead to a consultation where you can meet (or chat/Zoom/Skype) for a detailed chat about your big day and requirements. Get a real feel for them, and be realistic about how well you might work together. This will be an important relationship, so listen to your head and your heart; if it doesn’t feel right, make a decision and move on.
Make your decisions and book
There’s not much more to be said, happily!
Once you’re confident that you’ve done your homework and you’re happy with your choices then get booking.
A last word of advice: check over all terms and conditions so you don’t get caught out. Your supplier won’t mind if you ask loads of questions! Isn’t it better to be safe than sorry?
I hope this run-down of how to research your wedding suppliers is helpful to you at this exciting stage of the planning process. If you need help planning your wedding I’d be delighted to chat to you about your needs. Please don’t hesitate to contact me via my online enquiry form, social media or by email.