How To Assemble Your Dream Team Of Wedding Suppliers
Your wedding day will only be as special as the team who you bring on to help make it all happen. For the single most important day of your life yet, you want to ensure that you love your team of wedding suppliers and trust them implicitly. This is without a doubt one of the most important factors in being able to enjoy your day (and of course the lead up) and ensure that both you and your guests have a day you won’t forget.
Wedding suppliers who are unreliable, uncommunicative or simply unclear can be a high source of anxiety for couples, particularly when you are relying on them to pull your day together. Hiring a wedding planner and having someone who is entirely responsible for managing your suppliers can really help to lift this weight off your shoulders. And exactly the same rules apply when it comes to hiring a wedding planner as with all your other suppliers.
There is such a huge choice out there these days when it comes to wedding suppliers and it can feel a little overwhelming. Most wedding suppliers are extremely helpful, reliable and flexible, but just sometimes, you might end up with one that isn’t. So, being a bit savvy in your choices will protect you from any disasters and ensure that the planning, and of course the day itself, go as smoothly as possible! Here are some of my top tips and the questions you need to be asking to help you assemble your dream team.
GET CLEAR ON WHAT YOU'RE LOOKING FOR
Before you start enquiring and meeting with potential wedding suppliers, have a really good understanding what it is that you want from them and what type of qualities, styles, and prices you are looking for. Most couples miss out this stage entirely but it is one of the most important steps. Sit down together and before you get thick into research, get some answers to those all-important big questions about your day. More on this in a recent blog post of mine ‘Wedding Planning in 8 Simple Steps.’ Getting clear on what money you have to spend and how you want your wedding day to look and feel are just some of the things that will send you in the right direction when it comes to researching and will ensure that you don’t waste any time.
ASK QUESTIONS TO UNDERSTAND WHAT IS BEING OFFERED
Understanding the scope of your wedding suppliers roles is really important. That also means making sure you are crystal clear on what it will cost and what is included. Some suppliers may have fixed packages that they advertise on their websites, while others may not provide a quote until after a more detailed consultation. If it is the latter, make sure you ask if there is a minimum fee first to check that you are in the right price bracket. Consider also whether there are certain things your suppliers should be aware of before you strike up conversations with them. For example, is it required that you have two photographers on the day, is there a cut-off for live music, can the cake only be delivered from a certain time?
GET A FEEL FOR STYLE
The ease with which we can get information online these days means that you can pretty quickly get a sense of someone’s brand, style, personality, and taste. Make sure you visit your potential wedding suppliers’ websites and social media platforms, read any blogs they have written and check out their portfolios and images of any styled shoots they been involved with. Even seeing the tone of voice that they use will give you a pretty good idea as to what the person or company is like and how they will be to work with.
If you have started up a conversation, or even met with the supplier already, how did you feel? Do you feel excited after reading one of their emails? Or is there something that makes you a little nervous? Does this person resonate with you? Do you like what you see? Usually, this one is all about going with the gut. There is no right or wrong, it is really about whether you see your visions and styles being aligned. If you feel there is some rapport, you will much more likely be pleased with what is delivered on the day.
LOOK FOR TRUST SIGNALS
There are many different sources that will help you get an idea as to how trustworthy a wedding supplier is. For example, with wedding planners, you may want to check if he or she is a member of the UK Alliance of Wedding Planners (UKAWP), which means abiding by a strict code of business practice.
Check whether your supplier is part of a curated wedding directory, for example, Want That Weddings has their own wedding directory. Also look for testimonials or recommendations from previous couples or other suppliers. This could be found on their websites, social media or perhaps other trusted review sites online.
When it comes to price, like with everything, if something seems too good to be true, then it probably is. There is no need to pay more than you can afford but always try to invest in good quality suppliers as it will really pay off!
GET DOWN TO THE NITTY-GRITTY
For the final stage, either just before or just after you book in with a wedding supplier, make sure you get down to the details. Sweating the small stuff can be just as important as asking those big questions. Don’t be afraid to ask or get clarity on things that are not clear. Making sure you are happy with the professional setup is important here. Are you going to be working with one individual or a whole team? Will you have face-to-face meetings or primarily be communicating over email? How many team members will be there on the day itself and will you need to cover their meals? Do they have backup plans should something not go to plan?
Once you have got your answers and you are clear on all the details, the most important thing is to get everything in writing. Make sure you have a professional contract from your suppliers and that everything discussed is in there. And don’t glaze over the small print, it is there for a reason. Make sure you have a couple of pairs of eyes look over terms and conditions, cancellation policies and any additional costs as you don’t want to be caught out later down the road. This doesn’t mean that you don’t trust who you are working with, these legalities are in place to protect you just as much as the supplier.
Working with wedding suppliers is one of the most overwhelming, time-consuming and often stressful aspects of the wedding planning process. You will have to consider the research, enquiries, negotiations, contracts and booking, payments and communications, and this can all take up a considerable amount of time. That is where we planners come in! Our goal is to take all that weight off your shoulders. Not only will we help you navigate the choice of suppliers and recommend only the ones we trust, but we will also be much more likely to cut a good deal and will act as a middleman throughout the entire process. For my information on my wedding planning services and if you would like to find out how I can help, please get in touch!
Image 1: photography by Daniel Milligan Photography | Image 2: image by Jenny Yoo | Image 3: photography by Philippa Sian Photography | Image 4: photography by Philippa Sian Photography | Image 5: photography by Lucy Cuneo | Image 6: photography by Louise Bjorling | Image 7: photography by Rachel Kara & Tim Ashton | Image 8: photography by Rebecca Goddard Photography