Choosing your wedding supplier is an exciting part of the planning process and one that your wedding planner (me!) can definitely help you with.
The process of choosing your wedding vendors can be time-consuming, overwhelming and can be stressful but with my helpful tips below, you’re be sure to start off on the right foot!
Firstly, it is important to take your time. As exciting as wedding planning is and something that you can easily get carried away with, don’t rush into choosing the first supplier you find. There are so many amazing suppliers out there that can help bring your wedding day to life, you don’t want to second guess your choice of the supplier by rushing the process.
Research, research and more research. Although this part can be time-consuming it will potentially save you lots more stress in the long run. There are so many places to research: Pinterest, Instagram, recommendations from friends and family, blogs, magazines, internet searches and wedding directories.
When doing your research there are a few questions that you need to keep in mind so that you can focus your research on suppliers that will work with your wedding vision.
Your budget: does your supplier fit within your budget? Most suppliers will list their headline prices so you can easily dismiss those that are above your budget.
Style of Wedding: if you’re having a rustic, city, modern, vintage or classic then choose suppliers that will work within your style and theme. There is no point researching photographer or videographers for example who work in a particular style such as boho if this doesn’t fit with your vision.
Location: are the suppliers you’re looking at local to your venue? It is important to remember that some suppliers are willing to travel long distances but there will be additional costs involved whether that’s travel or accommodation related expenses.
Once you have a shortlist of suppliers then send them enquiry which details the key information about your big day such as date, location, services you require and your contact details. It is important that you provide the above information so that the supplier has an opportunity to respond accordingly.
There is a list of questions that you should include in your email such as: availability, prices, booking procedure, terms and conditions and payment terms.
Arrange a consultation with your supplier whether it’s over the phone, Zoom/Skype or in person. It is important to talk through your wedding day, what you’re looking for and to make sure that your supplier can work with you to achieve the vibe you’re looking for. Chemistry and a feeling of trust is also important as if your personalities don’t click the wedding planning process will not be as easy as it could be and it’s something you will be worrying about. You need to feel comfortable and supported by your supplier.
You’ve chosen your suppliers now before signing any contracts with them it is important to read their terms and conditions to make sure you are comfortable with what they are supplying for you.
Within the terms and conditions check what their deposit and payment terms are as often there is an upfront deposit cost and then either a payment plan if this is something they offer or normally you have to pay the outstanding balance within a certain amount of time before the wedding. Put these dates in your diary with a reminder so that you can be proactive at paying your suppliers otherwise be prepared to receive plenty of chaser emails asking for payment!
Ask and look for client testimonials and referrals. This is the best way to really understand how a supplier works in reality and there are a few options for finding these. First, you can look on social media as many suppliers will provide testimonials on Instagram, Facebook and their websites but it is also worth asking your suppliers if you can talk to their past clients or other suppliers that they have worked with. Some suppliers may offer this option freely but be prepared for some to not be so keen to share this as their past clients may not be comfortable being contacted in this way.
After following all of the steps above it’s time to make your decision. Inform your chosen suppliers that you’d like to proceed with them but also let those know who you’re not going with as they will appreciate your courtesy.
Then take a break and celebrate as a large part of your wedding planning has been done! If you’re struggling with sourcing any suppliers for your wedding and would like some help and advice then check out my wedding suppliers service where I help you narrow down your choices using my own network, knowledge and research.