Planning Your Wedding - Part 3
Choosing your Suppliers
Your suppliers can be anything from your florist, photographer, videographer, cake, cars & transport, venue decoration, fireworks, entertainment, bridal wear, groomswear, caterers and of course your venue.
Choosing the right ones can be a minefield when you start looking, here are a few bits of advice that I can offer to help you make the right choices at the right time.
- First, don't be hasty in making your decisions, take your time, it's much better to wait and make the right decision than rushing in, paying your deposits, then finding something you like better later on. Most deposits are non refundable so mistakes can be costly.
- Shop around, speak to suppliers, go and visit them, see and touch (where you can) what you will be paying for.
- Recommendations from friends and family who may have used suppliers in the past is normally a good sign, it means that they have received good customer service and have tried and tested their products or services already.
- When you have decided what suppliers you are going to use, make sure you get something in writing and a receipt for any deposits paid and how much is left to be paid and by when. Read Terms and Conditions carefully before you commit, this can save a load of headaches later!
- If you are using a wedding coordinator make sure that they have a list of all the suppliers, contact names and phone numbers, this will allow them to coordinate the suppliers on the run up to and including your wedding day.
- A wedding coordinator/planner will also have a range of suppliers that they use and have worked with closely in the past, who they know are reliable, affordable and deliver only the best service to their clients. It might be worth having a conversation. Some planners will charge for this Supplier Sourcing at Beauty Weddings we do this free of charge.
I would advise looking for your photographer as early as possible. It's all very well a friend saying that they will take your photo's for you, but, there is always a risk that the images won't turn out as you would expect. Speak to several photographers, find out if they are available on the day of your wedding, look at their websites to see examples of their previous work, go and visit them and see how you get on with them, all these things are so important to make sure that you get the best images of your day. Photographers and Videographers get booked up quickly which is why it's so important that you do this early.
Think of the time of year that you want to get married, what kind of flowers are in season? Do you have a colour scheme in mind? What style is your dress? all these things are factors to consider when choosing your bouquet. Go into florists, see, touch and smell the flowers, ask them to show you examples of their work. Find out when they would have the bouquets ready, will they deliver them on the day of the wedding and when. Again shop around and don't rush in.
The choice of cakes out on the market is huge. There are so many different styles, textures and flavours to choose from. Decide how much you want to spend on your cake. Do you have a style in your head. Many of the wedding shows and fayres will have several stands where you can look at cakes and get an idea of what is on offer, and at the shows there are usually offers available if you book on the day.
It depends on your needs, you might want a vintage car, limo, horse and cart. Whatever you have your heart set on you need to do this early, as they will be booked up well in advance. Never just book over the phone! Go along and have a look at the cars, are they clean and presentable, what is the chauffeur like, are they interested in you and your wedding, when will they arrive, what route will they take, how do they charge - by the hour or 4 hourly?
Choosing your entertainment can be fun, it depends what you are looking for. Do you want a band for the evening, or maybe a DJ or a mix of both. It's a great excuse for a few nights out with your betrothed, to have a look at bands playing in venues, visit websites and listen to their music, and have a chat with them to find out their availability.
You will want your reception venue to have the WOW factor when you and your guests enter the room. Prices can vary hugely across the industry so shop around look at testimonials, look at photo's and meet with the person that will be decorating your venue for you. Do they understand what it is you want? are they able to visualise it with you? Do they offer advice and ideas? This is your wedding, you are paying for a service, you can have it any way you want it.
Regardless of whether you are having a wedding in a big hotel or a community centre, your food is something that you want to be right. If it's your venue that is going to be providing the catering, go there for lunch or dinner before you book anything, bit like a secret shopper if you like, see what the service and food are like before making your decision. If it's an outside caterer, find out if they are preparing the meals / buffet on site or if they will be bringing it with them, sample some of their menu's, is their attention to detail the way you want it. All these things are important when making your final decisions.
Remember to set your budget before you book anything, speak to several suppliers to see what special offers they may have, see, touch, feel and taste as much as possible, and never put a deposit down on anything until you are absolutely certain you have the right person for the job. If in doubt.... don't!
Next Week.... Planning your Wedding - Part 4 The Lead up to the Wedding