Choosing and getting the very best from your wedding suppliers

11 August 2016

Congratulations, you’re getting married! You’ve found the love of your life and are ready to start planning the perfect day.  But where to start?!

Choosing your wedding suppliers is undoubtedly a huge step - you’re relying on them for some really, really important things! The process should be fun and straightforward, but it isn’t always; there are lots of moving parts and parties, so we’re here to help with a little guidance to make planning more pleasurable!

WHERE TO SOURCE SUPPLIERS FROM

The internet is bursting with suppliers but whilst it’s a great tool to have, it’s not the place I’d recommend you start. First chat to your friends and family, look back at the weddings you’ve attended and start collecting recommendations:

  • Florist
  • Photographer / videographer
  • Bridal store
  • Hair & makeup
  • Venue
  • Wedding planner
  • Caterers
  • Wedding cake
  • Entertainment
  • Finishing touches

Then it’s time to do a bit of research on each of the suppliers and, if needed, broaden your search starting with local supplier websites and social media. (Top tips: look for whether they are members of industry associations, have won any awards for their work, have gushing testimonials from their customers!)

Finding a supplier that fits with you - someone who you just ‘click’ with - is a great result! So, it’s definitely worth asking them who they would recommend.  I know from experience that working with people on the same professional wave-length can make a difference to the feel of a wedding; everybody knows what they are doing, things run smoothly and it creates a much more relaxed environment for the bride and groom. The people we recommend I see more as our wedding friends than I do suppliers.  After many years working together I know how they work, what their personalities are like, what they are like under pressure, what they love and how their business ticks, so I feel confident in my recommendations.

Taking the time to really research and then meet your wedding suppliers means you’ll be choosing them because you love their style, their approach, their portfolio and everything about them, this will form a great foundation for a fabulous working relationship.

 

IT’S A TWO WAY STREET

Developing great relationships is most certainly a two-way street and both you and your suppliers should be working towards similar goals in similar ways.

After all, they are the ones that are on the front line, enacting your plans, shaping your vision and providing you with much needed support along the way, which is why your ongoing relationship is vitally important.

It all starts with being open and honest. What are your expectations and vision? What are theirs? How should you communicate – telephone, face to face, email? And then there’s the sticky question of budget? Being upfront about how much you have to spend with your supplier is really important. It can be very difficult for a supplier to pitch their ideas without some idea of budget, particularly in the case of things which can vary substantially in terms of scale and quantity such as flower designs.

Having the money conversation early on can really help. Most wedding suppliers are micro to small businesses who aren’t driven by pure financial gain but by a passion for what they do.  I’ve been delivering bouquets to brides from The Flower Lounge for over 7 years, but each time I literally hold my breath when the bride sees her wedding flowers for the first time. I know this is the same for the suppliers we work with; the late nights, the planning and preparation, the giddiness on the day itself. So, by disclosing your budget they are not automatically looking to use it up, but looking at how to make it work in the best way for you.

These are some of things that will help you form great working relationships and will allow you to enjoy the planning process, have confidants who also happen to be industry experts, and have so much less to worry about!

So to recap!

  • Do your homework
  • Communicate openly and honestly and try to meet face to face where possible
  • Be upfront about your budget
  • Trust in your suppliers to do everything in their power to make your day perfect

Below I’ve shared a few photos of the weddings we’ve had the pleasure of working on as well as showcasing some of the incredible work of our wedding friends! 

I consider myself very lucky to work amongst such a talent-filled, sharing and caring industry – simply taking the time to find the right suppliers will mean you’re 90% of the way there to creating an utterly magical wedding celebration.