How To Research & Choose Your Wedding Suppliers
Your wedding day is undoubtedly one of the most important days of life and as any recently married couple will tell you, it takes a village to plan a wedding! While you and your spouse-to-be are mostly responsible for the big decisions, you’ll also need a team of like-minded wedding suppliers by your side, to plan and execute your dream day. So, if you’re currently looking to secure your dream team, keep reading our stress-free guide on how to research and choose the best wedding suppliers for your day.
- Do your Homework with your Fiancé and Agree on an Overall Budget in Advance
It’s important to set your budget and the number of guests first, so that you don’t fall in love with a venue or suppliers that are out of your price range or can’t accommodate the size of your group. Even if you do end up spending a little more than you had anticipated, it’s better to discuss and set your expectations in private. You don’t want to put yourselves in an awkward situation where one of you wants to book but the other is concerned about cash flow, and you’re arguing about it in front of the wedding planner, caterer, or whomever. As you shop around, you’ll get a much clearer picture of how much this is all going to cost you. It’s also important to discuss your major likes and dislikes. That way, you’re both on the same page about what your must-haves are – an awesome band, a divine menu, beautiful photos & videos to look back on – as opposed to nice-to-haves.
- Prioritise your Key Suppliers
So where should you start? Start by making a priority list of any key suppliers who need to be booked sooner rather than later. Remember, you don’t need to book all of your wedding suppliers at the same time. The most in-demand suppliers that generally get booked first include venues, photographers, entertainers and wedding planners, so consider researching these suppliers first. You should also think about your overall wedding vision and priorities for the day to help you determine your timeline for booking suppliers. For example, if live music and delicious food are high up the priority list, you’ll want to secure these suppliers as soon as possible (and consider allocating a higher percentage of your budget accordingly).
- Consider your Requirements
Start by making a list of requirements for each supplier, and outlining your specific wants and needs. For example, maybe you want a photographer that specialises in candid, documentary-style images, or a wedding planner that has previous experience at your venue. Knowing your priorities for each supplier will help you streamline your research and make the process much quicker and easier.
- Research your Suppliers Thoroughly
Researching wedding suppliers both online and offline is a great way to find your perfect fit. Spend some time browsing wedding blogs and FB wedding groups to learn more about the different suppliers. Be sure to check out their galleries and testimonials from past couples to get an overall indication of their quality of work. If you’re communicating with a Get Hitched supplier, you can do this by checking their profile. You can also take your research offline through referrals and word-of-mouth – you may even ask the suppliers to provide you with contact info for recent clients who can vouch for their services. Wedding fairs are another great way to find suppliers you connect with. At the time of writing, the team over at Get Hitched are actually working on a Virtual Wedding Fair allowing couples to have live video chats with suppliers from the comfort and safety of their homes, so keep your eyes peeled!
- Meet Suppliers and Determine if your Personalities Mesh Well
Ok so you have agreed on a budget, agreed on the must haves, shortlisted your preferred suppliers and like their reviews. But do you have chemistry with them? Are you in harmony? Remember; this is one of the most important days of your life and you are entrusting them with a crucial service (not to mention the significant monetary costs involved), so of the utmost importance to be comfortable around them. Remember, you’ll be interacting with them on what will likely be the most emotional day of your life, so you want someone who will be able to put you at ease, not stress you out even more. If something feels “off” and you’re not sure what it is, that may be your subconscious telling you to keep looking. It’s important to choose suppliers you genuinely get along with, so take the time to jump on the phone or video chat to find people you feel relaxed and comfortable around. You won’t be able to gauge if there is chemistry without meeting and engaging with suppliers, so don’t fall into the mistake of selecting suppliers purely on price point, or someone else’s reviews. It’s important to close the loop with any suppliers you have started engaging with, even if you choose not to work with them. Simply thank them for their time and inform them that you will not be using their services. Not only is this the right thing to do, but will allow the suppliers to free up their time for other clients.
- Get Everything that’s included in Writing, Down to the Smallest Detail
In order to truly understand what’s included in a quoted price, ask the supplier to itemise everything for you. Although this might sound slightly over-the-top, this information will safeguard your interests in the event of a dispute or in case the items you requested aren’t available during that time because of unforeseen issues. When reviewing the contract, look out for any hidden costs (wording such as “additional costs may be incurred” and “plus the cost of setup and delivery” are obvious giveaways). Don’t be shy to ask for clarification if anything is unclear. You should also be informed about any overage fees in case the ceremony or reception runs later than you expected.
Once you’ve booked your dream team suppliers, simply trust the process and move forward with confidence! Give them clear directions and let them do their jobs while you enjoy your big day with your loved ones, and more importantly, the beginning of your new life with your partner. These people are experts in the industry and work with engaged couples just like you for a living. With the right team by your side, you can rest assured your big day will be everything you dreamed of, and more.
Author: Ben Vincenti, Co-Founder & Director of Get Hitched