Set a Budget
Before you do anything, you need to decide on your budget. We recommend using a spreadsheet to log your supplier information and prices as you go along so you can keep a real-time track of what’s being spent where! That way you should be able to allocate your budget to each supplier. Spreadsheets might not be the hight of romance, but they’re a lot better than unexpected issues with money. Be upfront with your suppliers about your budget as well. Most suppliers will be able to cater for a wide range of budgets and honesty will help save your money and their time!
You Get What You Pay For
This doesn’t mean you have to spend a ridiculous amount of money! No matter what your budget size, it is important to allocate funds to each part of your wedding accordingly. Remember that the suppliers’ prices are based on their experience, quality and professionalism. If you want the wedding day of your dreams, don’t go with the cheapest option as they are rarely a bargain. Make sure you know which areas are the most important to you; invest in these and making savings elsewhere.
Be Flexible with Dates
Being able to be flexible will allow you more choice when it comes to booking suppliers. Some suppliers, such as venues, can book up years in advance, so even if you’re planning a wedding far into the future, you’re not guaranteed your desired date. If you decide on an autumn wedding but are flexible on whether it’s late September or early November, this will increase your options when it comes to finding the perfect suppliers.
Make a list of what suppliers you need to book first, which ones are most important to you, and then work through them in order. Start with the venue first, as you need to know where you’ll be tying the knot when booking other suppliers! Next, those that can only take one booking for your date, such as photographers, bands and hair and make-up artists, should be high on your list. Then you can start working your way down the rest of your list, with any potential extras near the bottom. So, if you run out of time or they don’t fit into your budget, you won’t be too disappointed.
Recommendations and Reviews
If you have no idea how to start your search for a particular supplier, like a florist, use online reviews and recommendations to find reputable ones in your area! Reviews may not tell you everything that the supplier has to offer but it will give you an idea as to whether they are capable of satisfying their clients, so it’s a good place to start!
Meet with Potential Suppliers
Once you’ve found a selection of suppliers that fit your needs and budget, you should meet with, or at least speak to, about 2 or 3 of each type of supplier. Use meeting them as an opportunity to get to know them and how they work: can you imagine spending time with them or do you think your personalities might clash, especially under constraints of time and pressure? Follow your instincts and don’t be afraid to dismiss a supplier because they make you uncomfortable! That aside, these meetings should be a fun experience, as florists can help you decide on flowers and designs, while caterers will offer you tastings to find the perfect menu for you. Mmmmm - let the shmoozing begin.
Read The Small Print
Once you have chosen your suppliers, you will be asked to sign a contract with them. Make sure it clearly details the service they are providing and when all payments are due, from the initial deposit to the final payment. Also check all the little details like whether they’re insured, their cancellation policy and whether they need anything from you on the day. After finding the perfect supplier, you don’t want to get caught out by anything on your big day!
Consider Your Supplier
Throughout this process, don’t forget to be considerate towards your supplier. While you might only be planning one wedding, your suppliers will probably be juggling a lot more! If you want anything to go smoothly, make sure to keep in regular contact with your suppliers and notify them of any major changes immediately. Even if you think it’s bad news, a supplier would prefer to know sooner rather than later.