Good morning! It’s Friday and as we approach the weekend I can imagine many of you out there are busily surfing the Internet for your dream wedding team.
I had a great conversation yesterday with a groom to be who was quite overwhelmed with the advice his friends and family had given him about the best suppliers to use. He was inundated by emails from well meaning friends and family on whom he should choose to photograph his wedding and entertain at it as well as all the other areas such as flowers etc. He asked me where to start and how to know what to pay and who would do the best job.
For me this is an easy answer because of course I spend my life finding great people to work with. There really are some fantastic people in the wedding industry and more often than not they inspire me because of their commitment and enthusiasm.
The people you choose to help you make your wedding day a reality are so important – I cannot stress this enough
You can’t do it alone and it really is all about the journey with them and how they treat you and make you feel. Imagine on the day of the wedding knowing that 'your team' will do exactly what they need to do so that your wedding is perfect.
Think about the wedding planning process, it can be very stressful and if you have great help from people that inform you, answer your emails on time and have a can do attitude, what a joy! These are the kind of people that you need behind you.
Before you start do your homework!
First of all don’t go and see suppliers without deciding on what you want, and don’t want! Having a good idea of what you want to buy from them is key so they can give you’re the right price and the right service or goods and you won’t buy what you don’t really need. You may not be crystal clear. For example, you my not know the best flowers to choose that are in season but you do know that you want a contemporary bouquet with lots of foliage.
Decide on a budget for each supplier. That way you wont be tempted to spend what you don’t have. Look around at who and what is on offer. Compare prices and services so you have a good idea. It will help you to speak with authority and also to understand what they are offering if you have a little background.
Make a list of at least two suppliers to see so that you can compare and contrast. If you work with a wedding planner then you can be sure who they recommend are the best. Their reputation depends on it.
Are they professional in their approach?
Did they turn up on time? Slovenly dressed and late suppliers are often a prerequisite for how they will treat you and their business.
Listen carefully and ask questions
When you meet a supplier they should be interested in you and not spout at you as soon as you sit down. They should take time to find out what YOU want and what your budget is so that they offer the right product or service. Sometimes clients can feel intimidated and a little overwhelmed. Remember suppliers are just like you and me, most of them want to help you so feel free to ask what you want to know and ask for clarification if there is something you don’t understand.
The bridal flowers pictured to the right are by Tiaras and Flowers.
Yes do ask what is the best offer they can give you, but please don’t go there with an aggressive attitude, it does not help either of you. The wedding suppliers that I know and work with are all good quality and value for money. A good supplier should be worth the cost of their service and should be able to justify it to you.
You may certainly get a discount, if you don’t ask you don’t get but you may not. You can of course ask for added value. It maybe that this person just cannot discount their service because it is a fair one but they might like to help out with something that adds value.
Such as, a photographer may decide to add an engagement shoot to their package or offer extra images, or a venue might give you the bridal suite for free. Everyone knows the financial climate at the moment and the wedding industry is very competitive and good suppliers will be fair. Remember they do have to make a living as well.
The guest book is by a company called Elle is For Love.
Build up a relationship
I don’t mean be their best friend, but by being honest and approachable with people often this is reflected back to you. These suppliers are going to deliver the vision of your wedding day and want to be able to rely on them. When you meet smile, chat to them. You should feel comfortable around them anyway if you going to employ them.
Generally people will go the extra mile for people they like too. It will also make you more confident when discussing money and what they can offer you. If a supplier likes you, they are much more open to helping you get what you want and working within your budget.
Before you sign on the dotted line...
Read the contract through carefully; be sure to ask what the cancellations charges are. What will happen if they are ill, who will turn up at your wedding if they can’t? When do you need to pay and how much? Is VAT added to the cost? Be sure that if you book very early ask if the price will change with inflation. All of this should be in the small print. READ IT!
Go with your gut!
If you feel this person is just not for you or in any way you are not happy with them or comfortable in their company. WALK AWAY! There really are hundreds of people that can help you.
I hope this helps you engage with great wedding experts. If you have anything you want to share about your experiences please let us know. It is always good to have good and bad feedback.
If you are getting married in the next few weeks you are probably getting a little nervous. Next week I will be giving you my tips for staying calm on the morning of the wedding.
So until next time, happy planning.
Written by Julie Dawson - The Wedding Genie