Wedding Supplier Insights - Tips & Tricks.
Updated: Feb 24, 2020
Wow... this year is just flying by! It's been amazing and I am so grateful for the weddings I have been part of for 2019. Following lots of chats with fellow suppliers, it became clear that sometimes, when planning your wedding,with the amount of varying suppliers, all delivering different aspects to your day, it can be tricky for couples to navigate. So, I thought we could all put our heads together to help you brides & grooms to make your wedding planning seamless as possible.
One of the best things about weddings and wedding planning is the diversity and choice the industry offers. We are so privileged to have some of the finest artists, curators and passionate creatives all working in their own fields to contribute elements to your wedding day. With so many suppliers to juggle if you aren’t using a professional wedding planner and planning solo, working out who to book first can be quite daunting. Typically, the 'peak' time for the majority of wedding suppliers is April-October with some have a longer season, others shorter. In my experience, over the years aside from bank holidays, there isn’t always a lot of rhyme or reason to the dates which become booked first which makes planning for your wedding all the more tricky!
If you aren't using a planner, organisation is key. The flow to your planning is crucial and the place to begin is with your wedding venue (if your still working out how to find the perfect venue, check out this blog piece) Your wedding venue is a priority, this will allow your suppliers to efficiently and accurately prepare you a quotation inclusive of availability and if any mileage charges apply. Some wedding suppliers in peak season may have capacity to deliver more than one wedding per day, for example florists and cake makers. This is perfectly normal and knowing as much information from the offset should allow them to make an informed and honest decision about whether they will be able to work with you for your wedding day. For these suppliers, their role is to design certain elements to your day and deliver them on time and with great satisfaction. With other suppliers, planners and photographers for example, it will be more unlikely they are operating across two wedding venues on one particular day. This is of course, with the exception of larger team wedding suppliers. This varies from supplier to supplier and each works slightly differently depending on how they choose to work with their clients.
Choosing your wedding dress can seem an obvious place to begin, it's important not to rush the decisions. If you are wanting a handmade, one off creation a much longer amount of town will need to be allowed as opposed to an equally beautiful creation which needs adapting for your measurements. Olivia from The Bridal Box Boutique owns a stunning boutique located in West Yorkshire, her take on wedding dress shopping is that"every bride is different and shopping for the one is a very personal experience. We would advise to start looking for your dress around 12 to 18 months in advance of your wedding date. This does not mean however that we need this amount of time to order your gown in. Our specially picked designers can order dresses within a 6-8 week period with a further 8 weeks for alterations. Allowing the 12 to 18 months period takes away any pressure you may have on finding the one. Some brides do find it tricky selecting the 'one' so allowing this amount of time takes anyway any panic and allows you to enjoy the experience as you should."
Choosing your photographer is so key to your day, not only for those lasting memories but also will dictate how comfortable you feel on the wedding day. You will spend a considerable amount of time with you photographer. If you work with me to source a photographer, I will spend time getting to know you as a couple as well as the style of photography you prefer, to match you with the best possible suppliers for your needs.
Adele from Fly On The Wall Photography shares the following insights - "Booking a photographer, comes down to one question how important are the images to you as a couple. This will help you choice what type of photographer you need to look for and what budget you should set aside for photography. There are many different styles of photographers, that work in different ways. You should look at a photographers past work and even have a chat to them before booking to ensure they are the photographer for you. If your venue has a recommended photographer, this may not be the 'right' photographer for you. You need to feel comfortable with who you chose, it is your wedding day.
I would recommend booking the photographer as a priority if you place value to the photography at your wedding. Photographers get booked up early. However saying that, you might just get lucky, so always ask the question if you really like a particular photographer and their style."
Celebrant led weddings are becoming increasingly popular and it's easy to see why - their flexible nature means you can host a ceremony almost anywhere regardless of licenses and their personable attributes mean that they really are a true expression of you as a couple. Jas from Infinite Celebrations is a wedding celebrant and suggests " A celebrant led wedding is an opportunity to break away from traditions and cultures that dictate to you how your wedding should be. Speaking to your celebrant right at the beginning of your planning journey, will offer you a huge range of options and possibilities that will inspire you to make the right choice to ensure your ceremony and wedding is a day to remember"
Choosing a florist is a must have in wedding design, flowers can transform a space and cleverly used greenery can have so much impact. Roxanne from Lily Blossom Florist shares her tips & tricks - "I always think 12 months before is a good time to get your florist booked, or even 18 months if your wedding is at a peak time. I always recommend booking and paying a deposit as soon as you're happy and confident that you want me to do your flowers, no plans have to be made but you're in the diary then at least! I don't really request much from my couples initially, possibly a few ideas, pictures etc that they have seen and liked and an openness to discuss everything. Pinterest is an amazing way of getting ideas across to each other too, but try to be overwhelmed with it all, there is a LOT of stuff to sift through. If you can have an idea of how much you would like to spend in total on flowers, or per table decoration then this can help too as it stops me suggesting things that are too extravagant or similarly, not extravagant enough!"
You will be working closely with your suppliers to create your wedding day, as simple as it sounds liking your suppliers, feeling that they ‘get’ you and understand your vision will go a long way. It’s important not to let the overwhelm get on top of you, a lot of wedding suppliers work in the same way as Roxanne and are more than happy for you to book a slot (some may be subject to a minimum overall spend) but allow you the flexibility after you have booked, to gather further inspiration and finalise the details.
Wedding cakes can be a beautiful focal point for your wedding day and getting the right supplier is crucial to ensure quality and precision. Lorien from Storeybook Cakes is one of the best in the business and shares the following insights into making sure your booking process is as smooth as possible “The main things needed to be able to quote are date, venue, details of the guest numbers, any colour schemes or wedding themes and information on the sort of designs they like, budget too if they have one. As for when to book... as early as possible. If the wedding is during peak summer months I suggest 12 to 18 months in advance, I'm often booked up over summer a year in advance, I'm booking now for summer 2021 as next summer is pretty much full and has been for a while. There is more availability over October to March so 6 to 12 months is usually fine here.”
Another key element is your chosen Hair & Make up Artist, choosing the right style for you is imperative to ensuring it is still you walking down the aisle! Niky from Nicola Whitfield Hair & Make Up Artist says that "I only book one wedding a day, I could do two but I like to enjoy your wedding day with you. This means that I do tend to book fairly quickly, 18 months – 12 months in advance of your wedding day is an ideal time to book. How many people the booking is for, details of what you need, allergies in advance, dress images, inspirations images is all really helpful information for me to have."
Wedding planning needn't be logistical chaos, relax and enjoy the planning, ask for help when you need it and trust your gut instincts. If you would like to have a chat, do get in touch, i'd be more than happy to help you with your wedding plans.
Until next time, Jess X
Image Credit: https://flyonthewallphotography.co.uk/