Planning & Décor
INVALUABLE ADVICE FROM SOMEONE WHO KNOWS EXACTLY WHAT IT’S LIKE TO BE STANDING IN YOUR SHOES!
‘The perfect match’
How to find wedding suppliers who can turn your dream day into a reality.
Now you have a clear idea what you want your wedding day to be like it’s time to start searching for the perfect location. Since the venue will take up a large proportion of your budget, and popular ones get booked up so far in advance, it’s important to focus on this first, not least because it will mean that you can then set the date!
Make appointments to visit all of the venues you’re interested in and be sure to spend at least a few hours there. Don’t just look at the building itself … observe how the staff behave, how professional and on the ball the wedding co-ordinator is, and try and taste the food and drink. Ask if yours would be the only wedding there that day, where your photos would be taken if the weather is bad, and what time the music has to stop in the evening. Try and see it when it’s set up for a real wedding so you can really get a feel for how it would look on the day.
If the venue is also where you want to spend your first night together as husband and wife make sure the bridal suite is reserved for you – don’t assume this will automatically happen!
Now that the venue and date have been confirmed, inform everyone you intend to invite so that they can put it in their diary and book time off work if required. It’s not imperative to send out save the date cards; you can simply phone and email everybody on your guest list. Make it as easy as possible for those travelling a long way by sending them details of airports, railway stations, local taxi firms and a choice of accommodation to suit every budget.
My next priority was booking the photographer. As your wedding photos are your lasting memory of the day, they are absolutely worth investing in but, as photographers can vary markedly in price, they can also make a big dent in your budget. Certainly, at whatever stage you book your photographer, it’s worth asking to see albums of recent weddings they’ve shot at your venue so you can get a feel for how they use the space. It’s also important to confirm how much of the day they will cover - will they still be there to capture your first dance together?
When looking for suppliers don’t be afraid to pick the brains of family, friends and colleagues who have recently married. Many brides shy away from this as they want their wedding to be completely different to anyone else’s. However, if your friend has already done the legwork and found a florist who offers a good service for a fair price – and you loved the flowers at her wedding – it would be silly not to ask.
Research, research and more research is the key to finding good suppliers who really understand your vision and who you feel confident working with. Weddings often attract a premium, so negotiate on everything you order – if you can’t get a reduction on the price ask, for something extra to be thrown in for free!