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Planning a Wedding: Searching for and Selecting Suppliers

16th July 2013

Researching and selecting the right suppliers can be a big challenge when planning a wedding – prioritising the budget, comparing quotes and ensuring everything runs smoothly can be stressful and time-consuming. Here’s a list of the most important types of suppliers to remember, and how to make sure you select the right one.

Wedding dress

Wedding dress

Before beginning the search decide what type of dress you want and search online for ideas. It is important to try to find suppliers in the local area; although this is not always possible, it will allow you to vet the supplier before selecting the right dress, and make it easier to attend fittings. Check their website and search online for information from previous customers to ensure the company is reputable.

Lots of time needs to be dedicated to research to ensure you find the dress of your dreams. Although it is possible to buy wedding dresses online, be cautious and ask lots of questions. There’s also the chance of the dress not fitting properly (or looking anything like the pictures!) and sellers will often not allow returns.

Transport

It is important to consider the logistics of the wedding before searching for transport suppliers. For example, will transport be required to take guests to the reception?

The wedding car itself should fit the theme of the wedding; usually the wedding car will feature in some wedding pictures, so it should not clash with the wedding party’s clothes or accessories. Before choosing a supplier, decide on what type of car you want and how it should be customised. Make sure you research several companies to ensure they are legitimate and ask to see their vehicles before booking. If you decide to use your own or a family member’s car ensure it is cleaned out before the big day!

Also ensure vehicles are booked for the rest of the wedding party, and if booking transport to take guests to the reception standard minibuses could be used.

Wedding flowers

Floristry

It is important to decide what type (or at least colour) of flowers you want at your wedding – some types of flowers are not available at certain times of the year so it is important to check. Search online for florists, ensure they would be available on the date of wedding, and then ask for a quote from each. This allows you to compare prices and also understand what each supplier can offer you. It is important to not only consider the price, but also the quality of their offering and whether it meets your original expectations.

Ask to see their work from previous weddings and find out whether multiple consultations are possible before the wedding day. Many florists will charge for consultation time so it is important to find out this information beforehand. The clearer you can be about what you require, the easier the process will be. Compile a scrapbook or mood board of images to help the florist understand what you expect.

Catering

Before beginning the search for a caterer, prioritise your budget to work out what funds are available to spend on the catering. This and your wedding theme can help to narrow the types of catering available to you. Again, ensure you do your research to make sure the caterer you select is reliable and will provide an excellent level of service. It is important to find out specifically what services they provide – is it just food, or does it also include planning, staffing and setting up too? You will need to ensure your venue and the caterer’s services will work together to ensure all areas are covered.

Other important aspects to consider are whether dietary requirements can be catered for and whether alcohol will be provided. Also ensure the contract is clear so no hidden charges can appear unexpectedly, inflating the cost.

Stationery

Different types of stationery you might choose to have at your wedding includes the wedding invitations, plus place cards, the order of service, seating plans and menus. Your stationery should go with the rest of the wedding theme, e.g. whether it is formal or informal, as it can help set the tone of the wedding. For wedding invitations, ensure they are sent out at least two months before the wedding; however if you are getting married at a time of the year when people are likely to make their own plans – such as Valentines’ Day or a bank holiday – send it out much earlier.

Remember to confirm with all suppliers before the wedding to ensure the plans are in place. This will help to prevent any last minute issues allowing you to be relaxed and stress-free on your big day.

Wedding stationery

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