How to choose your wedding suppliers?
First of all, I would like to congratulate you on your engagement and I wish you all the best in your marriage when it comes. I am currently active on a lot of forums where clients are looking for wedding suppliers and I’m also on many wedding suppliers only forums where we can ask each other for advice so I feel I am in a good position to write this blog on how to choose your wedding suppliers.
The key points you should be looking for within your wedding suppliers are
• Experience • Etiquette
Researching these points will determine if the wedding supplier is worth the asking fee for their services. A Wedding is a one off occasion so it’s not like buying an item of clothing where you can try it on first to see how it fits. By the time your wedding is here it’s too late to change should you have any issues.
2016 has seen so many wedding suppliers disappear without a trace and as a consumer, there is nothing you can legally do about it. What you can do is take as many precautions as possible to ensure it doesn’t happen to you. That starts with choosing the right supplier.
Referrals – You would think these are the best and safest way to go? I’m afraid not and ill explain why.
Now I can honestly say many clients and other wedding suppliers recommend me. I really appreciate the referrals, however; many of the clients who refer me are purely on the basis that they have themselves booked me. After the wedding and honeymoon, most of my clients will leave the wedding forums as they have no reason to stay in the group anymore . So even though they have recommended me to hundreds of brides and grooms to be they usually won’t return to the groups and post about how it went. This is normal, totally understandable and I don’t expect anyone to tell the world how their wedding was as it’s a personal day celebrated with friends and family.
So let’s cover the points I mentioned above;
Is the supplier capable of doing the job? How do you know they are?
You need a supplier who has and can do this type of work; a wedding has to run on a tight schedule. Your supplier needs the staff and resources to follow a strict timeline.
Is the wedding suppliers looking for reasons not to offer you what you want and being negative towards your ideas and thoughts? You need a supplier who can deliver exactly what you want and more.
What experience do the wedding suppliers have and what to they do to keep up with the times?
I can hand on heart say I know of a lot of wedding suppliers who have “just started out” and advertise themselves as Wedding Professionals. Regardless of the fact they have just left school, Still a teenager and wouldn’t be allowed to work in many clubs or pubs as they are too young yet people entrust them with the biggest day of their life? They will tend to offer the world, make it sound amazing at an unbeatable price. Everyone loves a good deal and IF they manage to pull it off then you have got yourself a bargain.
But let’s not be ageist – When I am looking for staff I value attitude and ability over experience, If someone can do a job and have the correct attitude to make sure it happens at all costs then I feel this is more important than experience. Let me put it this way; Are there any bad drivers on the road? All drivers on the road have undergone training and passed a test to say that they are safe on the roads. This is the same with anything in life, you can be doing something for years and just because you were above average at one point it certainly doesn’t mean you are now.
So my personal opinion is that you should be looking for wedding suppliers who are as excited about your day and delivering exactly what you want and more than ask about what they have done in the past, Many wedding suppliers will undergo training to ensure they are up to date and staying on top of what’s important. I personally go as far as America to train in weddings, this isn’t a must but it certainly proves I’ll go the extra mile or almost 5000miles if you want to be pedantic. You should you’re your supplier and then if you are still happy then you have found your supplier.
• Etiquette – How do they run their business defines how they will manage and work at your event
I have worked in many industries over the years and many are regulated, but even the regulated ones are full of corruption. Is your wedding supplier working on a cash only basis? Using an alias to gain your business? Only points of contact a mobile number, a facebook page and a free email address? If they get a knock at the door from CSA, HMRC or DWP are they still going to be working at your wedding? It’s important to get a bit of background on your supplier. It’s a personal service so when you meet them in person you will be able to trust your gut instinct if they are trustworthy. They may have every intention of supplying your wedding but if they work in the industry as a top up and get found out they will have no option but to cease trading. If they have the choice to let you down for your wedding or end up in jail for tax evasion and benefit fraud then I’m pretty sure you know what option they will take.
One of the most important factors, are they reliable and what steps do they take to ensure they will be?
What are the wedding suppliers plan B on the day? The biggest one being transport If the vehicle breaks down an hour away from your venue how will they get there? Can the supplier drive himself or herself or do they have a full time “driver” – What if that driver calls in sick or his/her vehicle breaks down?
What if the supplier is sick on the day? Will they attend and will they be able to deliver what has been promised?
Equipment – What if they have an equipment failure on the day, do they have a backup on site ready to use? It’s all very well having it at home or in the office / Storage unit but that doesn’t help on the day.
Personally – I have a designated business use vehicle with insurance cover that gets me a replacement van within the hour should I need it. If this isn’t quick enough I have a second vehicle I can use. I use a much larger van that I need to because I need the space to carry the entire backup that is required. Not always needed but depending on the supplier and line of work you could fit all you need in the boot of a small hatchback. I used to play in a band and I always had a spare guitar as it’s faster to grab the spare then it is to restring a guitar if you break a string mid-song.
Fail to prepare – Prepare to fail
So if you’ve got this far I’ll summarise everything above .
Ability – You want to see evidence that they can fulfil their promise to you Attitude – if they see it as just another job or they aren’t keen on your vision then why should you give them the work?
Experience – Don’t be afraid to ask how long they have been doing this and ask for evidence, you don’t know the person – they are a business and they do want your work.
Etiquette – Beware of wedding suppliers who always put down others directly, It’s on thing pointing out what to look for but suppliers who bad mouth others are usually the ones with the issues to avoid.
Reliability – Ask about the contingency plans of your wedding suppliers and how soon they can be implemented. Will it be minutes of a delay or hours? Minutes we can deal with as things do happen but showing up hours late or not showing up at al should not be an option.