Updated: Apr 9, 2021
If you are in the process of planning the perfect wedding, then you’re reading the right article.
That’s because you’re about to discover my easy 3-step method to have the wedding suppliers, and ultimately the wedding you have always dreamt of.
And the good news is that this method works even if you have no experience of the wedding industry or planning large events, which can often seem very overwhelming.
Step 1: Be yourself and make decisions that are important to YOU!
Many brides who’re new to wedding planning process don’t even realize that they need to be aware of this step before they can start booking suppliers.
And that’s why many brides who try to have a wedding that pleases everyone end up disappointed on their big day – they’re simply missing this crucial step and trying to do what is “normal” or worse “expected”. The result can be a mismatching and ending up with someone else's wedding.
So, the first thing you need to do is have a vision of what's important to you.
You’ll find that this part of the process goes much more smoothly if you apply these
tips and tricks:
• Create a vision board of things you have seen that you really liked. They could be from previous weddings, online articles or blogs. Put them all together on paper so you can really start to visualize the things that are important to you.
• Don't try to create a carbon copy of others weddings. What makes you and your hubby unique? What have you experienced together? How could this be tied into your wedding day?
• Don't try to be conventional if it doesn't suit you. Don't like wedding cake? Don't have a wedding cake! This is your day and there are many alternatives to every aspect of the wedding day that you can make you own. Check out this article of 33 alternatives to the traditional wedding cake.
Once you’ve got a vision of what YOU will enjoy, then you can move on to the next step…
Step 2: Choose suppliers who fit your vision and more importantly GET your vision.
The next thing you need to do is choose suppliers that fit your style.
When I first started helping with my mothers wedding planning (over 10 years ago!), I made a lot of mistakes. But now that I’ve helped many brides make the wedding of their dreams, I see a lot of brides have a tendency to make the same mistakes.
So let me share with you the top 3 mistakes and how to avoid them:
Going for the cheapest suppliers. They tend to be cheap for a reason and lack flexibility and experience to fit into your vision. This doesn't mean going for the most expensive either, necessarily. But don't go for suppliers based on price alone...do some research and see if you can visualize them at your event.
Not trusting their gut. I hear it a lot “I knew this DJ / chocolate fountain person wouldn't fit in with my guests”. The best way to avoid this is to get to know your suppliers. Speak on the phone, on zoom, face to face...whatever! But get to know them on a one to one basis. This gives you the opportunity to see if you have a genuine connection and rapport with them...if not, find one who you do!
Going purely on a recommendation. Of course, recommendations are good! But just because a certain supplier was the perfect fit for one wedding, doesn't always mean it will fit in with yours. If you are recommended a certain supplier, do your research on them and don't be scared to say “Thank you, but we have found one we really like.”
Step 3: Get ready to book
At this step you’re likely to notice you don't know who to book and when. So, what you need to do is have a booking plan of action.
I still remember the first time I was doing this step and trying to get all my mothers suppliers booked. I totally got it wrong! I booked the photographer before I knew the timings of the day, I booked the DJ before actually confirming the evening reception venue. Which all meant more work back peddling and rearranging as well as dealing with suppliers who needed timings and I simply couldn't give it to them! This is added stress no one needs!
Having worked with over 200 brides and grooms, as well as many chats with wedding planners and event organisers, this is a good starting list to get and idea of who to book and when.
The venue - Get this booked first, everything else will fall into place around it. You should give yourself plenty of time, some of the most in demand wedding venues have peak dates filled up 2/3 years ahead of time!
Wedding planner / coordinator - If you don't know which venue you want to have, this step could also be the first! As they can advise and help find the perfect place. If you do have the venue booked, the wedding planner comes a close second. They are experts and have all the contacts you need. Even if you don't have a full wedding planner service, they are great to help guide you through the process.
Photographer - Many photographers will be booked up over a year in advance for peak times. If you have your heart set on the perfect person or company, its wise to book early.
Caterers / bar - If the venue itself doesn’t supply food and drinks or you're bringing it in from the outside - they should be next on the list. You can arrange tasting sessions, which is half a day out in itself!
Registrars - You should be looking to have yours booked at least a year ahead of time. This is a slightly more difficult one to cover as there are many different types of service you may be looking for, some more used than others and this will reflect availability. However, at least a year out is a good rule of thumb.
Cake - If you are based in the UK, many cake makers are self employed and will have a lot to fit in week in week out. If you have your heart set on a certain supplier, these should be next on the list.
Stationary - Hopefully you have a good vision by now of what you want the feel of your wedding to be. This could actually be a couple of steps above if you want them to also design your invites. If you are only using this service for ‘on the day stationary’, you can leave this a couple of steps (that is why I have placed these in the middle!)
Florist - Books too early, and you may end up changing your mind on things and colour schemes and thus altering the quotes, book too late and you may not get the supplier you want! Another middle step.
Hair and make up - Have a good shop around early on, some of the most in demand hair and make up artists can get booked up a year in advance. Also, many of these supplier in the UK are self employed so they will only have one booking per day. If you have a preferred supplier, get in early to make sure its you day!
A little bonus tip - When planning your rehearsal hair and make up, plan to have it on a day you are going out that evening!
DJ’s / Bands / Magicians - Again, these suppliers can usually only book in one event per day, and so they should be booked early if you have your heart set on a particular DJ / Band or magician. As an example, I'm normally booked around a year before the wedding date, although I do have some bookings as far as 3 years away, although that is a rarity.
Rentals - If you are planning and giving the whole venue a makeover, you should be looking to hire your furniture at least 6 months out. Its worth also checking with your already booked suppliers, as many of them can supply various rentals.
Videographer - Normally videographers are booked after photographers. They tend to work in teams so often have more flexibility. Photographers often are able to recommend good videographers, and also any supplier who has a ‘show reel’ - as always, the feel of the video will differ between suppliers, so it's worth shopping around.
Entertainment (non musical) - Asides from the more often booked entertainment of bands / DJs and magicians, there are many other types of entertainment you may be considering such as lawn games or photobooths. These are often thought of as extras depending on what budget is left over. So if you have a little budget left after all of the above has been ticked off, now would be a good time to get these booked in.
And there you have it – a simple 3-step method for booking your wedding suppliers. Now that you know how to get the best wedding suppliers, there’s just one thing left for you to do: take action.
So get to it, and soon you too will enjoy your perfect wedding day!
P.S - I have a new wedding brochure of the services I offer, it is totally FREE and no sign up required! Just click the link HERE and it will pop up in a new browser (allow 15 seconds to load because it is packed with info!
Have a great day!