It's time to get into the nitty gritty, your suppliers have got to be right for you, they've got to have the right style for you and it can feel pretty overwhelming when there are so many suppliers out there.
So let's chat about what you need to have in place before reaching out to suppliers and then the important things you need to know when searching for suppliers so that you have your A team for your wedding.
First Things First!
So before you start searching for your suppliers you need to have in place...
your wedding budget
I can't tell you how important it is to set your total budget from the start, I have done so many blogs and videos on how to set your budget so here's a link to one of them!
your venue confirmed
for obvious reasons really, this is the location of the wedding and may determine where you need to look for suppliers. The venue may also only work with preferred suppliers so make sure you ask this when booking your venue.
your wedding design
now it's important to have a vision of your wedding as this will ultimately determine what type and style of suppliers you want. They will help you to create and build on this design so you need to have some sort of idea.
The only supplier you might have in place before these three things is a wedding planner who you might have brought on board from the start to help you source the perfect venue for you. However you can still get a wedding planner on board after you've chosen your venue as well.
So to start finding the right suppliers, you need to have split your budget so that you have an estimated amount to spend on each supplier.
I have a FREE download that helps you with this, it is just a guide but it should help with how much you need to allocate to each supplier and they can obviously be tweaked where needed and what's more important to you. So don't forget to grab yours now!
Splitting your budget like this will then give you a guide on how much you can spend with each supplier. It gives you a guide as to what suppliers you can reach out to, for example, if you only have £1000 to spend on florals then you're not going to approach a florist that has a minimum spend of £2000.
Knowing your budget for each specific supplier cuts the process down and makes it a lot quicker for you.
Why is having your wedding design before contacting suppliers so important?
Well once you've created a design book or moodboard you'll see a style emerging and this will help determine what suppliers you contact based on their style because you want them to match.
For example, you may have incorporated into your design wild, loose and seasonal flowers so you're not going to contact a florist that only seems to do very structured and traditional pieces.
Another example is live entertainment, you might want an indie style band or a DJ that specialises in house music so you're not going to contact people that don't offer this.
Photographers, now they're very specialised, each and every one is different so make sure you know what type of photos you want, do you want light, bright and airy photos or do you want moody and graphic type photos.
Having the location and wedding venue confirmed is key, a) it tells the supplier where your wedding will be and b) it confirms the date of your wedding.
You can then contact suppliers that are either local to the area or venue, or you can see if suppliers are willing to travel to that venue if they're not local or close by.
For example if you're having a marquee wedding and have found an amazing company that you really want to use but they're based 3 hours away from the venue then they might not travel or the travel costs may take you over budget.
The best way to search for suppliers is either Google by searching the venue's location followed by the supplier your looking for or Instagram and using hashtags again with the location and supplier. Instagram is a really great tool to find suppliers as it gives you the visual aspect instantly so you can see if that supplier is right for you.
A huge part of picking the right supplier for you is making sure your personalities gel and that you're going to get on well together. Yes you want to know that their art and services are amazing but if you clash then your working relationship will only cause disappointment and stress.
For some suppliers it might not be as important but for suppliers such as your photographer, videographer, wedding planner (if having one), make up and hair stylist they're going to be with you most of the day on the most important day of your life and you want to feel confident and comfortable around them. But most of all trust them that they're going to do the best job for you!
Now you might find a supplier that you absolutely love and that's fine, but if they've also been recommended then I would say it's an added bonus. It gives you the confidence that someone else has used them before and had a good experience with them.
You'll also get suppliers recommending other types of suppliers that they work with on a regular basis and that they trust. So don't be scared to ask suppliers if they know anyone or could recommend anyone to you.
We as a wedding planner have a preferred supplier list which we send to our couples and this only has suppliers on it that we have worked with, that we whole heartedly trust and that we know they will do an outstanding job.
Obviously this is key! So, before getting your heart set on the supplier of your dreams always check they're available on your wedding date.
So there we have it, some useful tips to help you find the right supplier for your wedding. Remember to be prepared before contacting suppliers so that you're able to streamline your search and pick your A team!
If you need help creating your wedding design then don't forget to check our my shop where you can buy my wedding design book template to help bring your design ideas together all in one place for you to send to your suppliers.
Photos by: 1. Sophie Duckworth Photography 2 & 4. Mindy Coe Photography 3. Olivia & Dan Photography