We all like surprises occasionally, but when it comes to a wedding day, the fewer surprises the better in our opinion! That’s why choosing your suppliers carefully is so important. You want to be able to trust all your suppliers to do their job seamlessly so that you can relax and enjoy your day to the max.
Here at Grassfield Hall, we always stress the importance of great wedding suppliers. Therefore, we have compiled a handy guide for those of you who are in the process of organising your big day.
Trust your venue
Choosing a venue is an extremely personal choice and the first place you will undoubtedly start your wedding planning journey. As part of your venue selection process, it’s important to determine if there are any supplier restrictions at your venue of choice. Some venues have strict policies on caterers and entertainment suppliers that you must choose from, and you may not be allowed to use the supplier you wanted to work with or the photographer you love. Other venues may simply have a list of suggested suppliers they like to work with but don’t enforce. Either way, you need to know before you commit to anything.
Once you have confirmed your wedding venue, it’s likely you will organise a meeting with their team to go through all your requirements for the wedding day. It’s very important that you trust your venue as they will have had experience planning many weddings before and will be able to recommend suppliers who they know, firsthand, will do a good job. After all, it’s in a venue’s best interests to make sure the suppliers they recommend are reliable and efficient to make the day run smoothly.
It’s vital for us, as a wedding venue, to have a close relationship with all our couples so that we know each of their preferences and how they want the day to look and feel. We send all our couples a supplier brochure so that they can see all the local vendors we suggest and trust to make the day amazing and flawless.
Choosing local suppliers to the venue is not only a sustainable option (less transport and fuel emissions), but it also makes sense for ease and peace of mind. The last thing you want is your caterers stuck miles away on the motorway on the morning of your wedding with all your food in the back of their van!
Using local suppliers will also help to give your wedding authenticity of what’s so great about that particular region. From locally made wines to DJs with a local accent, there are many ways to embrace the surroundings in a big way. Another bonus is that using local suppliers will often come at a price reduction as there will be minimal transport fees added on and no expensive accommodation costs to pay.
Ask for referrals
Your caterers may claim to make the best Eton Mess in the world, but don’t simply take their word for it! Get as many referrals and recommendations as you can to be able to make a well-informed decision. After all, the best advice you can hope to receive is from other couples who have been in your exact position previously.
Take the time to contact previous venues they have worked with before in order to get to know the business you are interested in hiring. Their former clients are further proof of their success in designing a beautiful product or event. All good supplier relationships take time and trust to build, and these former partnerships can help validate that for you.
Look further than just the product
It’s hard not to get sucked in when you see a beautiful floristry display on your Instagram feed and not want to instantly hire that florist for your wedding day. But, before you do, it’s time to go beyond the product a little to see if their expertise goes further than just the flowers. In other words, there’s no use in hiring a supplier with an amazing product, just to find out that their service and delivery are completely inadequate and unreliable.
A good wedding supplier will provide the whole package – lovely product choice, a fair price, and great service. It’s totally acceptable to demand all three.
Social media is an excellent tool for research and identifying great wedding suppliers local to your venue. From make-up artists to chauffeurs, hairdressers, and wedding cake bakers, you are sure to find lots of ideas for people and products you want at your wedding.
Once you’ve made a shortlist, you should arrange calls or meet-ups with two to three of each type of supplier. This may seem a little excessive, however speaking with multiple suppliers will help you with cost comparisons, as well as getting to know the suppliers a little better themselves before you decide.
Hire people you genuinely like
It is HUGELY important that you recruit a wedding army of people who you trust and genuinely like working with. Not only will you be spending many hours on your wedding day with your suppliers, but you’ll also have to work with them in the months leading up to the main event, so any clashing characters could cause unnecessary stress and anxiety. This is why face-to-face contact is always better before you confirm any of the important suppliers.
Ask yourself if you can see yourself going out for a drink with this person and feeling comfortable? If the answer is no, then you probably shouldn’t book them for your big day! Make it a joint decision too. Both members of the couple should feel more than happy with your chosen team. You are likely going to be spending a lot of money on this wedding, so you want to ensure you feel happy with all your selections.
Get everything in writing and put down a deposit
Once you have made your decisions on the suppliers you love, it’s vital you get everything confirmed officially. Word-of-mouth confirmations just won’t do. Although it may seem a little formal to ask for an official contract, especially if you’ve chosen a local hairdresser with whom you get on really well with, however, a written contract protects both sides and ensures you both know what you have committed to.
Contracts help to prevent any future disputes or wedding-related payment issues down the road. Plus, often suppliers are hired months or even years in advance, and when it comes to the run-up to the wedding, either party might have forgotten what was actually agreed all that time ago. Putting down a deposit also ensures that you are officially on the supplier’s books – so there is much less chance that they will let you down nearer the time.
We hope you have found these tips on finding the right wedding supplier useful. Our team at Grassfield Hall is always here to provide you with the most honest advice and all the suppliers we recommend are genuinely amazing at their jobs.
Don’t hesitate to get in touch with Lisa for recommendations of local suppliers in our area, or for any other wedding-related questions you have