Hi All. Happy Sunday. I hope you all had a lovely Valentines Day. James and I spent the day at Twickenham to watch the 6 Nations England v Italy match – It was my christmas present to James. We celebrated Valentines Day afterwards with a curry and a Cobra – we’re so classy!
This week I’d like to share with you some of the experiences I’ve come across when choosing suppliers. It’s a bit of a minefield, but i’d like to share some of the great advice and things I’ve come to realise along the way…
In my first post a few weeks ago I spoke about choosing our venue – Gate street Barn. To some of you it may have seemed strange that we went with the one and only venue we went to see. All I can say is that we just got “that feeling”. I can tell you though that it wasn’t like that when we started to look for suppliers.
Where to start? My goodness – it’s a totally different world. The wedding industry is a heavily saturated market with so many companies offering seemingly similar services for completely opposite prices. Then you have the totally over the top suppliers who will turn your countryside, relaxed barn wedding into a burlesque boudoir style wedding with canapés served by human tables – yes human tables – just google it.
Now just 6 months from our wedding date we are pleased to say that 99% of our suppliers are booked. In fact we booked a lot of them quite some time ago as our wedding is happening over a bank holiday weekend so demand for suppliers is high.
I’m won’t go through every supplier in this post as you’d be reading until tomorrow, in forthcoming posts i’m going to write about a few of our stand out suppliers. The intention of this post is more to share with you some of the lessons we’ve learned along the way.
First thing is first. The best advice I have been given so far throughout this experience was given to me by my florist… “No one will know that you wanted peonies but had to go with garden roses because they’re out of season. You will be the only one that knows so you will just have to move on and stop worrying about what everyone else will think”. Let me repeat the most important thing in that sentence: STOP WORRYING ABOUT WHAT EVERYONE ELSE WILL THINK! Forget how ‘bloggable’ your wedding will be, forget what people might think, or how they’ll compare it to someone else’s wedding and try your hardest to not obsess over that wedding on Pinterest (as hard as it may be!). At the end of the day you’ll have the wedding that a) you can afford and b) that you both love all aspects of.
With this valuable information in mind – and my iPad & Pinterest glued to me (some advice you need time to come to terms with!), James and I started to talk to suppliers. Some never called us back, some were already booked, some were WAY too expensive and some just weren’t our thing. We persevered through the lists of potential caterers, photographers, wedding dress shops, jewellers, bands, dj’s etc and got totally swamped.
Time is of the essence when booking suppliers as the good ones are always in high demand. Saying this, we took our time. Weddings are costly things and we agreed from the onset that we’d try our best to keep our budget in mind at all times and to only book suppliers that we really had a good feeling about. As we are paying for our wedding ourselves we have had to be so strict with budgets, we also had to be realistic too. It’s only when you start to compare prices that you’ll actually know what is a reasonable fee for someones services.
We had some suppliers recommended to us by our venue, but we still felt we wanted to research others. We’ve ended up meeting some incredible people along the way who have given us such great advice. Do we really need charger plates at the table – not really when it’ll cost an extra 600 quid! Good suppliers will be honest with you if you’re honest with them. Tell them what you want, every little detail and then tell them your budget. You might be surprised, or you might be horrified. A good supplier will work with you and your budget we’ve found. We only came across one supplier who chose to ignore us and stop emailing us once we told them they were too expensive and we would like to discuss our budget with them. That was a complete anomaly I must admit.
As we near the end of this process we will become more dependant on our suppliers and contact with them will become more frequent as the date draws closer. I can honestly say though that I trust the expertise and competence of every single one of our suppliers and I think above all else that is a crucial thing. They all reply to my emails, they are kind and always calming and most importantly the get us.
As a final note, don’t get hung up on the things you can’t have for whatever reason. It’s not worth it. I’ve had to sacrifice certain things that I thought I couldn’t have a wedding without – you’ll find you’ll get over it I promise!
For all of you planning and talking to suppliers feel free to ask any questions!
Enjoy the rest of your day, I’m off to watch 50 shades with my girlfriends!