You’ve set your wedding date, worked out your wedding budget and booked your venue.  Now the next step is choosing your supplier team – this might be overwhelming and an all-consuming task, but choosing the right suppliers that fit within your wedding budget, and are the right fit for your wedding style, is a hugely important part of wedding planning.

Work out which suppliers you need
The type and style of wedding you are having will determine which suppliers you will need – if your venue is full service, such as a hotel or country house, the caterer and tables and chairs, for example, will likely be included in the package you book, so you may not need to find suppliers for these elements of your wedding. 

If you’ve opted for a dry hire venue (such as marquees, tipis, and some indoor spaces) you will need to source suppliers for every element of your wedding, from furniture to toilets. 

Make sure you check carefully what is included in the venue hire and the facilities that are provided, so you know the suppliers that you need to book.

Stationery flat lay with shoes and jewellery

Do your research
A good place to start in finding your suppliers is asking your venue if they have a recommended supplier list.  These lists are a compilation of suppliers in various categories such as photography, catering, musicians and so on, who are familiar with the venue and who have worked there before.  Most often, the venue has curated their list of suppliers who they love working with, and who offer a high quality standard of service.

Other resources for your supplier search are recommendations from friends and family; wedding directories; real weddings; editorial inspiration shoots and wedding blogs.  Google, Instagram and Pinterest are also invaluable resources for finding your supplier team.

While you’re doing your research, it’s important to consider if the style of the supplier complements your wedding vision, style and taste.  It’s also important to make sure they align with your budget.  It’s really easy to get carried away and spend more than you can afford, and if you overspend on one supplier you’ll need to cut back on other areas of your wedding.  Also consider where your suppliers are based, if they’re not local to the location where you are having your wedding, are they willing to travel.

Outdoor wedding ceremony set up at Wotton House

Shortlist your favourites
Collate a shortlist of your favourite suppliers, follow them on social media, engage with them and find out more about them and their work.  It’s a good idea to shortlist 3 of each category of supplier, such as photographer, florist and so on.  You’ll then have options if any of your favourites are unavailable on your wedding date.  While it’s important to book your suppliers as early as possible, panic booking leads to second guessing your decisions later on in the planning process.  Be sure about the supplier before you book.

Blue wedding cake with candle and flower decor

Ask for information
Once you have a shortlist of your favourite suppliers, send enquiries giving as much detail about your wedding as you can.  It’s important to include key information such as your names and contact details, your wedding date, your wedding venue/location, the service or product you’re interested in, an overview of your wedding day and your wedding vision.

Make sure you ask them for their availability for your wedding date, the price of their products/services and any additional costs or optional extras, deposit and payment terms, terms and conditions and their booking process.  This will help them to provide all the information you will need to make a decision to move forward. 

Wedding table in blush and grey

Don’t make it all about budget
Choosing suppliers that are within your budget is key, but don’t make your decisions purely based on budget.  You may find a supplier that is cheaper than your favourite, but if their style doesn’t suit your wedding vision, you’re going to be disappointed after the wedding.   Once you’ve had the information from your shortlisted wedding suppliers, go through each quote in detail and check what is included for each service.  It’s difficult to compare like for like, as some suppliers will provide different options, but the quotes will give you an overview of price points.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you have a query or are unsure of something.  If there’s something you want to add or remove from the service, ask.  More often than not, the supplier will be happy to tailor their quote to suit your requirements.

Wedding couple in front of floral fireplace

Build a connection
Having a connection with your suppliers is key, you’re going to be working with them until your wedding day and it’s important you’re on the same page throughout the process.   By getting to know you and what you like and dislike, they’ll work in harmony with you and your other wedding suppliers to bring your wedding vision to life.

Wedding table with bud vase centrepieces

Follow your instincts & book
Follow your instincts and make your decision on who you want to have as part of your wedding supplier dream team.  Let the other suppliers know you won’t be moving forward with them, and confirm your favourites.

Bride & groom after ceremony

Now your wedding supplier dream team is official, it’s time to start getting excited and thinking about the details for your day!

Need help finding your wedding supplier dream team?  Discover my services to find out how I can help you.

Image credits: Sophie May Photography | Neli Prahova Photography | Pinky Promise Photography | Shelby Ellis Photography