Planning Tips/Sponsored Content

How To Find The Best Wedding Suppliers

Working with reliable vendors in the lead up to, and on your wedding day, makes all the difference to your experience of getting married.

Whether it’s knowing your make-up is going to be gorgeous, or trusting your photographer to capture all the key moments, the single best thing you can do to ensure a fun, relaxed day for you and your guests, is to hire people you love, and trust.

When I began planning my wedding, the biggest (and often the only) source of anxiety and frustration was dealing with wedding vendors; from not answering emails or being really vague on pricing, to promising things on the outset, that they couldn’t deliver on closer to the date.

Thankfully most of the vendors we worked with in the end were incredible, but it was no easy task to find them. Which is why I wish we’d had Be Wedding Wise!

Be Wedding Wise Uk wedding review site

Be Wedding Wise is a new review-based wedding directory for the UK, founded by husband and wife team, David and Lydia Cox. They call themselves, “One of those annoying couples that really would spend all day every day together if we could.” How sweet is that?!

The couple, who have both worked in the wedding industry, had the idea when they were planning their own wedding back in 2012. While they found lots of resources to find wedding vendor listings, there was nowhere to read trusted reviews from other brides and grooms.

So they established Be Wedding Wise, a helpful, easy to use, reviews website providing engaged couples with a platform to access thoroughly vetted and validated wedding suppliers, across over 20 industry categories, from Catering to Cakes, Toastmasters to Transport and everything in between.

If you’re anything like me and Marko, reviews are a big part of our decision making process – we read them before going to a restaurant, watching a movie, buying a gadget or going on a trip. So, when it comes to your wedding, it makes sense to find out what other couples thought about the suppliers you’d like to hire, right?

To help you on your hunt for talented and trustworthy florists, photographers and wedding planners, we’ve teamed up with Be Wedding Wise to share some of our very best tips for finding the people who will make your wedding day spectacular…

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1. Study Up

Investing time into doing your homework on suppliers at the beginning of your search, will save you SO MUCH TIME in the long run!

Do a quick Google of any potential vendors to check if they’re legit, and if any major complaints are flagged up – where possible look for personal recommendations and read trusted reviews.

Social media is a great resource for finding how active a vendor is, seeing their tone in chatting with potential clients, and photos of their work. You might also find reviews, compliments or complaints there too (and see how they were dealt with!).

Bonus tip: There’s nothing wrong with a vendor making an error, they’re only human, but it’s how they respond to it that’s important!

2. Get Quizzical

When we were planning our own wedding, every time we met or emailed a vendor, we were armed with a list of questions. And it was so helpful.

There are some things you might not think to ask, but it’s important to imagine all eventualities and not make any assumptions. (We never asked about a ‘cake cutting charge’ until one venue mentioned it – because who knew that was a thing!)

Be Wedding Wise recommend adding these to your list of Qs:

Who do they work with/how many staff will there be? This may affect tips or meals you need to have ready on the day.

Have they a back-up plan? What happens if the vendor is ill/is there is bad weather etc.

Are their photos up to date? Some vendors’ styles can change over time, likewise, it’s good to know if equipment or rentals will still look as good as new.

Bonus tip: Confirm any answers you get in person or on the phone, with an email afterwards, so you have it all in writing.

3. Go With Your Gut

If you’re instantly excited from meeting a supplier or likewise, if a vendor email leaves a weird knot in your stomach – the odds are, your feelings are spot on.

If a price seems too good to be true, if a vendor seems insincere, or if someone is dodging your questions, it’s safer to listen to the alarm bells, and move on!

It’s not nice to feel like you’re being cynical, and you’re not! Going with your gut simply means you’re much more likely to opt for vendors you have a good rapport with, and who won’t let you down on your big day.

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4. Read the Small Print

Once you’ve booked a supplier, keep a record of any quotes, contracts, emails, invoices or receipts.

Make sure you get a (signed!) contract from each vendor, which outlines exactly what you’ll be paying (and when it’s due!), and what’s included for the fee.

Read all the terms and conditions twice (and get a second pair of eyes to look over them too!) before signing contracts or paying deposits.

Make sure you’re clear on the cancellation policy, payment terms and any additional fees. (Look for items like delivery and collection, as they might be extra!)

Be Wedding Wise say it’s important to sweat the small stuff at this point of your planning, “Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to ask them any questions on anything you don’t understand.

If a supplier doesn’t have a contract and/or T&C’s (sometimes these are included within their contract) then it’s best to find an alternative supplier; these legalities are put in place to safeguard you just as much as the supplier.”

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Stationery by Refine Studio, Photo by Miesh Photography via Bridal Musings

5. Financial Matters

A quality supplier should ask for a deposit when you book. This is a good thing, and provides protection for both of you. It might be 10-20% of the overall fee, this will vary though from vendor to vendor.

As we said above, if something seems to good to be true, it probably is. While still working within your budget, invest in quality vendors where you can, especially for big ticket items like food and photography. That doesn’t mean paying more than you can afford, just don’t cut corners to bag a deal.

Look at the payment timeline for each of your vendors, some may require full payment ahead of your wedding, set reminders so you can pay on time and avoid any conflicts in the lead up to your day.

Also check if service is included (particularly for catering or venue staff) as you may need to have extra cash for that on the day.

 

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Most wedding vendors are helpful, reliable, flexible, and so great at what they do! But being a bit savvy in your choices, will protect you from any rogue suppliers and make your planning, and the day itself, go so much smoother.

Visit Be Wedding Wise to find the most tried and trusted suppliers in your area. You can also follow them on Facebook or Twitter for all the latest news, reviews and wise words.

And if you’re a UK wedding supplier with excellent references, you’ll be pleased to hear that you can get your business listed free of charge for the first year (provided you meet Be Wedding Wise’s criteria). Awesome right?

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