Choosing a wedding supplier (Florist / Photographer / Wedding Transport / Tiara polisher) is easy right? Wrong! Chances are, as soon as you said ‘I do!’ you started flinging off emails to every Tom, Dick & Harry, now they have all sent replies back you’re suddenly overwhelmed and don’t know which ones to choose! It’s ok, take a nice deep breath, I’m here to guide you through it...
Before we start, download your free Wedding Supplier Worksheet
Most things come down to two things style and budget. We’re going to explore them both.
Start with ONE supplier category - cakes / flowers / venue etc
I know it's tempting to get it all over and done with in one go but you’ll have information overload with all that information whizzing back and forth I guarantee you’ll end up mixing up the supplier. No? How about when you researched you last mobile phone and all the deals out there for it, didn’t you swear that the package you had included phone insurance but in reality that was the offer from the first shop, not the second. Let’s not make that mistake again, stick to one supplier category at a time and cut down the choices straight away.
If you haven’t already emailed any suppliers, research local suppliers whose style you like and jot them all down at the top of the sheet. Don't list any more than 12!
We aren't going to contact everyone on this list, just the three we work out below.
You might be able to find out the basic info you need (price and availability from the suppliers websites. If not shoot off some enquiry emails asking if they are free on your date and what price their services start at. Don't get into specifics just yet, we'll do that in the next phase.
Now cross off any suppliers that weren't available, unless you are willing to change your wedding date!
How to Work out which Suppliers are your best bet...
Pick the two suppliers that you like the style of the best (your ‘dream suppliers’).
Next pick the 3 best suppliers (whose style you like best) that are within your budget.
Did any supplier end up in both picks? If yes write them in your final3!!! box and pick your favourite one or two in budget suppliers to make your choice up to three suppliers.
List them in your Final 3!!! box
Did no ‘dream supplier’ quote within your budget? If not then choose your FAVOURITE ‘dream supplier and put them in your Final 3!!! box along with your two favourite in budget suppliers.
Now email your 3 suppliers back. Ask them a few more questions that will help you make your decision. This might include the following types of questions....
If you are emailing a ‘dream supplier’ this is the time to be honest and to start an open dialogue, Don’t beg for a discount, instead explain that you love their work but your maximum budget for flowers / photography / cars is X and ask what they could supply / what you can trim from your request for that budget.... Maybe you CAN afford a bouquet from them but would have to make all the table centrepieces yourself.
If along this process they aren’t helpful, they are heavily pushing their style rather than listening to what your style is or you don’t gel with your supplier, take them off your list.
Now you’ve had these extra conversations, hopefully you’ve got to know your suppliers a bit better and one has come out into the lead? If not then it’s time for the next step.
Meet your suppliers! If you haven’t done so already, now’s a good time to plan a meeting to check any last details and see if it ‘feels right’.
Book your Supplier, once you have met them all, its time to book your favourite supplier
Don’t forget this last crucial step... Email the suppliers you have contacted but discarded and thank them for their help but tell them you have gone with another firm. If they were helpful along the way, leave them some feedback that might help future brides! e.g. ‘Jenny was incredibly helpful with all of my questions and always emailed back super quick!’
Now repeat with your next supplier category.
Hint - if you get one supplier that really gets you and what you’re trying to achieve ask them for recommendations for suppliers with a similar vibe to them.