Top 10 tips to choosing your wedding suppliers.
We've all seen them. The couple who found the perfect photographer in an online forum who offered a 'cheap' package. They were promised video and an album of 4000 photos, a DVD and the earth, for next to nothing. When it came to the final delivery after the wedding, if they even got one, they were totally shocked and often distraught by what they received. Next thing, they've told the press and POW! It's front page news and all over social media. It seems to happen weekly - if not daily, and it's so sad to see.
If you don't want this to happen to you, please read on.
Over the last few years so many scammer suppliers have surfaced, seeing couples as an easy target. They sneak into forums for the unsuspecting bride or groom to be fooled into thinking they have found the bargain of the century. Quite often they are calculated and devious, taking deposits or full payments before disappearing with the cash, leaving the couple out of pocket and with no flowers/cake/photography a week before the wedding day.
I can honestly say it upsets me to see this continue to happen when through my role as a Director at the National Association of Wedding Professionals (NAWP) and as founder of the Four Counties Wedding Awards (4CWA) I know there are so many amazing wedding professionals out there who provide excellent services and products, and it doesn't need to be this way.
Here are my top 10 tips for choosing your wedding suppliers:
1. Don't rush in!
2. Do your research - Check their websites, social media and any brochures, price lists or packages as well as testimonials. If it doesn't seem possible, or you get a gut feeling that all is not well – stop and walk away.
3. Check availability – they could already be booked on your wedding day.
4. Arrange a meeting or call – see samples, previous services or products, even if in a portfolio.
5. Ask them if they have insurance and get a copy, check any extra costs like their travel. Ask for their payment terms.
6. Ask them what their contingency plans are – for example; do they have another supplier lined up should they be ill or unable to attend, or if they drop the cake?
7. Have they worked at the church, site or venue before and know what is and is not allowed. For example, some venues do not allow fireworks unless they are silent, some venues won't allow the DJ to use smoke machines.
8. Have they booked other weddings on the same day as yours? With travel, is that still doable?
9. Like all very important purchases; make a shortlist and once you have decided to book your chosen supplier, get a contract and read it! Check the terms and conditions for payments, cancellations or postponements. This not only covers you as a couple, it also covers the supplier and shows that they care.
10. Have they entered any Industry or Business awards, been shortlisted, finalists or winners. This should be shown on their websites, social media or email signatures. Have they been recognised for their work?
Not all wedding suppliers must be part of a professional body to be trustworthy, however if they are it's a good sign. Here are a few to look out for:
National Association of Wedding Professionals
Incorporated Society of Musicians
UK Association of Wedding Planners
SWPP Guild of Photographers
British Florist Association
Institute of Professional Florists
AIC Association of Independent Celebrants
British Sugarcraft Association
The Four Counties Wedding Awards
Of course you could always enlist a Wedding Planner and use their expertise to save you time and money.
We are very fortunate to have amazing, talented and caring wedding professionals in the UK, do your research and your special day will be fabulous!