WEDDING PLANNING: Booking your wedding suppliers | Stuff to look out for and mistakes to avoid

20th May 2016

Photo: Peach & Jo Photography

You’re probably getting the idea now that there’s a common theme running through our series on Wedding Planning, where every element is an integral step in your planning journey.
I’ll not apologise for this week’s topic, which HAS to be the least sexy or romantic one we can rustle up for you!  But don’t ignore us today because we’re covering some of THE MOST OVERLOOKED and simply ignored areas of wedding planning here!

So let me hand you over to GU's wedding planning guru Claire for the nitty gritty:

CLAIRE: Now I’m not suggesting you to do a full blown risk assessment for your wedding day (unless you’re that way inclined of course) but perhaps now’s a good time to have a little think about what could go wrong and what contingency you might want to have in place depending on how important each element of your day is.

Photo: Claudia Rose Carter

Wedding Supplier Contracts

As you will most likely be contracting several suppliers for your wedding, I've listed a few things for you to look out for:

When it comes to your budget it’s good to be aware of any extras, so always ask your supplier if they are VAT registered, this is the one thing that can make a big dent in your budget if they quote ex. VAT and you suddenly find you’ve got another 20% on top.  That being said, don’t avoid VAT registered suppliers in an attempt to rescue your budget, especially on the bigger things.  Companies that are VAT registered have probably been in business longer and can bring their experience to the party.  Just make sure you find a supplier that you’re confident will do a good job for you.

Other unexpected extras to look out for are things like delivery charges and cleaning fees for items that may be returned dirty.  This can range from glasses to marquees so always check these things are included in your final quote.

Photo: Matt Parry Photography

For those suppliers who will be on site during the day, especially those who are mingling with guests like your photographer, or entertainers and musicians, it’s important to read the fine print here too.  They will need to travel to and from your venue and can sometimes add transport or petrol costs to your invoice.  If this is the case check what they charge and find out where they’re travelling from so you can get an idea of extra cost for your budget.  

Also, given that your ‘team’ aren’t robots, they will need to eat.  Catering staff aren’t normally a problem, but musicians and photographers for instance, may include in their contracts that they will require a meal .  This is perfectly normal and shouldn’t cause you any problems, just remember to think about what, where and when you can spare them to pop out or sit down for this.  Arrange with your caterer to supply meals and include the cost in your budget.

Photo: Claudia Rose Carter

Don't leave things to Luck. Do you have wedding insurance?

Things can go wrong and it’s always worth checking your suppliers’ cancellation policies and inclement weather conditions.  Although, if you have purchased separate wedding insurance (which I highly recommend you do), this should cover any unlikely eventualities.

Avoid problems on the day and don’t be afraid to ask for help

No matter how organised you are, you HAVE to relinquish the reins on your wedding day which means you will need help with all the little details of the day.  Never expect what you need at a particular moment to simply arrive by the magic fairy courier.  For instance, if you’ve organised special champagne flutes for the toast make sure someone knows where they are and when they will be needed.  If you give people little tasks, each person will feel included and no one will feel they are doing too much.

Photo: Marshal Gray Photography

Asking someone to coordinate everybody can also go a long way towards a seam free event

Allow plenty of time so you don’t land up feeling rushed and stressed…

While you’re planning the timeline for your day try not to rush through things - leave yourself plenty of time.  When you look at the timings allow yourself moments to be emotional, time for a little cry (and time to fix your makeup), time for a glass of bubbly, or to spend five whole minutes catching up with an old friend.   

Photo: Marshal Gray Photography

Most of all, allow yourself and your partner some time alone

Even 10 minutes to celebrate alone on the actual day of your wedding can be very special.  Taking yourselves off somewhere private for a cuddle and a catch up helps you remember why you’re having this wonderful day in the first place.

As always, thank you Claire for helping us to understand some of the less glamorous, though MOST important details of planning a stress free wedding day.

If you would like to talk to Claire de la Motte about your wedding and seek her help with a part, or all of your wedding planning then get in touch by emailing and she will get back to you.

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