How To Find Your Perfect Supplier
Icon image credit to Nicola Dixon Photography
Ok, so you’ve got your partner. Check. You’ve got your dream wedding in your mind. Check. Correspondingly, you’ve got your Pinterest board. Check. You’ve got your budget. Check.
How the hell do you put all these things together?
The perfect wedding supplier is, naturally, the missing piece that weaves this whole puzzle together. They can make your dream wedding come true on your budget – or at least, as close as is physically possible. They speak your language, make you feel confident, and just ‘get you’, even in those moments where you can no longer explain what you mean, and just keep spouting out wedding jargon in long clauses.
Despite what you may believe, they’re actually easy enough to find too. With so many different areas of wedding supply being covered in so many areas these days, there’s pretty much a guarantee that someone will be able to do exactly what you’ve been dreaming of for your wedding. However, this does require some research – a little more than a google business search and be done with it! Here’s our top tips on how to find your perfect wedding supplier:
If they’re definitely not perfect from the outset, then don’t go there, girlfriend. A scattergun approach to suppliers isn’t keeping your options open, it’s muddying the waters and giving you more grief in the future. Frankly, it’s a waste of your time, and of theirs. Check out their website – and, crucially, their social media, as this is more often than not more up-to-date – to see their specific work. Is it the kind of style you’re looking for? Does it match what you’ve always imagined it being? If it doesn’t, does it pull on your heart strings so much that it’s caused your dream to shift slightly? Does it make you feel a bit emotional? Most importantly, can you imagine it being a part of yoru day? You’ll come across many things that are absolutely stunning in your research, but that doesn’t mean they’re right for you. Be brave enough to turn down beautiful pieces or suppliers that you know aren’t right for you – don’t take them up just because they’re objectively gorgeous and it might be yiur only chance. Make a shortlist of suppliers who’d be the absolute dream team, and work from there.
Tend not to put deposits down at face value. The downside of social media being the first and foremost way of finding suppliers is that’s a very particularly curated collection of images, and, at the end of the day, is on a screen. Ask suppliers for a more complete portfolio of work, other than their instagram feed – if they’re a legit supplier, they should be more than happy to send some more examples across. This is also a really good way to showcase their angles and interests as well, as it may represent more of what they’re about. Even though social media accounts are full of personality and oozing style, they can sometimes be curated with the aim of SEO or exposure – and if you found them that way, it’s clearly working – rather than what they feel is their best work. That is to say, some items on a supplier’s social media channels won’t be part of their favourite products ever or what they feel is their best work – despite being absolutely brilliant – but they will have been good for searches or bringing in likes (which later will translate to bookings, in theory). A portfolio solves all this, by curating what the supplier is most proud of, giving you more insight into them and their work.
Research in person
We know, wedmin is practically sponsored by pyjamas, Pinterest, a messy bun and a glass of Barefoot Moscato, but there are some bits that just need to be done in person. You may have fallen in love with a dress online, but until you see it in person you just don’t know what it’s really like. Fabrics, materials, craftsmanship, sizes, colours, textures and styles all only truly show in person – and above all, quality. This is as true of bespoke wedding rings as it is of photographers. Propositioning each supplier for a meet over coffee with their wares in the pocket of their camel trench coat may be a step further than you’re comfortable, but a lot of suppliers will be happy to take appointments in their studio, or may have fairs or exhibitions where you can go see their products IRL. Even in this increasingly digital age, this can be true of photographers – especially if you want albums or prints. If the suppler in question is a major part of the day and someone you’ll be working closely with in the run up – your photographer, for example, or your florist – this is also a great opportunity to see if your personalities match. We’re not looking for a blind date situation, but generally a wedding supplier who you’ll trust with your big day is someone who – on top of skill and ability – you get along with to. If you can bond over Stranger Things and vodka mixers in the North, and they also know the exact protea arrangement you want – you’ve found the one.
But proceed with caution. Utilise recommendations from people you really trust, who have a similar style to you, or truly understand your style. Be wary of people’s friend or friend of a friend. Don’t avoid them completely – after all, the best wedding suppliers in the world have friends, and we’re supposedly only six degrees of separation away from anyone on earth – but do your own (you guessed it!) research on top. Alternatively, get recommendations from the suppliers you’ve already locked down. Don’t be afraid to ask them for their favourite suppliers in other areas, as they’ll probably have a Little Black Book of their own that they’ll be all too willing to share. These will be people whose work compliments theirs – and therefore probably already nestles really well with your style – but also people whom they know are reliable and trustworthy on the day. If you’re too shy to ask, why not follow the rabbithole of their social media? See who your suppliers are sharing the love for on socials, reposting and commenting on or meeting up with for coffee.
Don’t be afraid to show them what you’ve got
Most wedding suppliers are visual creatures. Don’t be afraid to approach them with moodboards or pictrues for reference, rather than airy words with no real content (florists would much prefer a picture of a bouquet you love and an explanation of why you love It – the colours really pop or you love the way it trails – rather than ‘I’d love a biggish floral arrangement with some leaves ands ome blooms but not too dark but not too light’.) If you’ve already got some elements of your wedding locked down, show them those – don’t invite them to a wedding dress fitting, necessarily, but don’t be afraid to give them names or styles for reference. It makes the whole day slot together a whole lot easier that way!
Ultimately, listen to your own instinct
...which I know may seem like a cop-out, but its true. What is it all for? The two of you, in love – so do things for you, by you. If everyone in the world is telling you to go for a supplier and you’re not sure, then don’t do it. You don’t want to have post-wedding regrets (or pre-wedding regrets, for that matter) – we have no room for wedding woes here. Look for the suppliers that will help create the day you want, not the day you think you should have.