With it coming up to wedding show season, including our own Ethical Wedding Shows, we wanted to continue giving some tips and advice on getting the best from attending a wedding show or wedding fair. Today we want to talk about the important questions to ask potential wedding suppliers when you meet them. When you chat with suppliers to get to know them more, it’s important to cover certain topics to find out if they are the right supplier for you. Be open and don’t be afraid to chat with suppliers at a wedding show. This is the perfect chance to meet them in person and see firsthand what they do and can do for you. Plus, they want to talk to you too so open up the conversation and be prepared with these questions.
Are you available on my wedding date?
If you already know your wedding date then asking this question is vital! It will save lots of time and also means you can see who is available for your date. If you aren’t sure of the date yet then you can ask for the supplier’s availability. If you do really like someone then you can look at this with them and then bear those dates in mind for booking your venue. When you start a conversation with any supplier at a wedding show, it will always be one of the first questions that pops up but if a supplier doesn’t ask you right away then just ask them.
What services and packages do you offer?
Suppliers often have various services or packages that cover different options and suit varying budgets. It is a great thing to ask about as it means you can get a really good understanding of exactly what they can do for you. If you do have a budget in mind for certain aspects of your wedding then understanding what you can have for that budget makes a huge difference.
It is also great to find out what you want and what you feel you need when you are at the wedding show. Suppliers find it easier to offer particular packages for weddings as it makes it a lot clearer. Open up a conversation about what they do and their different options and you can both work out what you really want.
Do you have any minimum fees and costs?
Money is often one of the scarier things to talk about when it comes to your wedding planning. It is really vital that you speak to suppliers about costs and minimums though. That way you can look at your budget and see what works. It also means that you know which suppliers are within your budget before you get your heart set on someone doing something.
Be aware that suppliers often have to buy in goods and also need to put a lot of work into creating something for a wedding and their costs will reflect this. Researching their services and packages to find out what is included and the time things take will help with this as you can get a deeper understanding of why things cost what they do. This can then help you look at your own budget and figure out where you want to spend money and save money.
Do you have examples of work you have done before?
Everybody loves seeing what people can create and what you can potentially have for your wedding! It is fab to ask to see people’s portfolios of work to get a really good look and feel for what a supplier can do. Most suppliers at a wedding show will have examples of their work for you to see but you can also ask to see more if you want to. A supplier will be more than happy to chat about what they do and to show you their portfolios or websites. Asking this also means you can see a supplier’s style and the way they do things. If you are looking for something specific it helps you get a really good idea. This is also a good time to share and discuss your ideas at the wedding show for your wedding day with them.
Are you eco-friendly and sustainable?
Our shows are filled with eco-friendly and sustainable suppliers only but whether you attend our shows or another show, it is a good idea to ask about a supplier’s practices. Talk to them about their process and methods of working. If you want to have an eco wedding or have zero waste, chat to them about this. Ask questions about the materials they use and what they do about any leftover materials or food.
What is the lead time to book you?
This is such an important question to ask any supplier when you are thinking of choosing people you love. A lot of suppliers, especially photographers, can get booked up as far as 2 years in advance. Some suppliers don’t have as much of a lead time so always speak to them about this. You can discuss this with suppliers at a show or when you follow up but make sure to take notice of potential lead times because it can help with your planning process and timelines.
Be aware that every supplier might be different but asking the question will give you a great idea of timeframes. Plus, if you do meet a supplier on a show day, it will help you to understand when you really need to be making the decisions to choose and commit to the booking.
Do you have insurance and a contingency plan in place?
Even before the whole pandemic and everything in the past year or so, it is important to make sure that the suppliers you choose are insured for what they do. Suppliers should have public liability as a minimum and be more than happy to share this with you. Musicians might often need other licenses and insurance and will be more than happy to let you know this.
You can also speak to suppliers about their contingency plans and what would happen if they cannot fulfill their bookings with you. It is vital that you understand this when booking and with everything that has happened recently, suppliers really want to help you and make sure things can always go ahead – however, everyone is human and things can happen so just have an open conversation about this if it is something on your mind when considering and booking suppliers.
When booking any food suppliers be sure to ask them about their Health and Hygiene certificates and insurances too – they will expect to be asked so don’t be nervous about it.
Where are you based and how far do you travel?
If you have your venue or are set on a location, it is worth discussing with potential suppliers where they are actually based and how far they are willing to travel. Some suppliers will only work in proximity to where they are based but other suppliers will travel further afield. Just chat with them about this as it will also be beneficial in helping you make decisions and knowing who you can potentially work with.
It is also worth asking if a supplier has any travel costs that are added onto their services, especially if they are travelling a distance. This will help with your budget and avoid any costs you didn’t initially consider.
Do you work closely with other suppliers?
Most suppliers will have a team of people that they have worked with before and would recommend. Suppliers tend to love working with certain other suppliers who work in a similar way and have similar styles and values to them. Having a team of people who understand one another can be really beneficial to your wedding day too. Ask potential suppliers who you love if they work closely with other suppliers so you can look at them too.
Suppliers sometimes have combined packages and services with other suppliers too so it is worth talking about this as it might help you to make a decision. You can discuss how they work with other suppliers, why they do and what benefits it has for you to work with a team of suppliers that already know each other so well.
Do you think you can help us to create our vision?
It might seem like an obvious question but so many people forget to ask a supplier this when they first meet them. If you have a certain style or vibe that you want for your wedding day or even some rough ideas it is vital to ask a supplier if the vision you have is something they can help you create or work on. Suppliers generally have their own styles – especially florists and stylists, so speak about your ideas or vision and what they do. Some suppliers work in a certain niche so if you want something non traditional then choosing a more traditional supplier isn’t going to get you the thing you really want.
It is important for both yourselves and the suppliers that you go for something that feels right for you and shares your sense of style. Equally, if you really aren’t sure about what you want or feel stuck on ideas, ask a supplier to show you what they do and more about their styles. This can then help you figure out what you really like and what you don’t.
These are just 10 important questions to be asking suppliers at a wedding show or any time you communicate and connect. Don’t be afraid to engage in an open conversation and get to know them. Suppliers love to meet you and want to talk to you about your wedding plans and how they can help so don’t be nervous and don’t be afraid to ask questions to really help make your choices.
Don’t forget that tickets are on sale for our Ethical Wedding Shows next month. You can book your tickets here.
Why not come over and join us in our free Facebook group, the Unique Bride Club, and get to know fellow brides and how they are planning their wedding.
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