The hardest part of planning a wedding – harder than finding the perfect venue (and the perfect date), picking your wedding party without hurting anyone’s feelings, and whittling down your guest list – is finding the right wedding suppliers for your day.
Because, no matter how meticulously you plan everything else – no matter the time, and effort, and pinning you put into it – if you don’t have wedding vendors who get you and get what style you’re going for, your wedding won’t come out as you expect.
Wedding suppliers who get you
Wedding suppliers are the people who make your wedding happen: stationers, cake makers, photographers, planners, celebrants, stylists, caterers, videographers, bands…
They contribute a huge part of your day – so you want to make sure they’re contributing the right thing!
You want to find people you click with, who get your sense of humour, share your values, and match your style.
If you’re eco-conscious, hiring a stationer or cake maker who doesn’t know what sustainability means probably won’t end with you having the low carbon footprint wedding you’d expected.
If you’re having an alternative festival wedding with fun fair games and food trucks, hiring a traditional planner with a portfolio of church weddings probably won’t be best placed to organise the day you’re picturing.
It’s important that you find people on your wavelength to help with your wedding.
Wedding suppliers who know how to run the day – right
And it’s important that you find people on each other’s wavelength too.
While most people who work in the wedding industry are incredible and lovely (hello!), the freelancing aspect of it can also attract the kids who had ‘doesn’t play well with others’ on every school report.
I’ve heard horror stories about videographers who refused to stand by the photographer so they could both capture the wedding ceremony, and instead ruined every shot.
And I’ve seen wedding ceremonies ruined by photographers who don’t understand it’s not just about the photos – the couple want to be in the moment, getting married, not having a flash going off in their faces.
True wedding professionals can easily communicate with each other, with you, with the celebrant, and with your guests to make sure they capture the moments you care about without being disruptive or taking over the day.
So how do you make sure you hire wedding professionals?
How to find wedding professionals
Don’t assume lots of followers means lots of talent
While Instagram can give you a good idea of a wedding vendor’s style and personality, you need to dig a bit deeper before you commit.
Start with their reviews and testimonials on websites like Trustpilot and Facebook, where you can see the full review.
Next, meet them! The people who play a big part of your day – celebrants, planners, photographers, and videographers – will often offer a free consultation, where you can meet each other in person or on a video call and see if you click. You’re going to be spending a day you want nothing but happy memories of with this person – be honest with yourself and your partner and evaluate if you think they really get you, and if you trust them to get your wedding day right.
This won’t be possible with every vendor – at Gettin’ Hitched Rocks, for example, we don’t have face-to-face consultations for our house collection work so we can keep our prices accessible. (Though we always do it for bespoke designs, so we can get a good grip on who our couples are and what they’d like.)
Then get a sample! Better to pay for an engagement shoot, a sample cake, or a trial run of make-up and find out it’s not for you than to realise on your wedding day!
You should be able to get sample cards from your stationer, organise tastings with your cake maker and caterer, and have small shoots with your photographer and videographer to make sure you’re happy with exactly what you’re getting.
Go to wedding fairs
If you think they’re not for you, you’re looking at the wrong wedding fairs. There’s nowhere better to go to get ideas, try samples, feel stationery, and chat to wedding vendors to see if they’re right for you.
Ask wedding vendors you do trust
If you’ve found a photographer who gets your sense of humour or a wedding planner who completely understands your vision, ask them who they’d recommend for your wedding.
The traditional ‘recommended supplier’ list has been a bit tainted by dodgy venues who’ll charge you more to bring in someone they don’t recommend (and get a cut for promoting), but small businesses like photographers, planners, and stylists don’t run the way big businesses do. They care about giving you a great experience, not wringing you for money. They’ll recommend the right people for the job. (And ones they can play well with, too!)
The world isn’t that big a place – wedding professionals working in the same area have come across each before. Ask them who they think would be right for your wedding, or what they think of a vendor you’ve found, and they’re bound to have suggestions.
The 37 best wedding suppliers in London
On that note, I’ve put together a list of 37 of the coolest, kindest, plays-well-with-others-est wedding vendors I’ve come across in London.
Sign up to our newsletter to get the full PDF and meet your dream wedding suppliers!
Photo by Jacob Lund.