Who needs Wedding Suppliers?

Who needs Wedding Suppliers?

Do we even need wedding suppliers these days? After all, with social distancing and government regulations limiting the size of ceremonies, we’ve moved towards small-scale ceremonies.

Can’t we manage on our own now?

Maybe, but I would be less than sanguine as soon as the guest-list goes into double figures. (hopefully, next month!)


If you’re doing it yourself, you can easily go to the Cash & Carry and buy in a load of food and drink. Oh, you’ll probably want to clean your front room up first before putting up the ribbons and bunting. How will you serve refreshments? How will you arrange the room to accommodate a relatively large number? Are you using the back garden? Supposing it rains? Have you warned the neighbours? Will there be a sound system? Have you avoided trailing wires and trip hazards?

So, rather than exhaust yourself before the event even starts, it may be wiser to hire some professional suppliers.

Wedding Planner

Even if circumstances don’t change, then consider a professional wedding planner. Given their contacts with suppliers, they may work out cheaper than you envisage!

Otherwise, there may be an event planner who comes with the venue you book. Of course, if you’re confident you can handle it – go for it yourself.


Visit venues until your heart says “yes”. Obviously, the price must be right and you must feel happy about the planner there.

Be aware that you may have to give the venue a lot of notice.


You may not be having a full religious service. However, you may want more than the Registrars’ standard ceremony. They do the legal bit, but they do not personalise. For that, contact a civil celebrant.

Civil Celebrants

Working together with your civil celebrant, you can achieve the unique ceremony of your dreams.

If current law proposal proceeds, soon the celebrant may actually be able to conduct a personalised, but fully legal, ceremony at one and the same time.

Musicians and Entertainment

You may want music, either at the wedding ceremony or at the reception (or both). Decisions to make include whether it should be live or recorded, and whether you’re having a DJ or a friend to push a button.

Make sure you know who is providing the sound equipment.


Again, this is where a planner can earn their keep. Are you having some drinks and hors d’oeuvres before the meal? Will the meal be buffet or silver service? What – and how much – drink will you offer? Will you have a cash bar? What about vegans and those on gluten-free or dairy-free regimes? Do you want a special table for children?


Don’t neglect a photographic record of your big day. How many photographers – or videographers – you have is down to you. Don’t ask a friend to do it (even though you save money): he/she may accidentally fail to deliver, which you really wouldn’t thank them for. Moreover, the friend is there to be part of your wedding, not to worry about the pictures.


Most of us want flowers at such an occasion – seasonal ones are usually cheaper than ones flown in.

There may well be other suppliers you’d want to employ (such as drivers, cake-makers, magicians), but I hope that this article gives at least a reasonable idea of what may be involved in planning a wedding.

It may look daunting, but professional suppliers can manage it smoothly for you.

If you have any questions or comments, especially about ceremonies, please feel free to contact me.

Why a Wedding Planner?

Why a Wedding Planner?

There seems to be an upturn of interest in weddings now, as the year wends its weary way to a welcome close.

Naturally, a lot of people are looking at micro-weddings. However, there may still be a need for other suppliers.


If couples want a personalised ceremony, a civil celebrant can still do a brilliant job.

I’d be delighted to explain how, if you contact me.


I have recently been talking to a number of wedding planners. Most are facing the predictable problems of postponements and even cancellations.

People are ready to use the professional services of a wedding planner, if their wedding is likely to be big or compex, but does it make sense to do so for a smaller-scale event?


If you engage a supplier like a wedding planner, of course it will set you back. However, not to the extent that you might expect.


A planner often offers packages. You don’t necessarily have to engage them for months ahead of the big day. Some can offer the wedding day only, if that suits. Ask them what they offer.

Moreover, if you use the full service, the chances are that you can ultimately save money. That is because they will have a wide network of recommended venues and suppliers, and can negotiate the best prices. So you should be able to access the highest-calibre options available.

Planners can use their experience to deal with issues, so they make your wedding (and the run-up) stress-free. That’s worth a lot!

Finally, but not insignificantly, planners can save you time. You may have a hectic work – and/or social – schedule, and the planner can serve as a sort of PA, which can be extremely valuable.

So don’t avoid the wedding planner because it seems a waste of money. You may gain a lot more than you bargained for, by using one.

Find out more at www.ukawp.com.

To discuss this – or how a civil celebrant can help you – have a chat with Michael.

Photo: www.elwoodphotography.co.uk

“You pays your money …”

“You pays your money …”

You can spend ages preparing for a wedding. You can be indefatigable. You may be inventive, thorough and ridiculously pessimistic. You think of absolutely every eventuality.

Except for one thing. Or even two.

You see, it’s actually impossible to plan for everything.

I’m a celebrant. I know.

  1. In my experience, I could hardly have expected a venue to suffer a fire just before the ceremony was due to start, could I?!

2. Why should I have anticipated that the venue’s satnav address wasn’t actually right?

3. Stupidly, it never occurred to me that the couple would replace their Best Man at the last minute (without telling me)!

4. And then I had never expected to lose a bride!


These are all dodgy things that have happened in the course of conducting over 150 smooth and successful ceremonies. They were all solved (by good luck as well as judgement!).

If you’re interested, here’s what happened.

  1. The fire was put out by the fire brigade without much damage. The kitchens had been over-enthusiastic with the barbecue. We were able to proceed, if rather belatedly.
  2. When I turned up at the wrong address, the residents were charming (and used to the occurrence!). They politely directed me about a mile down the road, and, as I was, as usual, in good time, this proved not to be an issue.
  3. The couple didn’t inform me of the change of Best Man even when I called him up by name. Nobody moved, but they didn’t say a word! Based on a conversation I had had just before the ceremony, I went out on a limb and hazarded a different person. Fortunately, I was right!!
  4. The bride was driving to the Brixton venue. It turns out her driver got very lost. There was no phone reception inside the venue, so we couldn’t communicate. We just waited with increasing anxiety for about half an hour – until the bride magically materialised!

Reacting to Mistakes or Misadventure

As you can judge, unpredictable things happen.

For those planning a wedding themselves, the worst thing can be imagining what might go wrong. This can spoil the run-up to the wedding – and even the day itself. Possibly, for nothing.

If you’ve planned sensibly and not taken too many short cuts, probably the most important thing is to have reconfirmed your suppliers in timely fashion. In that case, there’s no point dreaming up calamities that might just happen. Trust the suppliers you have engaged and enjoy your big day!

However, there is an alternative to planning the event yourselves.

Use Wedding Planners

Wedding planners are professionals. They are normally experienced and know what works and what doesn’t. They take the worry off your hands.

Honest ones would admit that the unexpected does still happen. But they can usually react suitably and save the day.

So should you use one?

The short answer is that you have to balance the price they will cost you with the peace of mind they will give you.

“You pays your money, and you gets your choice!”

If you want to discuss this article further, or you just fancy a chat with a celebrant, please do contact me.