We all need wedding suppliers – or do we?
If you’re celebrating a wedding on a truly small scale, you may be able to organise everything yourself. And it may well all come together successfully. However, if the guest-list goes into double figures, you’re less likely to cope.
You can go to the Cash & Carry and buy in a load of food and drink. You’ll probably want to clean the place up first before decorating. How will you serve refreshments? How will you arrange the room in your house to accommodate a large-ish 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, I suggest you hire some suppliers.
If your wedding is likely to be big and potentially complex, then get yourself a professional wedding planner. Otherwise, there may be an event planner who comes with the venue you book, or – if you think you can handle it – you go for it yourself.
Visit as many venues as it takes. Once your heart says “yes”, go with it. But, obviously, the price must be right and you must feel confident about the planner there.
The venue must be one of the first things to book, and some get taken over a year in advance.
If you’re not having a full religious service, 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.
Working together with your civil celebrant, you can achieve the unique ceremony of your dreams.
You may want music, either at the wedding ceremony or at the reception (or both). Then you have to decide whether it should be live or recorded, whether you’re having a DJ or a friend to push a button.
Who is providing the sound equipment?
Whatever you choose to hire will probably need to be booked well in advance. Depending on budget or choice, you can offer your guests all kinds of shows and participatory events.
Food, drink and catering
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?
You definitely need to have 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 caterers, drivers, cake-makers, magicians), but I hope that this article gives at least a reasonable idea of what is 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.
Photo: Matt Penberthy