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!)

DIY

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.

Venue

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.

Ceremony

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.

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?

Photographers

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.

Florists

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.