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FIVE QUESTIONS YOU ABSOLUTELY MUST ASK WHEN PLANNING YOUR WEDDING.

We love weddings, most of the suppliers in the business love nothing more than to be part of a couples special day.

Wedding scammers aren't the problem, they really are few and far between and usually hover around the bride groups on facebook, but the wedding business is full of keen hobbyists, sole traders, small shops and small partnerships, often working part time

Theres nothing wrong with this, nothing at all, quite often, a small business will dedicate far more time to your wedding than someone working for an hourly rate, but ...

You need to have a little “due diligence” before parting with any money

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What will happen if you fall ill the day before my wedding?

When will you send me my letter of confirmation and receipt?

Are you the business owner? are you the service provider?

Can I see examples of your work at actual weddings?

Tell me about your insurance, accreditation and qualifications.

Life Happens, it happens to the best of us. But you are only planning one wedding and you need to be sure that your key suppliers have a contingency plan.  No-one can plan for every eventuality, a wedding car breakdown on the way to pick up the bride, A massive power cut that takes out the venue, but, EVERY wedding supplier worth the money will be able to answer you straight away and tell you what will happen when the dreaded influenza kicks in the day before the special day, and if they have to think about it... WALK!

Before you hand over a deposit or a payment of any kind, you really need to know what you are paying for, what the total price will be and perhaps most important of all, who you are paying and where they live. I get about 10 emails a year from brides who have paid money to people and forgotten who they've paid. You need a proper written receipt on headed paper and a contract outlining the other details which you then sign and POST back, an email is worthless to you. If they don't work with written confirmations, ask yourself why!

This can be the big one.  Certain wedding services are ATTENDEES, they are people that attend the wedding. If you really get on with an attendee service provider, like a DJ, Photographer, Driver, Caterer, Singer... then you need to be sure that it’s going to be the same person turning up on the day. DJs for example are notorious for having several other DJs working under them and though you might book a smartly dressed chap who loves your musical style, the guy who turns up is paid by the hour and booked the day before. ASK!

Facebook is full of wedding photographers that are using the pictures they took as a guest, to persuade you to book them as a photographer (the clue is when everyone is looking to the side and not at the camera). Venue dressers will use stolen photographs (just point to something and say “I love that, where did you get it?” and wedding cakers will have stunning pictures of amazing cakes (just ask where that wedding was). Everyone has to start somewhere and theres no shame in it, but you need honest suppliers that deliver as promised.

Certain trades need certain qualification and it might not be obvious. A good example is a cake maker, they neen no insurance and no personal food hygiene certificate, not only that, they need no food hygiene rating. But, the good ones will have it and be able to tell you about all three.  DJs will have public Liability Insurance, as will photographers and of coursewedding cars will have insurance for the carrying of fare paying passengers.  A good supplier will tell you without thinking what they have and ignore PAT testing, its worthless.

Anything else?

Yes Lots of it, ALWAYS pay at least some of every bill on a credit card/paypal, just to get the insurance

A limited company is WORSE to deal with on services than a sole trader... why? Because a sole trader is responsible when things go wrong, a Limited company just folds and no-one takes responsibility.

Get everything in writing, venues particularly will change staff and then no-one knows what someone else has agreed with you

But the biggest one of all is THIS easy.   The Cheapest is NEVER the best.

The Great Venues I work with..

burton town hall FROM JESSICA AT tc
Mickleover Court Hotel Derby Conference Centre
Alfreton Hall wedding holiday-inn-derby---nottingham-m1,-jct.25-nottingham_210120151454569660
Lumb Farm
portland college 01623 499105
melbourne view hotel barn doors wedding
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