It’s time to get planning. You need to find and hire the best wedding suppliers for your big day.
Choosing wedding suppliers isn’t difficult but it does require some research. Drawing the line between what you need and what would be nice to have is always a challenge.
In this article, we’ve made a list of all the wedding suppliers you’ll need to work with and tips on how to make sure they will deliver a high-quality service.
General Advice for Hiring Wedding Suppliers
In this section, you’ll find some advice that will apply to all types of suppliers. Before you book anyone, you want to vet the quality of their service to make sure they are worth every penny they charge.
Check for Reviews
Check for reviews on social media, Google and third-party sites. It will give you a decent idea of what it’s like to work with them. Remember: reviews can be faked. Take some time to read through the reviews and make sure that they feel authentic. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.
Check for Pictures & Videos
Look for pictures and video of their service at past events. This is especially important if there is a visual element to the service.
Usually, you can find pictures and/or videos of the service they provide on their websites, their Facebook page and/or on their Google My Business page (i.e The tab that pops up in Google when you search for a company’s name).
Before booking a service, try to get a referral from someone you know and trust. Although it’s not always possible, a referral is usually the best guarantee you can get.
Get A Quote
Try getting an exact quote sooner rather than later to see if it matches your budget. If you don’t know what the average price is, shop around to get an idea.
Check If They Have Special Requirements
This mostly applies to specialty/variety suppliers who might have very specific needs. For example, access to electricity or water. Make sure you’re aware of these requirements (if any) before making a decision.
Check Their Availability
When it comes to weddings, availability fills up fast. If you’re planning on getting married on a Saturday, start planning as early as possible.
It’s also worth noting that some suppliers can do multiple weddings on the same day. If they’re good professionals, there shouldn’t be any issues. You just don’t want to hire a company that spreads itself too thinly across multiple marriages and doesn’t have the staff and equipment required to deliver the best possible service.
Supplier Specific Advice
At this point, you’ve most likely established with your partner whether you’re going to have a religious or a civil ceremony. Depending on where you live, you might be required to find the celebrant on your own or you might be assigned one.
Here in Ireland, depending on the type of wedding you want, the wedding celebrants will come from different nominating bodies (HSE, Church, […]). However, they need to be on the official register of solemnisers for the wedding to be legally binding.
If you’re doing a religious wedding (notably Roman Catholic) you might also have to follow a wedding preparation course. This course needs to be done before the actual wedding. Just make sure you plan ahead of time.
Pro-tip: Check out the official HSE guide for the information about all the paperwork you need to fill in.
Wedding Ceremony Venue
Most likely, you’re going to need to book two venues: one for the ceremony and one for the celebration. In Ireland, it’s possible to host both in the same venue but it’s uncommon.
If you’re going to be doing a religious wedding, the venue needs to be approved by the religious organization. Contact them directly to learn more about this.
For civil weddings, by default, the venue is the civil registration office. However, you can choose to get married elsewhere. The venue just needs to be approved. You can view all the venue requirements on the HSE website. (TLDR: the venue needs to be open to the public, accessible and safe.)
- How many people can the venue fit?
- If it’s in an old church or an old building, is it amplified?
- If it’s outside, will there be seats?
- If it’s outside, is there a fallback in case it rains?
- Are there other events on that day?
- Are you responsible for cleaning?
Pro-tip: Don’t forget to book your marriage notification appointment. It needs to be done at least 3 months before the actual wedding.
Wedding Celebration Venue
This is the venue where the celebration takes place after the ceremony. Book it as early as possible! There are only so many weekends in a year and venues fill up fast.
- Is the price per guest or for the room as a whole? (Most often, if the venue is also providing the catering, they will charge per guest.)
- How many people can fit in the venue? (Check for seated numbers & standing numbers.)
- How long does the rental last?
- Will they be having other events on the same day?
- Do they have designated (mandatory) suppliers?
- When are the quiet hours?
- Do they have a dance floor/dance area?
- Are you in charge of the cleaning?
In Ireland, hotels are by far the most popular choice for weddings. While they can be slightly more expensive, they are convenient as they provide the space, the catering and a place to stay for the night.
Pro-tip: Most venues will have a list of recommended suppliers. Ask them about it! You don’t have to limit yourself to these but it’s a good place to start because it means they’re used to working together.
Catering is a big part of the wedding budget. Make sure you take the time to speak with the catering team and that you’re happy with what they are going to offer.
The venue you book might have a designated caterer in which case you won’t have to find one on your own. But if they don’t, they can probably recommend one to you. It’s a bit more work but it ultimately provides more choice.
- What is the price per head?
- Can your guests choose what they want to eat ahead of time?
- Can they cater to vegetarian guests?
- Can they cater to guests with special food requirements? (Such as allergies)
- Can you bring your own alcohol? Is there a corkage fee?
- Do they need a kitchen onsite?
DJ, Bands & Singers
Music is a key component of wedding entertainment. Broadly speaking, there are two options: A live band or a DJ. Both have their pro’s and cons. For some in-depth advice, you can take a look at our guide for booking a band.
- Do they have the right equipment for the event?
- Can they play/sing a song for the first dance?
- How long will they be there?
- When will they arrive?
- Will they set up before or during the event?
- Do they require a stage?
- How much space do they require? And does the venue have that space?
Pro-tip: If you don’t want to book a band or a DJ, you will still want a designated “music person”. Let them know ahead of time what you want so you don’t have to take care of it on the day.
Photographer & Videographer
Photographers are indispensable to capture the magic of the day. For the same reason, videographers are also growing in popularity.
- Can they take engagement pictures?
- How long will they be onsite?
- How long will the edit take?
Photobooths have become a staple of weddings. They vary in style and complexity. Check out your local area to see what is available for hire. If you’re based in Ireland, you can book one directly through PartyWizz.
- How many pictures are included?
- How long will they be onsite?
- Can they provide a picture album?
- Do they need electricity?
- Do they include transport, deliveries & set up in their prices?
Pro-tip: If you’re planning on simply putting a polaroid camera on a table and letting the guests handle it, make sure you include guidelines, instructions and fun ideas (loading new refills into the camera isn’t always as intuitive as we think).
What is the entertainment for the evening? Wedding entertainment comes in all shapes and sizes. It might be something you plan, or that your guests plan.
There are many services you can hire for the occasion. For example magicians, comedians, body artists, caricaturists and much, much more. It’s a great space for originality.
For some fun and easy ideas, you can view our article on wedding entertainment ideas.
Pro-tip: If you’re planning on booking an entertainer, you can view some in-depth tips in our article about hiring a wedding entertainer.
Where are your guests staying after the event? You can delegate the actual booking of the room to your guests but it’s nice to provide them with a list of options nearby.
If there’s space, some might be able to stay at the actual venue. Otherwise, research B&B’s and other local accommodations and check their availability.
For the guests who aren’t staying onsite, you might want to plan transport to help them to get back to their beds safely. Simply look up local taxis and make sure they’re working on the night of the wedding.
The quantity and variety of flowers vary from one wedding to another. One thing is for sure: they are at every wedding. Search your local area to see which flower shops do weddings. Start early! They can only accept a certain number of bookings at a time.
- Can they decorate the ceremony venue?
- Can they decorate the wedding venue?
- Can they make the bride’s bouquet?
Pro-tip: florists usually have good recommendations when it comes to colors and what flowers / decorative plants are in season. Don’t hesitate to ask for some advice before making the final decision.
Stationer for the Wedding Invitations
Check your local area for a print shop that specialises in wedding invitations. Use online printers only as a back-up plan. You want to see an initial print/prototype of your invitation before printing them all out. This isn’t always possible online.
Lastly, but definitely not least, who is taking care of the babies during the event? Most likely, among your guests, you will have parents with young kids. A babysitter will make the event so much more enjoyable for them and is likely to make them stay longer.
Depending on where you live, you most likely have a babysitter listing. However, you should be able to find some by asking around.
That’s a Wrap on Wedding Suppliers
You now know everything you need to know about wedding suppliers. Best of luck with the planning. We hope you enjoy every moment of it. If you want more wedding content, consider subscribing to our newsletter.