So, the question has finally been popped and everyone has toasted to your upcoming nuptials. You’ve gotten over the giddiness of being freshly engaged, and now reality sets in. You’ve got an entire wedding to plan!
One of the biggest problems facing couples getting married is that they don’t know where to even begin planning a wedding. One of the best ways we know of to help you start planning is to compile a complete list of any and all wedding suppliers (also known as vendors) you may possibly need. From there, you’ll be able to decide what your top priorities are, start shopping around for the perfect suppliers, and create a wedding that reflects you and your partner’s personalities, without too much fuss or stress!
To help you get started, we’ve put together a list of all the wedding suppliers you’re likely to need for your big day. We hope this list helps you get started in your wedding planning journey.
A wedding planner’s job is to recommend suppliers, liaise with them and your venue on your behalf, and work within your budget. Your other option is hiring a day-of coordinator – they’re like wedding planners, but primarily focused on making sure the wedding day itself runs smoothly.
A wedding planner will make the whole wedding planning process a lot easier, but does come with additional expense. Most wedding planners charge a percentage of your overall budget. So, take some time to decide whether you think it’s worth the cost or not.
Many people don’t consider the venue itself to be a supplier, but it does count – the venue, after all, is supplying you with a place to get married!
You will need somewhere for the ceremony to take place. The most popular options in the UK are a church wedding, or a civil ceremony held at a secular venue such as a hotel or town hall. The main difference is that one is a religious ceremony and one isn’t.
The civil ceremony can take place anywhere that’s licensed for marriage, whereas a religious ceremony must take place in a church or chapel. Again, this will depend on whether you and your partner are religious - or if you have a particular venue in mind.
Some venues will provide catering, wait staff, bar staff and cleaners to help you out with your big day, whereas others will require you to source all of this yourself.
Officiant, Registrar, or Celebrant
Unless you have an officiant, registrar, or celebrant, you won’t actually be able to get married. In the UK, these are the only people, along with religious officials, who can pronounce someone married.
Again, many couples choose someone who is local to them, and often recommended by friends and family. Of course, you can also choose someone who does more specific requests, simply by looking online. Often, wedding venues will have their own list of officials who you can choose from. Some civil venues (such as town halls) may provide the registrar free of charge, and you won’t get a say in who it is.
Following the ceremony, you will want somewhere to host your party after the nuptials! There are so many choices here - the only limit really is your imagination. Many people choose family members’ homes, hotels, manor houses, restaurants, or special event halls. Again, where you decide to have your reception will depend on a number of things: for example, the size of your wedding, whether you want indoor or outdoor, and whether you’re going traditional or not.
Many people also choose to go abroad for their ceremony and reception - obviously there is a significant cost involved with this, so consider it carefully.
You definitely want some photos to capture your special day, and possibly even some videos of the event, to relive it as it happened.
If you do, choose a professional wedding photographer and/or videographer - someone whose portfolio you like the look of. Don’t be tempted to skip the cost and hire amateur photography students, or worse of all, friends and family. If the photos don’t come out right, you’ll regret it – and it will cause a lot of awkwardness.
Most brides purchase their wedding dress and bridesmaids’ dresses from a designated bridal store. You’ll want to find somewhere with a good reputation, clear policies, and a tailoring service. Your groom and groomsmen/ushers may purchase their suits, or, alternatively, rent them from a wedding rental company.
To save money here, you can purchase wedding attire second hand on sites like Stillwhite and Bridal Reloved. Often, you won’t even be able to tell they’ve been worn before, and they’ll be much cheaper!
If you haven’t purchased your wedding dress/suit(s) from a store that provides a tailoring service, you’ll need to hire a tailor or seamstress to ensure everything fits just right. Wedding dress fittings before the big day are absolutely essential, unless you’re one of the few very lucky people for whom “off the rack” dresses fit perfectly without any alterations!
It just isn’t a wedding without music and dancing! Usually people choose either a live band or a DJ, but it’s completely up to you. If you want more of a variety of music, a DJ is a better option, but if you’d like a more traditional wedding then a band may be more up your street.
Remember that you’re not limited to just these - if you want something more off the wall go for it! For example, you could hire an old-fashioned juke box to entertain the crowd. Your guests will be able to put on their favourite songs!
At many weddings, the music, dancing and food is the only source of entertainment. However, many couples may choose to hire additional entertainment, such as fireworks for the evening or a magician to entertain the little ones. It all depends on your personal taste.
If your venue isn’t supplying the catering, you’ll have to hire a catering company to feed yourselves and your guests. Most weddings in the UK feature a three-course wedding breakfast in the afternoon, followed by a finger buffet in the evening.
But the choice is up to you – many modern weddings feature street food vans or hog roasts as an alternative to the traditional catering choices. Figure out what kind of cuisine you have in mind for your big day, and narrow down your catering options from there.
Wedding Cake Baker
A cake maker is essential if you want an amazing showcase for your special day. The cutting of the wedding cake is an important tradition for many!
Your guests will love seeing (and eating) your impressive, professionally-baked wedding cake. But if you don’t have the cash to hire a professional baker, you can always bake the cake yourself – or have something like a cupcake tower, if making a multi-layered cake is a bit beyond your skills.
A wedding florist will be able to design beautiful bouquets and buttonholes for you and your wedding party, according to your personal tastes, wedding colour scheme, and seasonality. They’ll also be able to create unique floral centrepieces and amazing floral archways for photographs, if your budget can stretch that far.
It’s important to choose a florist who is local to the venue, so they will be able to transport the flowers on time, even if the traffic’s bad or there is another hold up!
In order to get married, you’ll probably want some sort of wedding rings, or promise rings, to exchange with your spouse. For this you’ll need to find a jeweller.
Many couples simply choose their local jeweller for convenience. Or you can choose to look online if you want something different, or more bespoke. Simply googling ‘wedding ring designers’ will bring up a whole host of options for your perusal. A jeweller will also be able to provide you with accessories like necklaces and bracelets for you and your bridesmaids to wear on the day.
You can find wedding rental companies to provide a huge number of essential items and services for your big day, such as:
1) Tables and tablecloths
2) Chair covers and ribbons
3) Crockery and cutlery
4) Cake knives and server sets
5) Dance floor
9) Cleaning services
What you’ll need will depend on your venue, preferences, and budget. Before hiring any companies, check what your venue will provide – for example, some venues will include tables and tablecloths as part of the wedding package, while others won’t.
Gift List Provider
If you and your partner are thinking about wedding gifts, it’s worth signing up to a wedding gift registry with a department store or online store. This way you can choose gifts that you’ll actually use and appreciate, and it makes things easier for your guests, too. As items are purchased from your list, they’ll be removed or checked off so that you don’t end up with duplicates.
You probably don’t want to have to drive on your wedding day (or, worse still, take the bus)! So you’ll need to hire a transport supplier to get you from your home to your venue.
A lot of couples will hire a wedding car or limousine which transports the bride to the ceremony, and transports the happy newlyweds to their destination after the wedding. You could also consider hiring a coach to transport your guests to and from the ceremony and reception venues. It’s worth booking transport as soon as you have a venue booked to avoid disappointment.
Hair and Makeup Artist
Unless you are especially skilled at hair and makeup, hiring a professional is a really nice treat for the bride on her wedding day. It is supposed to be one of the most important days of your life, so why not make sure you are looking flawless with the help of someone who knows what they’re doing! You can also have your bridesmaids’ hair and makeup done professionally, too, so that you’ll all look the part.
Make sure to have at least one full hair and makeup trial before your wedding, so that you’ll know how the look will work on you, and can be confident that there will be no problems on the day.
Last but definitely not least, you’ll need a professional wedding stationer. This is for things like:
Save the dates
2) Wedding invitations, note cards and reply cards
3) Orders of service
4) Table plans and place cards
5) Thank you cards
The look and feel of your wedding stationery can set the tone and theme for your entire wedding, and will influence your guests’ impressions of what kind of celebration you’ll be having. So, it’s important to find a trustworthy stationer to make your dreams reality.
At Bride and Groom Direct, we have a wealth of experience printing professional wedding stationery, and have been trading since 1993. We’ve served thousands of happy customers and offer stationery to suit any wedding theme and colour scheme. All of our stationery can be fully customised according to your personal requirements, and will be dispatched to you within 5 working days of your order!