Wedding Planners – a Suppliers Perspective

As wedding planners we work with a lot of couples and a lot of different suppliers and have built up many great relationships over the years.  When we undertake full planning we secure all your suppliers from our huge base of tried and trusted suppliers but occasionally when we do On The Day Management or Partial Planning you may have already selected one or two suppliers of your own and whilst they will hopefully have experience of working with a professional planner sometimes they may not. 

When we work with a new supplier that has not seen how a wedding planner works they can often be a little apprehensive of what to expect of us and how we can help them during the planning journey and on the day itself.

For the most part the suppliers you choose will hopefully be experienced professionals and will have worked with a planner before, if this is not the case then you may be facing one of three scenarios; First off, hopefully this is just inexperience and once we’ve spoken to them they will have a better idea of what to expect; Second, it could be they have had a bad experience with a less experienced or able planner; Lastly and this isn’t often the case, it may simply be that they are not confident enough in their own ability to put themselves under the spotlight of a professional.

So we already understand that for our clients having a planner provides a reassuring helping hand, removes stress and ensures that nothing is missed but what you may not see is how having a wedding planner assists your other suppliers ensuring they can concentrate on the task they are there for, but don’t just take our word for it, lets speak to some experienced and professional suppliers to see what they think to working with a wedding planner …………

Lina & Tom – Lina & Tom Photography

As couples increasingly choose weddings that move away from traditional venues, such as tipis, there is an increasing need for planners like Vanessa to come on board to help clients plan and run their perfect day.  We’ve had the pleasure of working with Vanessa amongst other planners, particularly for ‘at home’ weddings and there is a certain sense of relief as a supplier when a planner is hired and this is certainly the case when it’s Vanessa!
It’s time to forget the Hollywood stereotype of the black-and-headset clad wedding planner bossing everyone around and realise the value of having a planner on board. The wedding industry has grown so much in the last few years and planners like Vanessa can really help a couple pin down their ideal suppliers without having to trawl through hours of photographers and florists websites, all claiming to offer the perfect service.  Your planner will already have a network of the highest quality suppliers to help streamline the search.  They are also invaluable at remembering the less than glamorous things you might forget such as generators and glass washing, not to mention meeting contractors at ungodly hours and in all weathers. 
As a photographer we know that we are going to work alongside a great team when it is headed by a planner keeping everyone in check, as well as knowing the day will run efficiently and in a timely manner. It’s being part of a big team to make the couple’s day perfect, which is not always the case in venues; there have been many occasions where we have been treated as just the hired help or worse still, like an annoying consequence of there being a wedding that day, when all we want to do is work together to make the wedding the perfect day for our client.
Above all else, your planner is like your fairy godmother, working hard to help you achieve your dream day, and certainly when it’s Vanessa, it’s like having your best mate around with you.  Her awesome event management skills combined with a sparkly personality means you’ll absolutely want to keep her as a friend when the day is done, and that’s also why we love working with her!

James Knight – Boxed Events – Wedding and Events Caterer

We have worked with Vanessa from Rocks and Frocks on numerous occasions.  It’s great to work along side a wedding planner as they relay all the information that we need clearly and concise to ensure the smooth running of the event.
Having a wedding planner on board is helpful to the couple as they have one point of contact and don’t need to be dealing with every supplier individually.
We enjoy working along side a wedding planner as this allows us to concentrate on what we do well and leave the running of the day to them. 

Clare Jones – Clare Jones Floral Design

I have had the pleasure of working on some really beautiful and exciting weddings which have been expertly planned by Vanessa from R&F Weddings.

Vanessa always joins her clients for their consultations and helps to simplify the process of making the most out of what they choose and how to achieve their overall design goal.  She oversees and supports every element of planning for the big day.

As the day approaches all suppliers receive a detailed itinerary of the day with direct contact details for Vanessa to ensure the smooth running of the event. This makes setting up on the day much more efficient without the worry of having to bother the bride.  All suppliers will have their notes and the planner to refer to allowing us to focus on our area of expertise.

Wedding planners like Vanessa do not take over the couple’s day, but give them a guiding hand and take the stress out of wedding planning, making the journey an enjoyable one for all in involved.

Matt Keeling – Gather Bars – Specialist Event Bar company

We have worked with quite a few wedding planners with varying amounts of contact depending on the day and the Bride and Grooms needs.  Some wedding planners let us get on with the job and we just make sure we communicate and are thinking the same things. Other’s involve us only when needed from a logistic point of view with timings and access. Some involve us in every aspect whether it concerns us or not meaning we then have the opportunity to picture the whole day and spot anything we need to talk about early in the planning. 
Having a wedding planner makes a huge difference. It takes a lot of the pressure off for us and we don’t have to worry about as many things on the day or in the run up. The logistics of the day are planned with all the finer details that come with the experience of co-ordinating suppliers on a regular basis. We all have different needs and some of them you would only consider if you have been involved in the business.  For us it also helps to have that point of contact and someone taking responsibility on the day.  We have been left in situations where the ‘person’ in charge has come up to us mid wedding and handed us a set of keys and essentially said ‘I’m off, you’re on your own’ – having a central point of contact for everyone means we can all get on with our jobs and not worry about other parts of the day and problems that might arise and have to be solved.  A wedding planner should be seeing in advance or solving any potential problems behind the scenes and making sure your day runs smoothly then every supplier can concentrate on proving the very best service on the day.

Gemma Goodwin – The Cambridge Tent Company

We’ve worked with Vanessa on a number of weddings and we’re always delighted when we hear that one of our couples has entrusted their planning to her expertise – we always know it’s going to be a good one!

The couples that chose alternative tents for their weddings, often do so because they want a laid-back and relaxed feel to do the day; and often have a strong sense of their W-day style. Having a wedding planner means that there is someone behind the scenes making sure that everything stays relaxed ‘front of house’.  Vanessa is a real gem for having the keenest eye for pretty detail, coupled with a savvy knowledge of the less glamorous, but vitally important aspects of an open field hire.  Not all planners could tell you the voltage requirements on a generator distribution whilst folding countless origami birds.

Putting up temporary structures for a wedding means you can create an entirely personal and unique space for your wedding. So we always feel confident leaving site after a tipi installation, knowing that Vanessa is on hand to help the couple finalise that vision for them

Sam Clinton – Miss2Mrs Makeup

Having worked with Vanessa for a number of years now, it has always been a joy from start to finish.  Liaising with Vanessa only, not only takes the stress out of it for the bride but also the unnecessary admin that can be involved when planning a day, as important as your wedding.  So all in all, it’s a smooth and slick operation. 
Often I have larger bridal parties that can include a number of bridesmaids, mothers and other guests too, which Vanessa always organises with me in advance so we can get a plan in place to make the running of the morning and the ‘getting ready prep’ as fun and smooth as possible.  All in all I find working alongside a wedding planner a positive experience.

Hannah Whiteley – Escheat Farm – Unique Country Garden Blank Canvas Wedding Venue

As a blank canvas venue we provide our brides and grooms with a beautiful outdoor space to create a truly unique day and whilst demand for venues that enable their creativity is high it can be hugely daunting to know where to start when planning and bringing together the most important day of your lives from scratch.

Big ticket items such as tents and catering might feel simple enough to book but it’s the intricate details and logistics that go into creating a beautiful and smoothly executed wedding that are easily overlooked. That’s not any surprise or criticism – if you’ve not planned an event or wedding before (as most brides and grooms understandably haven’t!) why would you be thinking about how much power your suppliers need/what will happen if your photos take longer and you want more time before sitting down to eat/who’s going to light your candles as dusk falls/make sure the bar doesn’t run out of ice/layout your place names whilst you’re having your hair and makeup done? This is where professional wedding planning is just invaluable.

We can’t recommend to our customers enough how important it is to have support and guidance from those who have done it before and will think of the things that they wouldn’t in the run up to the big day. Not only that but on the day management is something we consider a must-have. The last thing brides and grooms need on the morning of their big day is worrying about whether the caterers have arrived and setup without problem and whilst friends and relatives might offer their support for a seating turnaround between dinner and dancing, or overseeing your self-serve bar, what you and your guests really want is to relax, have fun and immerse yourselves into just enjoying the day. Trust us, the support, professionalism and end result you get from working with a team like R&F for your wedding will be invaluable!

So there you have it; if you are a couple you can now see how having a planner really brings all of your wedding day suppliers together as one big team.  If you are a supplier that is reading this and that hasn’t yet worked with us, you now know we are not here to tell you how to do your work but we are there to help make everyone’s day as relaxed and enjoyable as possible.

If you would like to know more about any of the contributors to this blog please make sure you visit their sites using the links above and if you think we may be able to help you with any stage of your planning journey then pop over to our contact us page and drop Vanessa a line.

Happy Planning!

(thanks to the following for images: Lina and Tom | Sansom Photography | Ian Scott Photography | Nicola Casey Photography)