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A Box Of Inspiration For Every Bride

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The Inspire Box is ran by a team of wedding planners, here we discuss the most common topics when planning a wedding.

Do I need to feed my Photographer?

One of the hottest topics in planning your own wedding or event is... Do I need to feed my photographer/suppliers?

This can send you into the realm of online groups, asking family & friends or simply pulling your hair out.

Some of the most common responses when you resort to these sources are...

-No! Of course, not... I'm a (insert various occupation here) and my boss doesn't feed me.

-Absolutely, I fed mine the same meal as the guests.

-Not a chance, do you know how expensive the meals are?

-Mine stipulate it in their contract, so I must.

-I feed mine, they're there for 14 hours.

There is no right or wrong answer to this. There isn’t even a specific etiquette or industry standard practice to this question. You must base your decision on your circumstances & your budgets. Fortunately, there are some hints and tricks I can give you to make this decision a lot easier.

Little insight into life as a supplier

For an event supplier, life is a little different. The location/venue we work in changes every day, so we don't always know the local area to nip out and get something. It's like our first day, every day.

Many understand the fluid nature of events and don't like to leave site in case they miss anything. Just imagine how angry you would be if your photographer is lost looking for the local Tesco, while the cake cutting was taking place. Or you must halt your first dance because the band is in the local chippy.

This is one of the many reason suppliers stipulate they need feeding in contacts.

But what do you do if your supplier doesn't stipulate this in contract and you’re on a tight budget?

The honest answer is.... It's completely up to you! As much as it's appreciated by your suppliers, we understand that events aren't cheap, and this sometimes just isn't possible.

I would like to offer some tips, tricks and guidelines I've used in the past in helping me decide if and if not, I should feed my suppliers and what to do when I’m on a tight budget.

My guideline.

any staff member or suppliers on site (booked by me) for over 4 hours will require a meal & hot & cold drinks throughout the day.

I discovered this guideline in one of the fabulous Manchester based event companies I've worked for and it works as a great starting point to help with your action plan.

Deciding against feeding them.

Absolutely fine, but there are things you can do to help your supplier.

See if you can arrange a crew area so they can nip in for a break every now and again. Ask your venue if they have space in the fridge for any suppliers bringing their own food. They may even be willing to set up a brew area for your suppliers FOC. Please tell all your suppliers this ahead of time. That way they can make the necessary arrangements for the day.

Providing food.

If you decide that you would like to provide food for your supplier that is fabulous and will be greatly appreciated.

Now, don't for one second think this means popping them in the seating plan and adding more heads to your menu. No.

Firstly, talk to your venue, I can't tell you how many times the venues I've worked with have told me not to worry about my suppliers. Once all the courses are out, they will sort them.

Many venues have a 'crew food' menu. This is perfect if you have a few that need food. This ranges between £5-£15 per head and consists of large batch food & drinks.

-Chips & Sandwiches

-Lasagna

-Chili & Rice

If you only have a couple of suppliers, you could consider opening a limited bar tab for them. This way they can grab when they can, and they can get drinks.

If possible, try and arrange for a brew and water station, most venues will do this FOC or for a very small fee.

If this still feels like it's pushing your budget, consider providing a small buffet yourself. I once had a client who purchased trays of sandwiches, drinks and cakes from Costco. It couldn't have costed more than £30 and it fed an army of 20 hungry men & me :)

You can even keep costs down by bringing a kettle with some teabags and coffee from home to create a DIY brew station.

5 ways to keep calm while planning your wedding!

Planning a Wedding is one of the most stressful times in a couples relationship. It’s up there with buying a home, relocating and having a baby!

Trust me, I’ve had my fair share of brides and Grooms appear in my inbox because the stress was getting too much. One thing to remember is not to beat yourself up about it. Most people never need to plan a big event in their lives so when it comes to a wedding the main stress comes from budget and not knowing where to start.

Here’s my 5 tips for reducing the stress while planning your wedding.

Number 1- BUDGET

Yes! surprise surprise, working out your budget is the very first job after the proposal. It’s my first question when working with a couple and it’s always met with the same answer… ‘I don’t know’

Here’s the thing, we all have a budget that we live by. We all know what kind of income we have and what we can reasonably spend on this event. Don’t say the statement ‘I don’t know what things cost!’ because that’s irrelevant to your budget. Your budget is the driving force and the backbone to your wedding. So it’s the most important thing to nail down. As you get down the planning rabbit hole you may find more or decide you have less but you need a starting point.

Work out where the income is coming from. Are you a saver with a little pot of gold saved? there’s your starting budget. Is your family contributing, talk to them. There’s your budget. Or are you planning to use part of your paycheck every month. work out how many months you have until your ideal wedding date and there’s your budget.

Number 2- TIME LINE

Once the budget is nailed, work out your time line. Give yourself tasks in a reasonable amount of time. Remember you still have a life to live so you need to spend your time wisely. This will also help with decision making.

Start by figuring out your ideal Wedding date, then you can work back from there. Write down a list of tasks and decisions that need to be completed before the wedding. Things like guest lists, menus, outfits etc.

If you timeline yourself and try to stick to it, your less likely to forget anything and have the mad panic closer to the day.

Number 3- DATA

This is one of my personal faves! Spreadsheets and word documents will help so much with this. Or a good old fashioned folder with pens and paper.

Think ahead when creating your data, for example. When you create your guest list include notes for things like special requirements or dietary’s. Include those questions on your RSVP. This will save a job later on when you need that information for your menu.

Supplier list, when your deciding what things you would like keep a list of suppliers. Add columns for things like cost, payment due date, paid, arrival time, contact details. All this information will save in the long run.

Number 4- COMPROMISE

You and your partner are making the decision to spend the rest of your lives together. This is your wedding but you may not always agree on everything. When you get to one of these hurdles ask yourself ‘will this make us both happy?’ or ‘is this essential?’

Failing that, make it fun! have a game of rock, paper, scissors to decide on the chair cover colour. Remember, your guests are thereto celebrate you.

Number 5- ASK FOR HELP

There is nothing wrong with asking for an extra pair of hands to help. Let’s be honest, most people would be delighted to help you with your wedding. It could be as simple as a friend or family member or a wedding planner.

Think of things like running it on the day, does your venue provide a wedding planner or do you know someone that could help? Also think about the next day. Does anything need picking up and taking away. Get your team in place so you can have a wonderful day.