Is it too soon to book my suppliers?

So the moment you've been dreaming of for so long actually happens. The person you love more than anything pops the question and you now find yourself longing to get going with planning the wedding.

The trouble is when do you book what?

There are a variety of reasons why you pick the wedding date that you do. It may be that you want to save enough money to have everything you want. If this is the case then great but if it means your wedding isn't going to be for 3 years then unfortunately you may need to sit on your hands. It's so easy to get carried away and jump into booking the first venue or stunning cake that you see but many things can happen between now and then:

* You may change your mind, just like fashion. Wedding seasons change. What you like right now may not be what you like in a year or 2's time. You may be reading magazines, or simply go to another wedding that gives you inspiration. Many suppliers charge a non refundable deposit. This you need to be aware of before you confirm.

* The company you book with may stop trading or may change their services leaving you out of pocket and not getting the service you actually sign up for.

* Life circumstances. We all like to think that nothing in our lives is going to change but in reality it does.

A wedding day is such a big one in your life and it is likely going to cost you more than any other one day to follow. This means you have to be sure. Preparation is key when planning a wedding, so by all means, do your homework and when the time comes you can hand over those deposits knowing it is 100% right for you.

TOP TIPS

* Once you book and pay for something stop looking.

* Keep a tally of everything you spend and if you manage to save money keep it in a pot until the end. You may be able to surprise yourself with something you didn't think you could afford.

* Allocate yourself one or two suppliers a month to confirm. Spread it out over time so it's not overwhelming.

* If you want to go to wedding fairs to source your suppliers great, but you will walk away with a bag full of contact details and will have no clue which belongs to which. Take a pen. If you see someone or something you particularly like, make a note on their business card or flyer before you throw it in the bag, this way you'll immediately recognise it when you trawl through them all later in the day.

* Follow recommendations, if friends or family have had a great experience with someone that may be the best place to start.

* Listen to your gut. If something seems too good to be true there's a good chance it is. Likewise if you have an instant bond with a supplier then go with it. You'll need to get on with the people so pivotal in the creation of your wedding. Not getting on with a supplier or concern over their ability will only add stress to an already busy time in your life.


But what happens if your wedding is 3 years away and you just want to get going?

The good news is you can, but with caution. Why not book suppliers where you don't need to confirm exactly what you want until closer to the time. Fore example, you may want to book a florist that you love, but you don't have to tell them what you want until the weeks leading up to your wedding, or, you may want to book your favourite baker as their cakes are amazing but you don't have to give them design ideas until much closer to the time.


By working like this, there is always room for change without loosing money.


Don't book things that you can't change if closer to the time you decide on a different style. Wedding dresses are a prime example of where you could lose money. If you buy a dress 3 years in advance, you could change shape, you could see something better or you could simply fall out of love with it. Plus you'll have to store it all that time as it is unlikely that a bridal shop will store for that long.

You can read more about what to book when in the Wedding Planning Made Simple workbook and planning guide which is available here.