You think you have found your perfect supplier? Excellent! What next?
It is very tempting to go straight ahead to book your supplier and unfortunately many couples do so without carrying out “a supplier due diligence”. This sounds fancy and complicated but it is really quite simple.
What does due diligence mean?
In simple terms: know as much as you possibly can about the supplier who is about to take your money and supply goods or services at your wedding.
The Wedding Lawyer recommends you carry out the following steps prior to booking a supplier:
- Always insist on a face-to-face meeting as early as possible.
Whilst this seems like an obvious one, we are surprised to learn how many couples have relied on a quick phone call and a few email exchanges before signing a contract and paying a deposit. In an age where websites can be made in minutes it is not difficult for a supplier to create an impressive looking website which could give off an ultra professional image. Don’t be fooled. Always insist on a face-to-face meeting with your supplier at least once prior to confirming a booking. A face-to-face meeting demonstrates a degree of proactivity and seriousness about your involvement and intentions for how you would like your wedding day to unfold.
A face-to-face meeting will assist in understanding exactly who it is that you are dealing with, how much experience they are likely to have had in the industry and above all creates a medium for clear and open communication. Having dealt with a numerous different suppliers in the wedding industry over the years, we have found that there is no substitute for having a face-to-face meeting to fully understand the scope of the services provided and negotiate on price. Quite often, the more serious you come across about doing business with a chosen supplier, the more serious a supplier will be when working on your events. By having a meeting as early as possible, you will be able to gage very quickly whether this is the supplier for you and if things to not work out, you will still have time to carry on your search.
- Obtain at least three independent references on your supplier
Just like when you are applying for a job, you may be asked to submit contact details for a referee to your new employer, this is no different to when you look to hire a supplier. In essence you are hiring your supplier to deliver on one of the biggest days of your life. Therefore, do not miss out on the chance of obtaining three independent references from your supplier. Suppliers do get asked to provide details about previous clients so a consumer can obtain fair and independent references. Therefore, do not feel shy or embarrassed to ask your potential supplier for this information. It could be the case that your potential supplier will need to obtain permission from their previous clients before divulging personal information. We recommend you allow your supplier time to do this, as it will be well worth it once you are equipped with a potential referee. Some suppliers may point you to their testimonial page on their website or offer to contact their previous client on your behalf. We recommend you adopt a proactive approach and make contact with referees by yourself to ensure any references are as independent as possible.
- Online trawl
In this current digital age, there is an abundance of information about wedding suppliers available on the Internet. It is worth investing one or two hours searching for as much news as possible about your potential supplier. Your potential supplier’s website followed by a Google search is often a sound starting point. During your research check whether your supplier has any handles on any social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, LinkedIn or Instagram. If they do, conduct a further search on each of these social media platforms to see whether there are any positive or negative comments about the services offered. Finally, it is worth conducting a search on online wedding directories such as www.hitched.co.uk or www.weddingdaily.co.uk.
For more information about conducting the due diligence contact: firstname.lastname@example.org