Wedded Bliss – Suppliers

Things are currently all quiet on the planning front. We’ve had a mini wedding season, attending weddings of families and friends, providing a perfect opportunity to judge pros and cons as well as play the “guess how much this wedding cost” game.

It’s weird. Until I have had to pay for one, I never appreciated the cost of weddings. So when little touches are added, or features presented I didn’t consider what it may have cost the couple. That’s all changed now. Snazzy wedding favours, a band playing the reception, harpists playing at the reception drinks and I think “Christ, how much has this set them back”.  That’s after judging the venue itself.  This obviously goes the other way too and you think to yourself “They have saved money by not doing/ doing that” – which isn’t a bad thing; it gives myself and the future Mrs TBN food for thought.

But I digress.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, one of the reasons we chose our venue was because a lot of the hassle of organising different vendors and suppliers was taken care of. This means, as a couple we only need to organise:

  • Cake
  • Flowers
  • Stationary (invitations only)
  • Registrar
  • Entertainment

Which, in the grand scheme of things isn’t a lot to get organised and the registrar was done whilst we were confirming the venue, to make sure we could actually get married.

So let’s go through cakes and flowers, invitations and entertainment can be for another day:

Cake

This one caused us the most grief.  Not in terms of supplier issues, but because we differed a lot in our requirements for a cake.

We were aligned on one thing; we didn’t want to pay an excessive amount for a wedding cake.  However, it’s probably been the single largest “sticker shock” items we’ve come across in our wedding planning journey to date – how can a cake cost more than £400 when you are not hiding wads of cash in the sponge as some sort of prize? Ridiculous.

Anyway. My thoughts were simple. Get something plain and big enough to feed the masses. Simples. Both M&S and Waitrose do a good line of plain white cakes to feed 75 for about £175 (which still sounds like a lot, but trust me, it isn’t).

My fiancé had more requirements. She wanted it to fit into our colour scheme and have clean, sharp edges. She was also more willing to spend more on a cake than me and was willing to spend about £250 on it.

The search

We set about searching for a baker or bakery. We weren’t particular on whether or not they were a business or working out of their kitchen as long as it suited our needs.

We checked out the recommended suppliers on our venue’s website – all horrendously out of budget.  We then searched the local area.  What we found with this was that suppliers were either too expensive or their galleries didn’t convey the quality we were looking for.

The search then moved a little closer to home.

The next thing I knew; my fiancé was asking me whether or not we should buy a sample box from a woman she had found on Facebook.  We took a closer look at her website, she had an example of cake that was almost identical to what we had imagined, her starting prices seemed extremely reasonable and if we went with her the price of the sample box would come off our total bill.

For me it was win, win. I got eight pieces of cake, and we potentially had our cake organised. I agreed to the sample box.

Closing In

My other half picked up the box on her way home from work and we set about picking and choosing our preference. The box was made up of 8 samples of different cakes:

cake

My fiancé insisted we do it right and not just scoff cake in a frenzied attack.  We took our time and rated each flavour.

Flavour

Mrs TBN TBN

Average

Carrot

7

8

7.5

Vanilla Bean

6

5

5.5

Salted Caramel

6.5

6

6.25

Oreo

7.5

6.5

7

Sticky Toffee

7

7.5

7.25

Chocolate Fudge

8

8

8

Lemon

8

7.5

7.75

Red Velvet

7

7

7

 

Once we’d finished tasting and rating it wasn’t as simple as pick the top choice or top 2 choices. Firstly, we didn’t know how much extra it would cost having multiple flavours and secondly, we knew that there would be some that don’t eat chocolate attending the wedding, so having all one flavour of our top choice was out.

We had arranged to meet the cake lady and had decided that if we could afford two flavours we would go chocolate fudge and carrot, but if we could only afford one, then that one would be lemon.

We had our meeting and made our decisions and got our bespoke cost for our wedding cake. A top tip here, would be to do your best to select a supplier as close to the venue as possible.  This is because we were charged for delivery and standard set-up and that alone added an extra £75 to the cost of our cake.

We agreed some slight amendments to bring the cost down on our cake to £292, but we knew she was the one we wanted and we made it fit.  The additional cost of the cake, over and above our budget (£92 over) has been saved elsewhere by being clever on our spend.

 

Flowers

I’m not quite sure how I managed to, but I found myself having volunteered to take on the responsibility of choosing our florist for our wedding. I know nothing about flowers other than the cost of roses sky rocket in February.

However, this turned out to be the easiest one of the lot.

I Googled florists near my venue, went through them, filling out contact us forms for prices and quotes.

I found it strange though, I must have sent out 7 or 8 requests for prices and only 3 people replied. However, I double checked prices of the first responder with my better half, who then in turned checked with her mum who had trained as a florist who confirmed the prices we were being quoted were great.

We arranged to meet her for a tea and a chat, picked our flowers, chose numbers and a week later received a final quote.

A few days passed and I then paid the deposit to secure the florist and we’re done.

Easy! and might I add £42 under budget!

 

Twiddling Thumbs

Making these arrangements haven’t been difficult in truth and has been relatively trouble free (touch wood). Which has meant being asked the question “how’s the wedding planning going” and our only response is to shrug our shoulders and say “yeah, alright”.

It’s not that we’re not excited for our big day, it’s just we now have a long time until things need to kick-off again and there hasn’t been a lot that needs or will need doing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s