One of the things that I am constantly asked by my clients is; “Is there anything else you need to know?” – to which I usually have a long answer and lots of questions to follow.
So I have decided to put together a list of 20 essential things that your wedding stylist will need to know about your wedding as a guide to help you when contacting your stylist initially.
It is certainly not an exhaustive list, and I’m sure that each wedding supplier will have a different set of questions to ask you but the questions listed below are probably the ones you are most likely to hear during the booking process or throughout the styling planning.
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1. What date will you be getting married?
This is ultimately the first question that your wedding stylist will be asking you, as first of all they need to make sure that they are available on your date.
Most suppliers in the wedding industry do tend to get booked up quite far in advance – especially for those popular Saturdays in the middle of summer so it is best to first check the availability of any supplier before sending over too many other details about your wedding.
2. Where is your wedding venue?
It is useful when first emailing or calling your stylist that you also give them details of where you are intending to hold your wedding reception, and where you will be holding your wedding ceremony – that is if your stylist is going to be styling that area for you too.
Make sure that you do send over the post code of your venue along with the name, as there are a few different venues with very similar names throughout the UK. You wouldn’t want the stylist turning up at the wrong one now would you?!
If the venue is local to the stylist, it is highly likely that they will have been there before and will already be familiar with it.
3. Do you know the name of the wedding coordinator at your venue?
Depending on what type of venue you are booking you may or may not have been assigned a wedding coordinator to manage your day. Most larger venues will have a dedicated team that will be in charge of organising your day and one of their jobs includes liaising with suppliers.
It is useful that your wedding stylist knows the name of the specific coordinator that you have been working with so that they can contact them directly to discuss styling details and other things such as access and arrival time.
4. Can we arrange a meeting at your venue?
Even if your stylist is very familiar with your chosen venue, they will most certainly ask you if they can meet you there at a convenient time to chat about your styling. This way both parties can look at the space and visualise what it will look like on the day.
You might even notice areas of your venue that you have not noticed before and your wedding stylist will be able to suggest ideas for the styling of that particular area based on its location and other factors, such as whether or not it will be a high traffic area.
5. What is the colour scheme or theme for your wedding?
A wedding stylist’s ultimate job is to create a beautifully decorated venue for you and the best place to start the planning process is by discussing the colour scheme you have chosen for your day.
However, please don’t worry if you do not have a colour scheme or theme or have not settled upon a decision by the time that you contact your stylist. It is the job of the stylist to help you with this and any good wedding stylist will be able to suggest popular or ‘trending’ colour schemes to you or show you examples of themes that will work for you depending on your specific venue or the time of year that you are getting married. i.e., pastel shades for the spring or oranges & reds for the autumn.
6. Will you be having a seated meal?
Your wedding stylist will probably ask you this question before you can start to discuss the layout of the tables, the centre pieces and the chairs.
It is becoming more and more popular that couples are choosing not to have a traditional seated wedding breakfast, especially for those weddings with themes along the lines of ‘outdoor festival’ or ‘summer garden party’ – but it is likely that your guests will need somewhere to sit at some point during the day, whether they are munching on a bacon roll or not.
7. How many people do you roughly think you will have for your seated meal?
If you do choose to go down the path of the traditional wedding breakfast your stylist will need to know how many people you will need to seat.
This doesn’t have to be an exact amount, and it is likely that this will be the one thing that changes throughout the planning process the most, but by telling your wedding stylist a rough number of day time guests it will allow the stylist to plan how many centre-pieces you might need and any other bits you will need on the tables such as cloths or charger plates.
8. What size and shape are your tables?
After finding out the number of seated daytime guests you are likely to have, the stylist will certainly ask about the size and shape of the tables that you will be using on the day. The best thing to do is to contact your venue and ask, or better still, pop down to your venue and measure them yourself. Some venue brochures will have this information listed for you at the back of the booklet but it is still best to check with your wedding coordinator as they may have different options available.
Your wedding stylist will be able to choose the correct table cloths and table runners for you based on this measurement so it is important that you let them know as soon as you can, especially when it comes to the top table dimensions as this is the size that tends to differ the most.
Some great stylists will make you bespoke table runners to fit your tables exactly, I know that we do that here at The Rustic Wedding Company and we can only do this if we know the exact length of your top table.
9. What centre piece would you like?
Lots of couples have a clear idea of what they would like to include in their table centre pieces, whether this be lace trimmed mason jars, candelabras or log slices but some couples are not quite sure and this is the time where the skills of your wedding stylist will come into play.
Being a professional in the business of making tables look pretty, they will certainly be able to suggest different options to you. This might be based on what props they have in their stock room already or if they are a bespoke stylist they will be able to suggest some great ideas to you. (They will also point you in the direction of some great photographs to give you inspiration.)
As a general rule, you will want to include some flowers, a candle or two and a table number of some sort (this doesn’t have to be a number and lots of couples are going down a more personal route using names).
10. Will you require chair décor?
Most venues have a selection of different chairs for you to use on your day, and unfortunately these do not always match or look particularly pretty. Your stylist will ask you if you would like your chairs covering or if you are happy with the way they look already, they can suggest different ideas about how to decorate the backs of the chairs.
Please do not feel like you have no other option but to cover your chairs with white lycra chair covers and have organza sashes. These are very popular yes but as it is your wedding and not someone else’s please do not feel like these are your only styling option. There are so many different ways you can make your chairs look pretty and uniformed and some great ideas for how you can do this can be found on our Pinterest page.
11. Can I have the name of your florist?
It is useful for your wedding stylist to have the contact details of your florist so that they can communicate with them about the wedding flowers that you have planned together.
Lots of couples choose to have wedding flowers in their centre pieces and your wedding stylist will need to know from the florist what type of flowers these will be. Will they be a structured bouquet requiring a big vase? or a small bunch of wild flowers that will require a smaller vessel?
If your wedding stylist is any good, it is likely that they will bring along a selection of foliage themselves on the morning of the wedding so that they can style things such as your cake table or bar area and some will bring along some spare flowers that they believe would enhance the décor for you. The stylist will want these to match your florists work.
The ultimate goal of the wedding florist and the stylist is to work together to create a beautiful space for you and the best way to do this is to communicate freely with each other frequently.
12. Where will you be putting your cake?
It is the job of the wedding stylist to decorate the table where you will be putting your wedding cake. Unfortunately, the cake table is often one of the things that gets forgotten or left until the last minute and here at The Rustic Wedding Company we believe that it really is one of the most important tables in the room and should be an aesthetically pleasing focal point.
Your guests will want to see your wedding cake, take photographs of it and ultimately eat it towards the end of the reception so it needs to look nice. It is useful that you discuss any decorations you might want on your cake table with the stylist so that they can design a beautiful table for you.
Please do not feel like you have to have a bog standard trestle table to put your cake on, it is becoming quite popular to have your cake displayed on a beautiful vintage dressing table or even a rustic cable reel. – Discuss your options with your stylist. They will be bursting with ideas I’m sure!
Some fantastic cake table ideas can once again be found on our Pinterest page.
13. Will you be requiring a guest book table?
If you have chosen to have a traditional ‘book type’ of guest book you will be needing a place to put it and perhaps some signage to prompt your guests to write in it. Even if you have chosen an alternative guest book such as a ‘drop box’ or ‘fingerprint tree’, you will still need somewhere to put it so that your guests can access it.
Your wedding stylist might be able to supply you with handwritten chalkboards specifically made for this purpose or beautiful frames for your own printed signage. Make sure you also talk about potential decorations for this area also to keep your room décor cohesive.
14. Will you need an allocated space to put your cards and gifts?
It is becoming more and more popular not to have a traditional wedding gift list but instead couples are beginning to ask for money towards their honeymoon instead. Guests will want to give you something on your day, regardless of what it is and you will need a safe place to store these bits and bobs throughout the duration of your wedding day.
Somewhere secure to put your cards is most important, especially if they are likely to contain generous amounts of cash and your stylist will be able to advise you on what will work best for your style of wedding. Whether this be a post box type of thing or something slightly different and obscure.
Again please do not feel like you are limited to a post box or a wishing well. There are lots of different ideas out there and your stylist will relish the task of designing you the perfect space to keep your cards safe.
15. Will you be requiring any décor for the ceiling in the room?
Options for ceiling décor are not limited to just bunting (however much we love it!). I have seen paper pom poms, festoon lights and even a bunch of vintage lampshades hung from the ceiling.
In order to decorate the ceiling properly, your wedding stylist will need to know the size of the area they need to cover. The width X length ideally. This is particularly important if you are things hanging such as pom poms as you quite often need a lot more than you might expect to make it look just right.
16. Will you be needing any decorations for the outside areas?
One of the reasons that the most popular time of year to hold your wedding is the summer is due to the beautiful weather (or hopefully anyway – this is England after all). If you are planning your wedding during the summer, your guests will probably spend the majority of their day outside the venue enjoying the sunshine.
Your wedding stylist will probably ask you if you require any decorations for outside to make the area more attractive for your guests. They’ll probably suggest fairy lights, bunting, lanterns or some sort of outdoor table decorations like candles or flowers.
17. Are there any other areas of your venue that you would like styling?
You might not have given the other less obvious areas of your venue such as the bar area, the entrance lobby or even the toilets much thought, but when your stylist is putting together the style plan for the day it is likely that they will ask you about these areas.
If your budget allows you, try to have some small décor items such as lanterns, vases of flowers or candles dotted around and your entire venue will look beautiful.
18. Can I have the name of your photographer?
Your wedding stylist will certainly want to know this, after all the photographer will be the one expected to take gorgeous photographs of your wedding and some stylists will want to get their hands on those photographs after your day is over for their own portfolio.
Not only is it a way of showing off your wedding to others but good suppliers will put their heart and soul into your wedding and they will be proud of what they have achieved and want to see professional images of their work.
19. Have you got wedding insurance?
It is important that you let all of your wedding suppliers know if you have or have not got wedding insurance, (and I highly recommend that you do have some!)
It is not usually very expensive to put a policy in place that protects both you and your wedding suppliers against anything that might happen out of your control to jeopardise your plans. Freak weather, illness or cancellations will all be covered under your wedding insurance and it will ensure that you have at least some control over the unexpected.
20. Have you read the contact and signed?
And finally after all of the décor has been planned, the stylist will need to know that you have read their Terms and Conditions before you sign on the dotted line.
I cannot stress enough how important it is to read through all of your suppliers Terms & Conditions properly. Not only will you be able to find out all of the ins and outs of the official agreement between you and your suppliers but it will list details of any hidden costs that you have not budgeted for such as returnable deposits.
Make sure you give a signed copy to your wedding stylist and be sure you get them to sign a copy for you also to keep for your own records.
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Wedding styling really isn’t as simple as just turning up at a venue with lots of pretty things and placing them around the room. If you choose to have a professional stylist on board for your wedding they will need to know lots of different information before they can even get started on the design and theme of your day.
I hope this list of questions has helped you in some way plan your first meeting or your first email to your stylist.
Lesley & The Rustic Wedding Co. Team x x