So you’ve decided on the suppliers you want to use, you’ve just got to make the booking. Any supplier worth their salt will have questions to ask so that they understand exactly what they’re being asked to provide. However, there are also a few things you need to make sure you also understand to ensure your event runs smoothly.

Whether you’re hiring a caterer, DJ, venue stylist or florist, these are the key questions to ask:

How long do they need to set up and pack down?

This is essential if you are hiring a venue and need to ensure access before and after the party for your suppliers. Don’t think it’ll be a five-minute job, it won’t be.

How much space do they need?

A live band with drums, keyboards and amplifiers needs more space than a DJ. A catering company providing a three-course meal needs sufficient space to prepare and plate up. Find out exactly what your supplier needs in order to do their job well.

Do they need access to power?

Be aware of the location of available power sources and whether there are likely to be any issues. If an extension lead is needed, who will supply it?

What EXACTLY is provided?

For instance, how long will your DJ play? Will they stay to the bitter end or will they be packing up at 11pm? Do the catering costs include staff to serve canapes or are they an additional charge? Clarify every last detail with each supplier.

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Will they remove all waste?

Perhaps more pertinent to caterers and mobile bars, it’s important to know how waste will be dealt with.

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There are also a few things you can do to make sure everything is okay:

Give your suppliers exact details

Be clear about the start and end time, what time they are expected to provide their service, the address and postcode of the party venue, contact details for yourself and the venue.

Keep them aware of changes

If plans evolve over time don’t forget to update your suppliers eg if guest numbers alter, your caterer needs to know.

Touch base a few days before your event

It’s well worth calling each supplier a few days ahead of the party just to check that everything is in hand – it will help you feel more relaxed on the day.

If you want to outsource the stress of dealing with suppliers and you want a professional party planner to take care of the details, just contact us, so you can relax and worry about more important things like your guestlist and what you’re going to wear!

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