What to ask potential wedding suppliers?

So the question has been ‘popped’, you’ve started making plans and are beginning to get a feel for how you’d like your wedding to be.

Now may be the time to consider going to a wedding fair. Here at Rockbeare Manor, near Exeter in Devon, we’ve exhibited at a couple of fairs recently, and it made us think about some of the questions that visitors often ask us. There are so many great companies, from venues to florists, bands to cake makers, providing services for weddings in Devon, it can be hard to choose. We think a wedding fair is a great place to find out what’s on offer.

Wedding Fair in Exeter, Devon

Here’s our guide to some of the best questions to ask potential suppliers before ‘doing the deal’.

  1. Are they likely to be available on your proposed date?

It might seem obvious, but there is no point in taking this any further if the venue, band, caterer or florist isn’t free on the date that you’d like to get married. If you’re happy to be flexible, they may well have a discount available for out of season, or mid-week weddings so it’s worth asking this early on.

  1. Do they have examples of other weddings they’ve done?

If it’s a venue that you’re talking to, ask them to show you images and talk through examples of other weddings they’ve done in the past. At Rockbeare Manor, we’re always very happy to show you photographs of the venue when it’s set up for a event to help you visualise how the rooms transform. We love talking about ‘all things wedding’ and can share ideas of the various styles and themes that have taken place in our venue too.

Rockbeare Manor at Wedding Fair in Exeter, Devon

  1. How much will they charge?

You may feel that having a discussion about final costs can wait until further down the line, however we think it’s vital to get this information early on. If the estimate that the supplier provides for you is vastly different to your budget, you may well need to be prepared to walk away.  Don’t feel despondent – there is great choice out there, and something for everyone.

An honest guideline of costs is imperative and it is something that every supplier should give you willingly. If you feel like there may be hidden extras or if it’s difficult pinning down a final cost it might be best looking elsewhere.

  1. Are you able to ‘try before you buy?’

Especially in the case of cake providers and caterers! At wedding fairs it’s quite usual for there to be samples for you to try so make the most of it.  You’ll also often find photo booths to hop in and have a go, live music to listen to, and food stalls to explore and it’s here that you can get first-hand experience of the product. In the case of a DJ or a band, if you can’t attend one of their gigs (which is the best way to be sure that you like them) they should be prepared to send an example playlist and video links to previous performances that they have done.

Wedding cake at wedding fair in Exeter, Devon

  1. Are they able to recommend any other suppliers?

Most wedding suppliers will have worked closely with other companies from the local area and will no doubt have some great suggestions of those that they feel offer a fantastic service. At Rockbeare Manor, we are happy to chat to you about the companies that have worked reliably and professionally at weddings and special events that we have held.

Remember, planning your wedding should be fun and enjoyable! We love helping couples bring their vision into a reality and if you choose Rockbeare Manor as your venue, our experienced team are here to help in whichever way we can throughout the wedding planning process.

Photos courtesy of the wonderful Mel at http://www.maxiphotography.com/

Wedding Fair in Exeter, Devon

 

Happy New Year!

Wow, what a year it’s been!

Rockbeare Manor, Exeter, Devon

It was on Sunday 10th January 2016 that we opened the doors at Rockbeare Manor for the very first time, to newly engaged couples looking for their perfect Devon wedding venue. At the time we were only 2 months into a very intensive 10 month renovation programme and so we were naturally a little apprehensive about what the reaction of the potential brides and grooms would be.  The Ballroom was really just a shell – covered in scaffolding with a concrete floor, there were other rooms that hadn’t been decorated in nearly eighty years, and what is now a beautifully light and airy Atrium, was boarded over awaiting the feature skylight. But, we hoped that everyone would see through the temporary disarray and be able to visulise the incredible change that it was going through.  And Phew…they did!

From that first day, we met couples that went onto book their wedding with us, some for as early as August that year so it really was a very exciting time.Bride in Drawing Room at Rockbeare Manor, Exeter, Devon

Our first event was in June – a formal dinner and party for 130 guests (no pressure then!), but of course it all went smoothly and the atmosphere was fabulous. We were all so thrilled to be welcoming people to our brand new Devon venue, something that we are all incredibly proud of and so the smiles were permanently on our faces.

We were then lucky enough to be chosen as the venue to host Exeter Chiefs player Tom Johnson’s launch party for his Testimonial Year. The weather couldn’t have been better, the music was creating a really relaxed vibe and the invited guests enjoyed Prosecco and canapés on the South Lawns on a balmy summers evening.

Rockbeare Manor, Exeter, Devon - South Lawns and Ballroom

Since then, it’s been non-stop (and great fun!) with photo-shoots and masterclasses, stunning weddings, Christmas parties and corporate events and it was topped off when The Wedding Industry Awards selected us as a regional finalist for ‘Best Countryside Venue’, and ‘Best Newcomer’ for the whole of the South West.  Awards are given purely on votes and feedback from couples that have been married at the venue and so that really did mean a lot to us.

Bride in the Drawing Room at Rockbeare Manor, Exeter, Devon Sweeping staircase floral arrangements at Rockbeare Manor, Exeter, Devon

So, what does 2017 hold for us?  Well, naturally we’ll be hosting lots more amazing events – it’s what we love, and we’ll be making each and every one really memorable for those hosting or attending an event with us. Our team will also be growing so we look forward to welcoming some new, super-talented people to Rockbeare Manor in the coming months.  Finally, we have very nearly completed the refurbishment of twelve luxury bedrooms within the house which will be available for guests as of March so we’ll make sure we give you a sneak preview of those very soon.

So from all of us here at Rockbeare Manor, we wish you all a very happy, fun-filled New Year with lots of laughter, love and dancing!

We hope to see you in 2017.

The South Pavilion at sunset. Rockbeare Manor, Exeter, Devon.