Wedding suppliers: bride likes and dislikes of 2016
If you thought that price was the only thing a bride considers when choosing a wedding supplier then think again. There are so many factors that go into a bride’s decision to choose who will photograph and cater their wedding and whose dress she will be wearing when she walks down the aisle.
While the data that we collated for the Easy Weddings 2016 Annual Australian Wedding Survey did list price as the number one consideration for choosing a supplier, a supplier’s responsiveness and reviews left by other brides were also highly important. Then comes the supplier’s personality and their website, things that you wouldn’t think would influence their final buying decision but, according to 2300 brides, do.
And, though these were the most common influencers over a bride’s decision to choose or reject a wedding supplier, every category is unique in how a bride approaches
Here are the top likes and dislikes about each wedding planning category as shared with us by real Australian brides.
Above all, most brides appreciated that Australian venues catered for a wide variety in dietary requirements such as vegan or gluten free dishes they could offer guests rather than standard combinations. They also liked it when venues were able to the wedding ceremony and wedding reception in the same place, which meant they didn’t have to travel between the two and guests didn’t have to worry about it either.
A number of couples commented that venues tended to be generous with their servings of both food and drink, so they felt they got their money’s worth.
However, there were several areas where brides felt suppliers in this category could improve, especially when it came to accessing the same wedding coordinator during their wedding planning. Many brides felt that over a period of 18 to 23 months which is the average time couples are engaged for, their wedding coordinators changed so the person they started planning the planning with wouldn’t necessarily be the person who saw it through to conclusion.
Many couples also said they felt that they weren’t given enough information about the process of planning their wedding from their venue’s wedding planner and that they felt venues didn’t communicate well with the other suppliers being used for their wedding which meant more work and worry for them, something no couple wants.
The feedback we received about wedding dress suppliers was that, on average, brides were very pleased with the range of sizes offered by them as well as a good variety of dress in different price ranges, however, when it came to negative feedback for this category, brides in equal numbers claimed there wasn’t enough variety in the styles on offer.
Ironically, some brides claimed staff were honest about their feedback but always polite about it, however, large numbers of brides found wedding dress boutique staff to be rude and unhelpful.
Brides tended to be relieved when they discovered their wedding dress suppliers offered in-house alterations but felt more fittings were needed.
Couples had a lot of good things to say about their wedding photographer. They loved that most wedding photographers were professional enough to remain unobtrusive and blended into the background and didn’t disrupt their wedding ceremony and reception.
They also were happy that so many wedding photographers offered pre-wedding sessions as well as an engagement shoot as part of their overall wedding photography package.
While couples appreciated that after the wedding their photos were turned around very quickly they seemed disappointed in the speed of post-wedding follow up communications. So, they got their photos quickly but not responses to their questions!
A large number of couples commented that they felt their wedding photos were too heavily edited, while others felt there were too many pictures of the wedding couple and bridal party and not enough photos of their family and other guests.
On the whole, brides and grooms really loved their marriage celebrants and this category has a customer happiness score of 4.9 out of 5 which is excellent and at the top end of the scale.
Couples commented that marriage celebrants, as a whole, provided them with very clear explanation of the legalities of the wedding ceremony and took care of everything that needed to be done.
Most held a rehearsal beforehand which helped get rid of some of the pre-wedding nerves and the fact that so many different types of ceremony options available meant couples felt their wedding ceremony was reflective of them.
What couples didn’t like was when a marriage celebrant got their names wrong or, equally worryingly, pronounced their names incorrectly during the wedding ceremony. The only other complaint was about celebrants who didn’t use a PA system or microphone during the ceremony because the guests were not able to hear the entire ceremony which is the most important part of a wedding.
On the whole, most brides were impressed with wedding car suppliers’ punctuality (though, conversely, many complained that their cars were late on the day) and the fact that most wedding transport suppliers included refreshments and, sometimes, small snacks which kept them going on what tends to be a very long day.
Cars were noted to be clean and well-kept though some brides said that some in-car facilities such as air-conditioning or the auxiliary plug in the sound system, were broken.
A number of couples claimed that other extras that were offered in their packages were not delivered on their wedding day.
Like wedding photography, couples were impressed with their wedding videographers who were unobtrusive and blended into the background. They were delightfully surprised by the variety of video options available, especially drone photography and found that videographers tended to take the audio very seriously, so the result of wedding videos, especially outdoor weddings shot in bad weather, still offered great audio.
Finally, couples were pleased with how quickly their wedding videographer returned the final video to them, which is the exact opposite of what other brides complained about: a very slow turnaround with no communication as to why.
The only real complaints offered in this category was from couples who felt that their wedding photographer didn’t consultant with them enough about what scenes needed to be captured. They felt that moments they would have liked to have been caught on camera were not and that they weren’t asked what they would like captured before their wedding day.
our feedback, Australian caterers are great at offering a diverse range of cultural food and drink options as well as an excellent range of dietary requirements, but some of the shine in this category was taken away by service that was too slow and meals that were either burnt or served cold.
It wasn’t the quality or variety of products on offer that let the category of wedding hire down, it was the inconvenient location of the supplier’s premises as well as the lack of organisation on the warehouse floor that made finding and inspecting items difficult for couples.
Other than that, couples said that wedding hire vendors were very prompt in delivering and packing up items and that what they offered was extremely flexible.
There was an issue with lack of communication shortly before the date of delivery but when delivery occurred it tended to be very fast.
There wasn’t a lot of criticism in this category, only that a large number of couples were not happy that their supplier changed the DJ or lead singer they had approved with no notification before their wedding.
However, balancing that was the fact that brides liked that most bands or DJs could MC as well and how willing bands, in particular, were willing to learn new songs to play at the reception.
Similarly, when it came to DJs, in particular, they tended to catered for a range of ages and cultures in the playlist and were experienced enough to play appropriate music during meal times which meant guests could talk with one another rather than competing with blaring music during meals.
Like the wedding dress category, couples felt that formal wear suppliers offered an excellent range of products and styles and had equally impressive product knowledge and general knowledge about style and fashion. They loved the fact that discounts applied when hiring multiple items for the bridal parties, but were not impressed by mix-ups being fixed too close to the wedding date, items missing at the time of deliver or clothing being wrong at the final fitting.
A definite put-off in this category was the delivery of items that were dirty or stained. With a happiness score of 4.6, unfortunately formal wear vendors in general appeared at the low end of Easy Weddings Customer Happiness scale.
Most of the feedback in this category was positive. Couples commented on how pleased they were with the speedy responses to enquiries and that, generally, products were in very good condition, however, couples also said they would have liked to have been provided with a mock-up or design of how, for example, a marquee or set-up would look on the day rather than only seeing a final design on the day of their wedding.
The feedback in the category of bridesmaids mirrored that of wedding dress designers. On one hand, brides said that vendors offered a good variety of sizes and colours in most styles of gown but on the other hand many other brides complained that there wasn’t a variety in either style or size.
Brides were also annoyed once they discovered that that cost of alternations was not included in the gown’s price and said that this was never explained to them. Others complained that they paid for express delivery of their bridesmaids’ dresses but that the items still arrived late.
Brides said Australia’s wedding invitation providers tend to be very speed at delivering their products once they were ordered and ordering was really simple, they said, too. They added that they were impressed by how many cost-effective options were available but were very surprised and thoroughly unimpressed when orders were delivered with spelling errors despite couples reviewing and approving an accurate final draft,
As with the category of bridesmaids’ dresses, couples complained that they paid extra for express deliver but their items still arrived late.
As with all the food related wedding supplier categories, couples were impressed by the range of options available, from styles to flavours. There were lots of non standard offerings that catered to a large range of tastes and dietary requirements. Couples commented that vendors were very clever at recreating their ideal design from a photo or an idea in their heads.
However, many brides also said they wished they had longer with their cake maker to discuss exactly what they wanted. The result of not having enough time with their cake designer was that couples felt they weren’t consulted enough and that the cake maker didn’t follow the design they requested.
Couples loved that most wedding florists happily and easily worked within their budget and that the flowers delivered on their wedding days were fresh and lasted long after the wedding. Like wedding cake makers, wedding florists were able to accurately recreate a design and match it perfectly with an image or idea offered by the couple.
The complaints in this category, however, were mostly around florist being overbooked or too busy to talk with clients and that far too many didn’t offer any option or delivery and, as a result, the already over stretched couple had to organise delivery of their own wedding flowers, which was an additional burden they didn’t need or want to worry about.
Brides and grooms were very happy with their wedding photo booth suppliers, especially their overall service, the range of props and extras and the fact that most suppliers handed over a USB containing all videos and photos captured during their wedding and, on top of that, tended to offer a printed guest book or album too.
However, many couples felt that there was a lack of direction and instructions as to how to use the photo booth and that when an attended was included in the final price they weren’t enthusiastic and often looking disinterested which brought down the mood of the celebration.
Another category with a stellar customer happiness score of 4.9 out of 5, on the whole, brides and their bridesmaids were very happy with the services provided by vendors in this category, especially from vendors who encouraged brides to go for a natural look allowing the bride to look like herself on her wedding day rather than someone else.
Brides loved that their vendors used used high-quality products that lasted the entire day and, especially in the makeup category, those products catered for different shades for different skin tones.
Clients didn’t like how much up-selling occurred or that many vendors in the hair category charged them the same price for working with brides and bridesmaids with short hair as they did for working with brides and bridesmaids with long hair.
While items were delivered quickly and via a very easy-to-use online ordering system, once the products arrived, couples said they were unimpressed with bad or careless presentation of the final product. They also complained that too many vendors in this category didn’t hold enough stock and that when they could get hold of product it generally didn’t arrive on time.
All Easy Weddings suppliers will receive a copy of the full survey results in the mail.