As wedding planners, we want you to go into all of your wedding vendor appointments feeling equipped to ask all the important questions! The answers you receive will help you make the most informed decisions about which professionals you and your partner choose to be a part of your big day. Whether it’s a question about timing or style, we can’t stress how important it is to be fully aware of each and every string attached before signing on the dotted line!
WHEN YOU MEET WITH EACH WEDDING VENDOR, ASK ABOUT:
Every wedding vendor you work with will normally have prefixed packages (like ours!) to recommend to you. These packages are based off a number of factors, including services, budget, the length of time, etc. If none of them fit your needs, don’t be afraid to ask for a custom solution for you and your partner! The following are the big contract terms to look out for:
- Length of Contract? How many hours of service will the wedding vendor be providing? Make sure to have a preliminary idea of your timeline to ensure that you have each vendor contracted for the appropriate amount of time.
- Number of People? Are they working with a team or flying solo? With some vendors (especially caterers and planners), your guest count will come into play deciding on how many staff members we should provide. So, try to have a ballpark number of guest count.
- Process? It’s all about telling them your expectations and knowing theirs. Every wedding vendor has a process for the way they do business. Make sure their process matches your needs. Part of the process is knowing when your deadlines are to give them the appropriate information so they can do their job.
- Logistics? Ask your vendor how they typically work on the day of an event. For example, with photographers, you might want to ask about how they plan on splitting their time when they’re taking “getting ready” photos of you and your significant other.
- Payment Policies? Most vendors will require a retainer to hold your event date and may give you the option to make periodic payments leading up to the date. Make sure to ask what type of payment is accepted, how they split their payments, and be sure to keep track of when payments are due!
- Travel Fees/Lodging? Depending on where your wedding vendor is based and where your venue is located, they may require you to pay for any travel fees incurred getting to and from your event. This can include tolls, mileage and parking. Also, look out for lodging requirements. Vendors, such as planners and photographers, might need to be put up in a hotel if they are going to be involved with multiple parts of the event (e.g. helping with the rehearsal the night before or the brunch the next morning)!
- Style? What do they consider their personal style? For example, does your photographer take more documentary style photos or artistic? Does your planner prefer styling weddings that are bright and airy or whimsical with bold colors? Will the DJ you picked be mixing their own tracks or be going off playlists? Once you determine their style, you can decide if it will work with the vision of your day!
- How long have they been in business? Don’t always consider it to be a negative thing if the wedding vendor hasn’t been in business long. It could just mean that they recently found their niche or have taken their lifelong passion and turned it into a business. That being said, there is a fine line between being a novice and being experienced. Example: you just planned your own wedding and are now starting your own wedding planning business vs. working for an established company for 5 years and branching out on your own.
- What’s their passion and drive behind their business? This may seem like a very personal question. However, it will give you great insight in the connection that you will build when sharing such an important moment in your life. For example, if they tell you they’re just doing it for the paycheck, maybe reconsider. We understand everyone needs to make a living, but choose the vendor that’s passionate about what they do, like a florist that loves filling a space with life and color!
- What do they do in their free time? Maybe you’ll find you share similar interests and this person might be a good fit for you!
- Communication? What are their office hours or best times to reach them? Do they prefer phone calls, texts, e-mails or in-person meetings? It’s important to know this upfront, so you can have open two-way conversations.
- How many vendor meals? Any allergies? Your vendors will all be working long, busy hours on your wedding day. It’s important they have the energy they need! Make sure to ask them how many will be with them and if there are any dietary restrictions! You surely don’t want to send someone to the hospital mid-reception when they’re trying to capture your day!
- Wedding day needs? Things like power sources, extension cords, or extra hands on deck are concerns you and the vendor will both need to discuss. This is especially true for those outdoor spaces that may need to have some extra accommodations.
- Wedding timeline? What is their ideal time-frame? It’s not necessary for every wedding vendor to be at your wedding from sun up to sun down. Chat about start/end times to make sure their schedule meshes with yours.
Worried about missing something? Feel free to print out this blog post and bring it with you to meetings! Oh, and don’t be afraid to ask for past clients’ information to chat with them about their experience. We are always more than willing to give that to potential clients. After all, our past couples have sat in the same seats as our future clients making the (hopefully easy) decision to work with us!
Photo by Alysia & Jayson Photography