After the initial excitement of getting engaged (and you start imagining what your wedding day may be like), you’ll start looking at a ton of vendors to make your vision come to life. The process can be overwhelming for a lot of people- chances are you haven’t planned anything like this before and you’re at a loss of how to narrow down all of your options. Maybe you’ve found a couple that you’re interested in, but how do you even begin to know what questions you should be asking? I noticed that when I ask, “What questions do you have for me?” a lot of couples were at a loss. So I put together this list of questions that you can ask ANY VENDOR to help you determine if they will be the best fit for your wedding day.
First thing’s first. Are they available on your date? Some vendors can take on multiple events for the same date. Others like your wedding photographer, videographer, and venue can only take one event per day (so you’ll want to book those people sooner rather than later!). It’s never a bad idea to ask if they take multiple events on a single day. Also consider asking if they have associates or a team. You may talk to an amazing DJ and find out later on that she’s part of a team and may not be the one spinning beats at your reception.
Experience is huge in the wedding industry. There’s no substitute for it. Those that have more of it likely charge more- and for good reason. Every wedding is different and there’s a million things that can happen over the span of the day. Experience is the best tool any vendor can have. However, a vendor with less experience shouldn’t necessarily be a deal breaker, just another thing to consider. Ask how many years they have been in business. Ask how many weddings they’ve done it that time.
This should be a non-negotiable when hiring any professional. If they aren’t licensed and insured, move on sista (or bro). Most wedding venues require that vendors have at least basic insurance coverage for liability and worker’s compensation. At the end of the day, your WEDDING DAY, you don’t want to find yourself responsible for any mishaps (like a guest tripping over lighting equipment or a DJ scratching the floor of the venue). You may also consider purchasing your own wedding insurance in case of other out-of-your-control circumstances like a natural disaster.
Asking about rates is important. But what’s more important than saying, “What do you charge for a wedding?” is asking what’s included in that price. Is it comparable to their competition? Do they offer exactly what you want or need? A lot of vendors have a range of prices and are likely to be able to work with many different budgets. You’ll want to make sure that not only can you afford their services, but that everything that you need is in that price point.
Reviews/Examples of Work
Never take someone’s word for it. Past reviews and examples are the best form of clear information. As I am writing this, the song lyrics, “I’m the king of talking shit and then backing it up” are playing in my head. You’ve heard what they have to offer you, know let’s see if they can back it up! Know what they have delivered in the past and what kind of service their clients experienced. Fact check what they have already told you. Did what they told you align with these? Do they have any bad reviews (not a deal breaker)? Did they respond to them? Are you even more excited to work with them now (you should be if they’re the one ;))?
This one is my favorite when you’re trying to find out if any vendor will be the best fit for your wedding day. What are their priorities on the big day? Do they align with yours? Does the photographer you inquired with prioritize candid moments or editorial-styled portraits? There isn’t a wrong answer but it’s important that you’re on the same page. Make sure their priorities make sense for your vision.
There’s a lot more to talk about than just these questions but they’re a great start to some good conversations. Ultimately, I think the two most important questions to ask yourself when choosing your vendors is “Who do I want surrounding me on my special day?” and “Who would I want in my corner if things go wrong?” Pick people that you truly like and trust. Hopefully these questions will give you a good guide in figuring that out. 🙂