Finding the right vendors to work with on your wedding day is one of the most stressful and difficult aspects of the entire wedding planning process. And the stress is not all about agreeing on the budgets, but it comes from even seemingly smaller details, like cancellations and refund policies that can potentially mess up your big day if you don’t reach agreements in advance.
So, we prepared a list of the questions you need to ask any prospective wedding vendors to ensure they are the right fit and avoid future confrontations. The questions are applicable to all sorts of vendors, from florists to photographers and caterers.
What Dates Do You Have Available?
By the time you get to choosing vendors, you will most likely have decided on a date for the wedding. In your first meeting (or phone call) ask the vendor whether they will be available on the day and if not, what other dates they have available. That way, you can either decide to switch your dates or look for another vendor. Most importantly, it saves everyone time.
How Far in Advance Should I Make My Booking?
Some vendors, like venues and expert photographers, require you to book well in advance as they typically have plenty of bookings. Others, like boutique florists, can handle urgent orders quite well. You shouldn’t, however, assume anything. Pose this question to all vendors you shortlist to get an idea of when you need to book them.
How Long Have You Been in Business?
Now, this question may not be that important in the grand scheme of things but it can serve as a great icebreaker and precursor to other deeper questions. Also, it gives you an idea of how the vendor got into the events business, and if you’re lucky, you may even get to hear about all the big weddings they were part of. But as we’ve just said, you can find a relative newcomer who offers more quality than industry veterans.
What is Your Pricing Structure?
Despite being the most important question of the lot, this may be a daunting ask for many people, especially if you really like the vendor’s work. However, you need to get your answers as early as you can so you know whether to adjust your budget or get a cheaper vendor altogether.
If you can’t muster the courage to ask straight up, start with auxiliary questions like: “Do you require a deposit?” or “Do you offer any discounts?”.
Do You Have Any Reviews of Your Services?
The best wedding vendors will always be ready and willing to share authentic reviews from their past clients, whether it’s from their Facebook pages or blogs or even on Google. These reviews will give you a clear picture of what actually working with the vendor is like, outside of what their promotional material says.
Do You Have a Portfolio?
Certain types of vendors, such as florists, photographers, caterers, and venues can easily photograph their work and upload it either on their social media pages, or portfolio site. Ask to see your vendor’s real work examples so you get a feel of what they are capable of and maybe also get some inspiration. Of course, if they don’t have anything to show, you may want to look at other options.
How Many Weddings Do You Handle in a Day on Average?
Some vendors, like venues, florists, and makeup artists, may service multiple weddings in a day or on weekends, depending on demand. While this may not necessarily be a bad thing if they have the resources to do so, it won’t hurt you to know in advance where you stand in the vendor’s plans for the day.
How Do You Handle Cancellations?
The whole COVID saga is enough proof of how an unforeseen event can cause wide-scale disruption across multiple sectors of the economy and cause cancellations or postponements of events. Hence, it’s important to know the cancellation policies of all your vendors to avoid losing your money or getting into unnecessary conflicts if you ever need to cancel or reschedule your event.
Do You Provide Written Contracts?
If the vendor’s services are a bit costly, signing a written contract is the best way to keep each other accountable and safeguard your money. Any professional vendor should be ready to get things down on paper since they also want to cover their backs. Essentially, the contract should include the agreed price, the deliverables, refund or cancellation clause, and responsibilities of each party.