10 Must Ask Questions For Wedding Vendors
Hiring an experienced wedding planner is by far the best way to make sure you have a quality team of vendors. However, it’s not always possible to do. So how do you put together the right team for your dream wedding? How do you know who to trust? And where do you go for good, solid advice?
Here are a few quick tips for helping you find the right wedding vendors for you.
Do Your Homework – Wedding websites like Wedding Wire, The Knot, etc are a great resource. They offer a tremendous amount of information about local wedding pros, but of course, you already know this. Also spend some time talking with friends or family members who’ve recently been married. They’ll help you get a handle on costs and what you like and don’t like.
Meet With The Vendor – A face to face meeting is absolutely the best way to interview and get to know a potential vendor. However, with our 21st century on-the-go lifestyles it’s not always possible. If that’s the case then pick up the phone and give them a call.
Check References, Referrals & Reviews – Checking references isn’t always as easy as it seems. Today’s couples are willing to share their experiences on their terms; not necessarily yours. And wedding pros will hand-pick their best clients for references. Ask for professional references (ie wedding venues, caterers, etc) that they’ve worked with in the past. The number caliber of professional references is a strong indicator of experience and professionalism.
Ask Questions and Listen Intently – Don’t be afraid to ask questions. The best wedding pros are encouraging, kind and patient. They understand that you don’t do this every day, so they’ll work to make sure to answer your questions in a way you understand.
1. How much wedding specific experience do you have? As a general rule, more is better. However, some experienced professionals may not be as up to date on trends as the modern day couple. A nice follow up question is “How do you keep up with the latest wedding trends?”
2. How many weddings do you do per year? This is an indication of popularity. Popular doesn’t always mean the best fit for you. Just make sure they have the resources (ie qualified staff and good processes) to give you the experience you desire.
3. How much do you cost? Experience, reputation, skill and business philosophy all effect the price vendors charge. It’s easy to say that the most talented professionals have a higher price because they are worth it. Generally that’s true. A nice follow up is to ask why do they charge what they charge.
4. Can you spell out specifically what is included in the cost? Shopping for wedding vendors can be like shopping for a quality bed; side by side comparisons are difficult at best because wedding packages vary from vendor to vendor. Keep in mind that the lowest cost is not necessarily the best value.
5. How much do you require for a deposit? This varies from vendor to vendor, but don’t be surprised if they require a 50% non-refundable deposit to reserve your date.
6. Do you provide a written contract? A written contract protects all parties involved. If the answer to this question is no, RUN FOR THE HILLS!
7. What happens if I cancel? Many deposits are non-refundable. You’ll want to verify if your deposit is refundable, under what conditions it is refundable, the refund process and the length of time it would take to get your refund.
8. What happens if you cancel? You’ll want to know if the vendor has a back up plan in place to avoid cancellations and what restitution is available in case of cancellation.
9. Are there any additional fees? Travel fees, taxes and miscellaneous service charges can leave you feeling upset and taken advantage of when they’re unexpected. These should be clearly outlined in your written contract. Take time to read the fine print.
10. Do you have liability insurance? Reputable wedding professionals will have liability insurance. Like a written contract, this protects all parties involved in the unlikely case of an unfortunate accident caused by the vendor.