What to Ask When Choosing Your Wedding Vendors

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Planning a wedding is serious business. It requires a lot of knowledge BEFORE you even start the actual planning, and more than likely, you’ve never done it before.

How the heck are you supposed to know who you need to make your dream wedding come to life, let alone what to ask them? Good news for you, we’re here to help!

There are so many vendors involved for each piece of your big day, and it’s important that they’re all pros at what they do so the event is a success. How do you figure out if they’re the ones for you?

First things first, it’s important that you and your soon-to-be spouse set a budget and prioritize.

Decide what the most important parts of your big day are to each of you, which ones will get the biggest budget allowance, and what you are absolutely not willing to bend on. This will help to decide what vendors you need, and which ones you’ll give the toughest interviews too.

Next up (if you haven’t already done this long before getting engaged) it’s time to do some research!

Luckily, with Instagram, Yelp, Pinterest, and all the other social media sites out there, it’s much easier to do research on vendors than it used to be. Of course, each vendor chooses their best work to focus on their profiles, but it can give you a rough idea of their style.

While you can get a lot of the hard work done over the internet and phone, meeting your wedding vendors should always happen in person if it’s possible. It’s important to get a vibe for them and see if you all truly get along. If not, it will make the planning process and your big day that much more stressful! Try and set a few vendor meetings on the same day, so you’re in wedding mode for each of them.

Now…what to ask? Of course, each couple will have different specific questions they will need to be answered, but here is a general list to get you started!

Venue

  1. Do you have any on-site catering requirements or other preferred vendors we are required to work with?
    This can totally change a lot of your choices and planning decisions, so this is really important to consider.
  2. What is your maximum or most comfortable capacity?
    The last thing you want to do is book a venue that can only hold half of your guests!
  3. What exactly is included in my rental time?
    It’s important to know whether set-up and break down are included, as well as if you are able to use a bridal ready room; this can change a lot regarding the timeline of your wedding day.
  4. What are your weather alternatives and can I see those sites and some photos?
    Outdoor weddings are absolutely gorgeous and the venue options are endless, but mother nature doesn’t always think so! It’s a good idea to choose a venue with an equally gorgeous indoor option.
  5. What exactly are the payment terms?
    Cancellation, deposit amounts, total package price, and deadlines are all critical information to your wedding budget!
  6. What items will we need that you don’t provide? Is there a specific vendor you work with for equipment rentals?
    This can include anything from lighting and decor to linens and cutlery. This can make or break your decision if you need to rent a lot of items!

DJ/Band

  1. How would you classify your DJ style?
    It’s super important to get a feel for what your reception is going to sound like, and if your DJ can make it unique to you!
  2. How extensive is your song collection?
    This is also a good time to ask about specific songs you envision being played for your grand entrance, first dance, etc.
  3. How many weddings have you worked?
    It’s definitely a good idea to have an experienced wedding DJ who knows the timeline of a wedding.
  4. Who will be our DJ the day of? Do we get to pick them/meet them?
    This is super important to ask when working with a larger company.
  5. Do you only DJ weddings?
    This is definitely a bonus, depending on how important the party is to you and your fiancé.
  6. How do you handle guest requests?
    You never really know what your guests are going to want to hear, it’s good to have an idea if your DJ can make that happen or not.

Photographer

  1. What percentage of your work are weddings?
    A photographer that specializes in weddings is going to be a pro, and understand exactly how crucial each moment is!
  2. How long have you been photographing weddings?
    It’s important to be assured that your photographer knows exactly which moments need to be captured.
  3. Have you ever worked at our venue before?
    It’s definitely a bonus to have a photographer who knows your venue and where the best photo ops are.
  4. Can we see a recent set of proofs from an entire wedding?
    Instagram and websites can definitely show you a lot about a photographer’s style, but it’s even better to view a whole wedding from start to finish! You get to see those detail shots, getting ready pictures, posed portraits, and the party pics!
  5. Are you willing to follow a shot list?
    Especially if you and your fiance have large families, it’s important to know if your photographer is willing to take specific photos that you want to be captured.
  6. How soon after our wedding day can we expect to see a preview? Our full gallery? 
    Most photographers will send out a preview in 24-48 hours, but sometimes even that feels like forever! The last thing you want to do is have an amazing wedding day, and not be able to see it through other’s eyes for weeks!

Florist

  1. Can you work with my budget?
    Let’s get straight to it–flowers are expensive. It’s important to let your florist know your vision AND your budget, and see what they can do from there.
  2. Are my favorite flowers going to be in season on my wedding day?
    If you’ve always dreamed of having peonies in your wedding floral but they aren’t in season, you may have to pay a premium–or you might not be able to have them at all.
  3. How long have you been doing weddings?
    Have you noticed a theme here? This is a good question to ask any vendor, just to get an idea of their familiarity with wedding days!
  4. Can I see a portfolio or some photos?
    This one will probably be pretty obvious since florists can’t usually show you their actual work. Fresh flowers only last so long!
  5. Do you take on more than one wedding in a day?
    This could potentially affect your timeline if you’re working with a smaller florist. If they take on another wedding on the opposite side of town and have to drop your floral off way early, they may wilt by ceremony time!
  6. Do you charge a flat fee or per item? Is there a delivery charge?
    Again, flowers are expensive–it’s important to know exactly how many fees you will need to pay!

There you have it, a brief guide to interrogating–rather, choosing–your wedding vendors.

You should definitely add your own personal questions to the mix, and bring them written down with you to meetings. There is SO much involved in planning a wedding and choosing vendors, you never know what you might possibly forget!

What to ask your wedding vendors
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