TOP 5 QUESTIONS TO ASK ANY WEDDING VENDOR
In my experience as a wedding vendor I have had the pleasure of working with many different couples and while each one is unique and different in their own ways when it comes to asking wedding vendors questions it seems couples usually land in one of two categories. There are those who have a million questions to ask and those who find themselves at a loss for words. While there are specific questions that you need to ask specific vendors (like photographers, venues, and hair stylist for example) there are certain basic questions that are applicable to all types of wedding pros- and those are the ones that you should be asking within the first meeting with them. These questions will help you weed through the vendors that you may not be interested in after all a lot quicker. It will also show wedding vendors that you are an educated consumer.
Here are the first five questions to ask wedding vendors.
Are you available on my wedding day?
Are you available on my wedding day?
This question can be a make or break question for choosing the right vendor for you. Some couples will get lost in the excitement of planning one of the most important days of their lives and completely forget to ask though. With the exception of your venue, whose availability will have a huge impact on your chosen wedding date in the first place, if a vendor is not available on your wedding day, then you unfortunately will not be able to work with them. WeddingWire offers a plethora of wedding vendors who share their availability calendar publicly, so you don't even have to ask. It is always good to follow up though and ensure that they are available though. WeddingWire also allows you to search by your wedding date for vendors.
What’s included in your rates/packages?
Every couple has a wedding budget to keep in mind when choosing the right vendor. It is so important to find one in your price range, but it is also important to make sure that for every dollar you spend you know exactly what you are getting in return. So many couples have asked me, "How much do you cost?", but I have noticed that some couples don't start worrying about what all is included with our prices until we are long into the conversation. Luckily, for them Coastal Cruisers offers an upfront quote that is all encompassing including the package rate, trailer fee, and fuel fee. The only thing that we do not include in our quotes is the gratuity. I feel that gratuity is given due to a job well done and thus should be up to each and every one of the brides and grooms we serve. Unfortunately, there are wedding vendors out there who do not include everything in their quote and before long brides and grooms find that the quote that they were given initially no longer fits in their budget as it once did. Lucky for us WeddingWire has some amazing tools to help brides and grooms through the planning process like this tool that helps you plan you wedding budget.
How long have you been in business?
There is no right answer to this question. In fact I believe that there are two ways to look at a vendor's possible answer to this question. If a vendor is a seasoned vet of 25 years they may have the more experience than someone who may have been in business for say 5 years. However, they may also be burned out and not care as much as the new kid on the block. Plus, the new kid may be thirsting to get his or her name out there and thus giving you phenomenal service to ensure that happens. Just because a wedding vendors has been in business for decades doesn’t mean that he or she is right for you. However, what’s important here is the knowledge that a vendor is experienced, that this isn’t their first time at the wedding rodeo. Again, there’s no right answer to this question, but you should walk away knowing that this vendor knows what he or she is doing and will lessen your wedding planning stress, not add to it. If you so desire, follow up questions to this one may be, “How many weddings have you worked on?” and “Have you ever worked a wedding at my venue?” These questions can add even more insight into a vendor’s experience level.
Are you licensed and insured?
While you might think of this as a throwaway question to ask wedding vendors, it’s really, really important for a few reasons. Many venues will only allow licensed vendors to work at their property, so a vendor really needs to be licensed to be legit in most cases. And when it comes to insurance, hopefully you won’t need to put this into play, but if something does go wrong at your wedding, you’ll be glad you did your due diligence. Yes, it’s all very “worst-case scenario,” but imagine if a guest trips over your photographer’s equipment and injures himself? Or if your DJ breaks a piece of furniture at your venue? You don’t want to be held financially responsible for these sorts of incidents and accidents. As a side note, you may want to consider purchasing your own wedding insurance in case of a natural disaster or other unforeseen circumstances that derail your wedding day.
Can you share references?
You may have a good gut feeling about a particular vendor, but it’s important to hear from other couples about their experiences, too. That’s why one of the most important questions to ask wedding vendors is if they can share contact information for a few references. Reading reviews on WeddingWire is a good place to start, but you may have specific questions about a wedding pro that would be best asked of a past client. Don’t be shy about asking for references, and note that any vendor who refuses to provide them is raising a red flag.