You know you need a great venue, cake designer, florist, caterer, DJ and photographer. But other than help you pull off the wedding of your dreams, do you really know what you need each of them to do? Maybe if you’re an event planner by trade, but probably not if you’re like the rest of us. The fact is you’re not only taking on the role of bride-to-be, you’ve just become the operations manager of what will essentially become a small village for a day. Exciting, yes. But also more than a little overwhelming.
Take a deep breath, we’ve done the initial hard work for you. We asked a few of our favorite wedding designers to share the top questions every bride should be asking each of her vendors before signing on the dotted line.
Photo Credit: Susan Stripling
Key Questions That Apply to Every Vendor
Put these six important questions at the top of your list:
1. How long have you been in business and how many weddings do you do each year?
2. Can you share recent references and examples of your work? (In the case of your venue, be sure to ask to see recent pictures of weddings in the space you’re considering.)
3. Do you have liability insurance? (If not, you’ll very likely want to take out your own policy to cover unexpected mishaps such as a guest tripping over the photographer's tripod and getting hurt, or to repair or replace rented linens that were scorched by the votives in your floral centerpiece.
4. What’s your payment structure and cancellation policy?
5. What’s your backup plan should you fall ill or otherwise not be available at the time of the wedding? In the case of the venue site, what’s their plan if the weather takes a bad turn or another unforeseeable circumstance occurs?
6. What are your travel and/or overtime fees? (Unexpected travel fees may crop up if your ceremony and reception are in different locations or if you’re hiring out-of-town vendors.)