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  • Writer's pictureKatePaulyne Tayco

Interviewing Wedding Vendors: Every Question You NEED To Ask

Updated: Nov 6, 2020

Wedding table with plates and centerpieces

Hiring a team who would help you craft your big day could be a little tricky for first time soon-to-wed couples. To make it easier for you, we listed down some of the vendors you might need to plan your wedding and the essential questions that you must ask to ensure you have the best among the bests.

List of Vendors

  1. Wedding Venue

  2. Planner/Coordinator

  3. Photographer

  4. Videographer

  5. Florist

  6. Catering

  7. Wait Staff

  8. DJ

  9. Hotel Blocks

  10. Hair and Makeup Artists

  11. Rentals

  12. Alcohol and Bartending

  13. Officiant

  14. Baker

  15. Transportation

Once you understand which vendors you need to bring your celebration to life, consider your individual wedding needs, budget, overall style, and personality of your vendors when you’re selecting your team. It would be best if you had the balance of all four, so we suggest that you weigh them equally when looking for your staff.

Each vendor has their own process of contributing to your wedding day. You have to ask your specific vendors important questions tailored to their tasks. To jump into it, here is the preliminary list of questions that you must ask your vendor no matter which category they fall into in your planning process.

Four styles of bridal bouquet

1. How long have you been in the business, and how did you get started?

Working with a formally-trained vendor does not automatically mean that you will be working with a capable professional. Please keep an open mind when you are interviewing potential vendors; watch for their know-how and enthusiasm for their profession over their educational qualifications.

Green wedding venue in a hill

2. Have you worked at our venue before?

While it can be advantageous for vendors to have already working knowledge of the ceremony and reception venue, it’s not a deal-breaker if they do not. Being a professional requires flexibility, which requires your vendors to work in various environments and adjust to their specific needs.

Wedding buffet

3. How many events do you do in one weekend? In one day?

This question applies if you are working with smaller companies. Naturally, working with smaller firms means working with a limited crew. Of course, you want the peace of mind knowing that they’ll be able to deliver their service in full. Also, be sure to ask about the travel fees associated with their coming to your venue.

Wedding table with plates and centerpieces

4. How would you describe your preferred style?

Having this question to ask your wedding vendors is such a perfect opportunity to hear how they envision themselves, their company's values, and overall style. For instance, if your wedding planner loves a quirky and colorful event while you prefer sleek and minimalistic designs, consider looking for another planner. Find the one who has aligned style with yours.

Makeup artists putting makeup on to bride

5. How far in advance do you book?

It gives you an idea of when you need to secure your vendor if you would like to add them to your vendor team. Ask how long your quote is valid so you won’t miss the validity window and have them secured without asking again.

White floral wedding venue side view

6. Can you recreate something from the photo that we love?

Forcing your vendor to recreate something does not only limit their creative freedom, but it can also lead to miscommunication and lack of trust. Instead of insisting on copying specific designs, ask your vendor for recommendations on how these inspirations get better and, at the same time, unique to your wedding.

White three-tier wedding cake with florals

7. Given our budget, theme, and ideas, can you work within our budget?

Be clear about what you would like, about your budget, how flexible it is, and how much you can afford spending from the beginning. Ensure that there’s clear communication between you and your team of vendors and that you’re all on the same page.

Having well-defined individual and joint wedding priorities is so important. They help you better assess the price associated with each of the vendors, and it will walk you through navigating budget questions and help you in the long run.

Tip: If you are short on budget, the best way to cut your wedding expenses is to trim your guest list. You can also have the same place for your ceremony and wedding reception to avoid double venue expenses, which take the highest percentage of your budget.

Wedding planner and assistant talking

8. How do you price your services? Hourly rate or per packages?

Should you wish to personalize or make alterations to a package, it is helpful to know because you can anticipate how the fees will be affected. It would be best if you weren’t afraid to ask your vendor for any customizations or adjustments.

However, bear in mind that a vendor works very hard to craft your package and, therefore, may not have very much wiggle room allotted. If your budget is limited, try to find a vendor that offers package customization for easier negotiations.

Iced beers in a bucket

9. How much is it to add on additional hours? Is it possible to add extra hours on the day-of?

Asking these key questions allow you to know how much flexibility you have in that decision. Some vendors have a lesser fee when you add hours before the event than adding hours on the day-of. Ask before signing the contract, so you are aware of your options, and you would be able to make the best decision for your celebration.

Bride holding dream wedding bouquet

10. What is your preferred payment schedule and avenue?

Managing vendors’ payment is confusing as is. Thus, knowing whether your vendor has a deposit and balance payment policy versus a deposit and monthly installment payment plan can make your life all easier. Confirm your vendors’ approved payment mode and your prearranged due dates, and any penalties for common problems like late fees.

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