Yay, you’re engaged! But umm… do you know what questions to ask your wedding vendors?
How does this wedding planning thing work exactly?
The answer’s a little complicated, but we’ll start with this: you need to find vendors who know what they’re doing.
Your vendor team determines the success of your wedding day. Planning a wedding is already stressful enough – how do you figure out who you can trust to execute your vision?
With so many details, asking vendors the right questions is important.
Here are a few questions to ask wedding vendors to help you decide who to hire for your special day.
Key Questions To Ask Wedding Vendors
There are some key questions that apply to every type of vendor.
“But wait, aren’t they supposed to ask us questions?”
Yes, and they will! The questions vendors ask you will help them determine which services best fit your needs.
Similarly, the questions you ask them will help you compare different vendors to ensure you get the best service for your budget.
Here are 6 questions you should ask every vendor you meet with!
Are you available for our wedding date?
If you have a specific wedding date, work on hiring your highest-priority vendors ASAP.
If you don’t already have a date, asking about vendors’ availability for the season and year you are hoping for is important. Some vendors may offer discounts for dates within off-peak seasons.
You may see vendors’ availability on their website or social media accounts; if not, this is the first thing they’ll review with you.
For venues especially, don’t be too disappointed if they don’t have your date open—just keep looking!
Our top tip: If you have a date picked, add that to your inquiry. This way, vendors who aren’t available can reach out and let you know before you spend any time setting up calls!
What services do you offer, and how much do they cost?
When it comes to wedding budgeting, it’s crucial to ask the right questions when speaking with vendors.
Please, PLEASE read through a vendor’s website before blindly asking them this question. You may need to inquire to get full information on their pricing and services.
Either way, read through all of the information available before you get on a call, so you can use that time to ask follow-ups, not things you can easily find the answer to yourself!
Packages and pricing will vary significantly from vendor to vendor, so don’t expect the first prices you see to be consistent with every vendor.
Once you have a list of vendors you think would be a good fit, ask them what payment plans they offer and what schedule those plans will follow. Some vendors (ahem, us!) offer discounts if you pay in full.
Our top tip: If you find a vendor way out of your price range, don’t inquire. It’s important to respect their time and your own! Vendors set their prices for a reason – because this job is hard! While some vendors may offer discounts for low-season dates, don’t expect them to.
Do you have a portfolio of your work/property that I can see?
Whether it’s a photographer, venue, florist, planner, or rental company, seeing real examples of vendors’ work is the best way to understand their style and make sure they are the right fit for you.
Look at their website and social media first, and if you’re still wondering, request more examples of their work – but most vendors have plenty online.
Our top tip: don’t just pay attention to pictures! Reviews are also a great place to find information about vendors’ work.
What’s your deposit/cancellation/refund policy?
Asking about policies will give you peace of mind in case any unexpected events occur. It will also help you determine the trustworthiness of a vendor. Ask for a contract to review all the details before committing to anything.
Keep in mind most deposits are typically nonrefundable, regardless of reason. This is because a lot of work goes into the pre-planning process for vendors!
Our top tip: when looking at policy details, be realistic and remember this is how vendors make a living! Most vendors will have a rescheduling policy but may not offer a full refund for all reasons for cancellation.
Do you have liability insurance, and how much is your policy for?
This question is crucial, as it can protect you and the vendor if something goes wrong.
Liability insurance covers accidents like a guest’s injury or property damage on your wedding day. You may be responsible for any damages if a vendor doesn’t have liability insurance. So make sure to ask every one of your vendors if they have liability insurance before signing any contracts.
Our top tip: It’s also a good idea to get proof of the vendor’s insurance policy in writing to feel secure that you are covered if anything happens. Most venues require them anyway, so don’t be afraid to ask this critical question!
Other Important Wedding Consultation Questions
Now that we’ve gone over the basics, here are some questions to ask each type of vendor.
- Always get everything in writing (or email). We have seen a venue coordinator saying yes to everything too often during an initial meeting and then going back on that when we received the contract. Remember, the venue and other vendors are here to sell themselves – if it’s in writing, they have to honor it!
- Always bring a notepad with you to every meeting. You’ll hear a lot of information – even we can’t remember it all without taking notes!
Questions to Ask Your Wedding Venue
- Can you accommodate our guest list size?
- Are there areas that can be used for both the ceremony and reception?
- What kind of seating arrangements do you offer?
- Does your venue have an in-house caterer?
- Do you offer any all-inclusive packages for the site and food?
- Can special dietary restrictions be honored?
- Do you offer an on-site coordinator?
- If it’s an outdoor venue, what is their inclement weather plan?
- Is there a space to get ready/hang out?
- How many hours do we have access to the venue before and after our event?
- Can we bring our own decorations? What restrictions are there, if any?
Our top tip: We always ask, “what is a comfortable capacity?” because A LOT of venues will say, “we fit 300.” In reality, they wouldn’t have their daughter’s wedding with more than 250 in that space. Also, consider space for your entertainment and other large vendor items, like furniture rentals or decor installations.
Wedding DJ or Live Entertainment Questions
- How would you describe your style?
- What equipment do you use? Do you have backup gear in case of any technical difficulties?
- How many hours or songs are included in your package? How flexible are you with changes on the day of the event?
- Do you have audio recordings from other events you can share?
- Can you assist us in choosing the music for our processional, recessional, special dances, etc.?
- How extensive is your music library or song list? What genres can you cover? Can we give you a specific list of songs we want or don’t want to be played?
- Who will be my DJ on wedding day?
Wedding Photographer Questions
- How long have you been in the industry?
- How many hours of coverage are included?
- Do you offer engagement sessions as part of your wedding package?
- How would you describe your photography style (e.g., traditional, photojournalistic, fine-art, moody)?
- How would you describe your working style? How do you help the wedding party feel relaxed and comfortable while taking photos?
- Have you ever worked at our wedding venue before? If not, do you plan to check it out in advance?
- Are there any additional fees associated with travel, prints, albums, etc.?
- How long after the wedding will we get the proofs? Will they be viewable online?
- How many final images should we expect to receive?
- Do you help with creating an album? Can we see some album designs?
- Are there specific flowers you’d recommend based on our vision?
- What recommendations can you give us to maximize our budget?
- Do you offer specific packages, or is everything customized?
- When is the last date we can make changes to our order?
- Do you deliver the flowers to our venue?
- How do you keep flowers fresh?
- What types of printing processes do you offer, and which do you specialize in? Which do you recommend for our budget and style?
- If we choose a custom wedding invitation, what are our color, paper type, ink, and font options? What is the word limit for the text?
- Can we also order table numbers, place cards, escort cards, ceremony programs, menus, etc., from you? What about signage?
- If the invitation involves multiple pieces, can you assemble them? If so, is there an additional fee? How will the assembly affect our delivery date?
- Do you offer an invitation-addressing service? If so, what is the charge for this? What lettering style options are available? Will the lettering push back our delivery date?
Hair and Makeup Artist Questions
- How much time will you need per person?
- Can you assist me with my morning-of timeline?
- How many artists will I need for my wedding party?
- Do you offer trials? How does that work?
- What products do you use?
- Can you show me examples of hairstyles and makeup styles with my hair type/skin color?
- What is your preparation process for the ceremony?
- Can you help us pick out readings?
- Are you legally qualified to sign our marriage license?
- Do you need anything printed out before the wedding day?
Picking the perfect vendor team starts with your planner!
A wedding planner can make researching and hiring your other vendors a breeze. Not only do we help you find the perfect team, we’ll be there every step of the way to ensure you’re making decisions with your vision and budget in mind.
We have an extensive network of vendors to recommend and can help you decide between vendors if needed!
If you’re planning a wedding in the Chicago suburbs and want to learn more about hiring Monarch Creative Events, head to our services page! Or if you’re already sold – hit us up. We’d love to chat with you!
Want our list of questions in one convenient document?
We’ve got ya! Send us an email to grab a free copy of our vendor questions document (yes, the one we use with our planning clients!).