8 Questions Every Bride Should Ask
Working with a planner can relieve all the stress of find and working with reputable vendors for your wedding day. However, these are also questions you should ask any planners before you sign a contract! :)
Either way - working with a planner or planning on your own - here are 8 questions to ask ALL your potential wedding professionals:
1) How many weddings do you do on average per year? How much experience do you have?
This is an extremely important question. Ideally, your wedding professional should have ample experience and better yet, specifically with weddings. Not only will they be more skilled in their craft, this also makes them a valuable source of information and ideas. They should be able to handle any "emergency" that happens on your wedding day.
2) What is your average package pricing?
Price is often relative, especially when you factor in experience, reputation and expert skill. Generally, the most talented professionals have a higher price tag due to their skill level, reputation and experience. Also, keep in mind that your wedding day is, in fact, an entire DAY and that many vendors invest days and weeks prior to your wedding. A photographer does not shoot your wedding and hand you a burned disc, there are several hundred hours of turning that raw footage into the gorgeous photos you see in their studio. Florists must calculate, order and store all the flowers and elements for your wedding day plus create them, usually with a team of highly skilled staff that do not work for free. Also remember that this is the way vendors earn their living, pay their bills and take care of their family. Yes, budgets are always important but compare the package and what is included to "cheaper" packages with less experienced vendors. Less is definitely less, including experience and the quality of your final product.
3) How much is the deposit?
It's important to know your payment schedule and if there are any late charges.
4) What specifically is included in that cost?
Because packages often vary, it's likely that you won't be able to compare one vendor exactly to the next without doing a little figuring. The lowest cost isn't necessarily the best deal; some higher quotes include services that you have to pay extra for in other packages. Be sure to take this into account.
5) What happens if I cancel? What happens if you cancel?
Find out what you are responsible for if you need to cancel. If you need to postpone your wedding for whatever reason, is your date transferable? It's silly to ask if a wedding professional has a back up plan if something happens to them. Any reputable vendor will. The question is, what IS their back up plan?
6) Do you use a contract?
If the answer is No, RUN! A contract is designed to protect both you and the wedding professional. Do not settle for a verbal agreement that will not hold up in court. If you are working with friends or family friends I strongly suggest to have at least a simple agreement in place. I had a client who I worked with to coordinate her weekend (although she did the planning on her own) who did not do this with the person in charge of her catering. On the day of the wedding the family "friend" only provided food for half the guests and then refused to refund the bride any money. If the bride had had an agreement in place she might have been able to do something, but without it her hands were pretty much tied.
7) Are there any additional fees?
Taxes, service charges and travel fees can add up quickly. Be sure you understand exactly what is included in the price and if there are any other fees you will have to pay. This should be clearly defined in your contract.
8) Do you carry liability insurance?
The answer you are looking for is Yes. This protects you if an unfortunate accident should occur on your wedding day. It is also a sign that this is a reputable business, since most "fly by night" operations do not invest in insurance.
It's worth taking a little time to assemble the best team for your wedding day, especially for the products and services that are most important to you. If chosen wisely, the right wedding vendors will give you expert help and advice not to mention huge relief!
Have questions about hiring your wedding vendors? Would you like to share a story for future brides? Leave a comment and let's hear it!
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- Most Brides Spend at Least 2 Hours per Week on Wedding Planning (prweb.com)
- Five Fab Tips to Find Your Dream Planner (bayareabrideguide.com)