12 Questions to Ask Potential Wedding Vendors Before Hiring
If you’ve ever been to a subpar wedding, it’s probably because the food wasn’t all that great or the DJ/Band did not play any good songs! If you want to avoid those sorts of catastrophes than this is the list for you! Here are 15 questions to ask any potential vendors you may be considering hiring!
Questions To Ask
For the Band/ DJ
Now before you go drilling any prospects you should narrow down your list of potentials to the DJs or bands that have the most similar style to what you are looking for on your big day! Start with asking your friends who they used at their wedding! Here are some questions once you’ve narrowed your wide search.
1.) How long have you been a DJ or a band?
While every artist needs their first big break it’s important that you know if that big break is your wedding! There is nothing wrong with hiring a less experienced artist or artists, but it is an important factor to consider. So see how often your band or DJ has been doing their thing.
2.) How many weddings have they done?
Just like the previous question while it’s not a horrible idea to hire someone that’s never done a wedding to be the entertainment at yours it could be important information to have. For example, if you narrow it down to two vendors that you absolutely love, and one has no experience and the other has done 25 weddings.
3.) How involved can we be in selecting music for our event?
You may want to hand the DJ a “Lovers for Life Mix” for them to pull a few tracks off of! It’s important to know how involved they will let you be. While they are the artist it is your special day. Some vendors may ask that you only pick a select few songs for the reception and others might ask that you curate a mini play list to give them an idea of the type of music you are expecting. This question is a great way to prompt that conversation!
4.) When do you need to arrive and what will you wear?
These are details that can be worked out on the back end once the entertainment has been selected but they are important questions to ask nonetheless.
For the Photographer
Arguably the most important person you will hire for your wedding. They are the memory keepers of your special day and as the kids say, “pics or it didn’t happen”. Making sure your photographers are going to capture all of the day’s beautiful moments is an important task and not one that should be taken lightly.
1.) How long have you been a wedding photographer? Do you have a portfolio?
Unlike with the band/DJ, experience really does matter on this one. Since lighting and photography in general can be so hit and miss it’s important that the person you hire knows what they are doing! These aren’t memories you can go back and recreate so be diligent in your selection process.
2.) How long does it take to get our photos?
The best part about getting and having wedding photos is that you can go back and look at them and relive the day repeatedly! You don’t want to be stuck waiting months for those photos. So make sure that you ask when you will get your photos back AND consider putting it in your contract. You don’t want to get caught waiting months and months
3.) Will you be the only photographer, or do you have a team?
Can someone say “angles”? You want your wedding photographers to be able to work the room depending on the size of your guest list. If you have 300 people you may need a team of photographers whereas if your wedding is under 50 people you may be closer to 1 or 2 photographers at your wedding.
4.) What is included in the pricing? Will there be a videographer?
Wedding videography is such a popular thing. Some are put to the background of beautiful music while others are voice overs of the spouse telling the story of how they met. The packages your vendor has can be endless so make sure you know up front which package you’d be interested in and what they offer.
Questions for Your Caterer
Like I mentioned before if the photographer makes your memories the cater makes the present event. No one will remember every detail of your wedding (hints the photographer) but no one forgets a wedding with bad food or catering service! It’s a fact of life. I went to a wedding once with poorly seasoned food and when I asked one of the caterers for salt and pepper the owner came out to tell me I didn’t need salt and pepper because the food was perfect. He refused to give me salt and pepper. I will never forget that experience make sure your guests don’t have a similar story to tell!
1.) Do you specialize in any certain cuisines?
This is good to know! If you are looking for a fun taco bar you probably don’t want to go with the caterer who specializes in 5 course meals. Ask your potential vendors what they specialize in or what is most often requested at weddings.
2.) Do you have a permit to serve alcohol?
This is important for those looking to have a bar if your caters can’t serve alcohol then you will have to hire a second company to tend the bar.
3.) Do you have staff? Is their service covered in your package pricing? What will they wear?
Get to know what all is included in the pricing of the packaging included how many staff the caterers recommend having based on the size of your tentative guest list. Be sure to take into account that if they have a license to serve alcohol and you are doing something like an open bar, you may want your bartenders to have a license so they can serve your guest in style.
4.) Dates and deadlines?
Two very important questions to ask your caterer: “when will the menu need to be finalized?” And “When will you need a final guest count?” This is important to note BEFORE you send out officially invitations with RSVPs. You don’t want your caterer’s deadline to be before the invitation deadline.
Of course, these are just a few bonus questions to ask your vendors. A serious Pro-tip is make sure that everything you discuss with your vendor is in your contract. If your photographer offered to make an addendum to their current packages and give you an addition 50 photos make sure it’s in the contract. This is to protect your AND the vendors should any issues arise. Take a second look at vendors who are willing to offer/promise things they aren’t willing to put on paper! Finally, be sure to ask your vendors any “what if” question you can think of. “What if your camera breaks on the day of?” or “What if you are running late or have car troubles?” more established vendors will have responses to these types of questions likely learning from trial and error. It’s important to know that on the day of you won’t be putting out a ton of little fires!
That’s it for today brides! Remember to do your due diligence and you can never ask too many questions when it comes to hiring the perfect team to bring your day together!