Meeting with potential vendors can feel overwhelming, especially when you’re not sure what to ask outside of how much their services cost.  Here are some suggested questions that you’ll want to make sure to ask vendors as you are interviewing them:

 

Officiant

  1. How do you create your wedding ceremonies?
  2. Do you attend the rehearsal?  
  3. Will you help us write our vows?  
  4. Will we meet in person to create the ceremony? 
  5. Do you have samples of religious and or non-religious readings, vows and symbolic ceremonies?  
  6. What is required to secure your services?  When is the final balance due? 

 

Caterer (if not provided through venue)

  1. Have you had events at our venue?
  2. Are you a licensed caterer? Are you licensed to serve alcohol?
  3. Do we have to work off a preset menu or can you create a custom menu for our event? 
  4. Do you offer event packages or is everything à la carte? What exactly do your packages include?
  5. Does the pricing include plates, flatware, glassware, etc.?  Is this disposible?
  6. Does the price include gratuities for the staff?  
  7. Can you accommodate dietary restrictions, such as kosher, vegan, etc.?
  8. How much do you charge for children’s meals? Vendor meals?
  9. Would we order our additional rental items through you? (Chairs, tables, linens, etc as needed)
  10. Will you provide a banquet manager to coordinate the meal service portion of the event?
  11. Do you provide servers through the end of the night to take care of bussing the tables and taking out the trash?
  12. Do you provide alcoholic beverages and bartenders? Can you accommodate specialty cocktails?
  13. Is coffee and tea service included with the per-person meal charge? What brands of each do you offer and do they include decaf and herbal tea options?
  14. Do you provide ice, water, and all mixers for the beverage service?
  15. How much time do you require for setting up and breaking down my event, and are there extra fees for this?
  16. Are there any fees that won’t be included in the proposal that we should be aware of? Ex. cake cutting, corkage fees, overtime hours, etc.

 

Music (ceremony and reception)

  1. Have you had events at our venue before? 
  2. How long have you been in business? 
  3. What is your pricing? Does this include setup and breakdown between ceremony and reception locations
  4. If the event lasts longer than scheduled, what are the overtime charges?
  5. Do you carry liability insurance? NOTE: This usually only applies to production companies that also supply lighting, effects, etc.
  6. How extensive is your music library or song list? What genres can you cover? Can I give you a specific list of songs I want or don’t want played?
  7. Are we guaranteed to have the DJ or perfomer(s) of our choice at our event? (Watch this video to learn why this might be important) 
  8. Can you provide wireless mics for the ceremony?
  9. Does any of your equipment require special electrical outlets that I need to inform my wedding site about?
  10. What kind of space or stage do you require for the DJ or band?  Do you require a riser to be rented? 
  11. How much time will you need for setup, sound check and breakdown on the day of the event?
  12. What music will be provided during the breaks (for band only)? 

 

 Photographer/Videographer

  1. Have you ever shot at our venue before? 
  2. How long have you been in business?
  3. How many weddings have you shot? Have you done many that were similar to mine in size and style?
  4. How would you describe your photography/videography style (e.g. traditional, photojournalistic, creative)? 
  5. What makes your work different from other photographers/videographers?
  6. Do you have a portfolio I can review? Is all of the work yours, and is it recent?
  7. Can I give you a list of specific shots we would like?
  8. Are you the photographer/videographer who will be at my wedding? Would we have second shooter or assistant?  
  9. Do you have backup equipment? What about a backup plan if you (or my scheduled shooter) are unable to shoot my wedding for some reason?
  10. What packages do you offer? Can I customize a package based on my needs? Do you include engagement sessions in your packages?
  11. Does this include any physical prints or albums? 
  12. When and how will we recieve the images/video after the weddding? 
  13. For video, what is the end product, and how long can I expect it to be? 
  14. For video, can I get the raw footage of the ceremony, toasts, etc? 

 

Florist

  1. Have you done events at my ceremony and reception location(s) before? If not, are you familiar with the sites?
  2. How long have you been in business?
  3. How many weddings have you done?
  4. How many other weddings or events will you schedule on the same day?
  5. Can you work with my budget?
  6. What recommendations can you give me to maximize my budget?
  7. Do you offer specific packages or is everything customized?
  8. What flowers are in season during our wedding?  What would you recommend that works with our style and budget? 
  9. Can you provide any other accessories we might need like table numbers, card boxes, seating charts, etc? 
  10. Can I see photos of weddings similar to what we are looking for?
  11. Do you provide mockups of our flowers before the wedding? Is there an additional cost for this? 
  12. Do you set up and tear down all of our floral decor?  Is there an extra cost for this? 

 

Baker

  1. Are you a licensed baker? (your venue may require this)
  2. How are your cakes priced?  Are you able to work within our budget, or do you have a minimum order? 
  3. What flavors do you offer?  How many do you recommend we pick based on the size of cake we’re looking for?
  4. How many wedding cakes do you make in a weekend? 
  5. What are the fees for delivering the cake? 
  6. Do you have cake toppers, a knife and server, and/or cake stands to rent? What are the fees?
  7. How far in advance should I order my cake? 
  8. How much is the deposit and when is it due? When is the final payment due?
  9. Do you offer tastings? Is there a charge?

 

Hair & Makeup

  1. Would you come to us at the hotel/venue, or do we come to the salon?
  2. Do you have a minumum for the number of booked services?
  3. Can you provide lashes? Airbrushing? 
  4. How early would we need to beging to be completed on time? 
  5. Do you offer hair and makeup trials?  What is the cost?  
  6. Can you accomadate last minute add ons, if necessary?
  7. How should my wedding party prepare for services (wet vs. dry hair,  clean vs. dirty, etc)?
  8. When are final payments due?  Is gratuity included? 

 

Stationer (invites and other paper products)

  1. How long have you been in business?
  2. What is your design background? 
  3. How do you create your products (template vs. custom)? 
  4. Is your printing done in-house or do you outsource it? 
  5. If they do custom invitations, what are my options for paper type, colors, ink and fonts? 
  6. Can you help us with the proper wording for the invites? 
  7. Do you offer caligraphy?  If not, can you print guest and return addresses for u? 
  8. If we need other products like place cards, programs, menue, etc, can we order those to match? 
  9. How long will it take to get my invitations in, once ordered? 
  10. Do you assemble and mail my invitations?  
  11. Will I recieve a proof before ordering the invitations? 
  12. Can I order samples before submitting the larger order? 

 

 Wedding Planners

  1. Have you worked at our venue(s) before?  If so, can you provide any feedback?  
  2. How long have you been in business?  What made you decide to be a planner?
  3. How many weddings do you do a year?  Are the all Full Service? Or another level of planning help?
  4. What different services do you offer?  
  5. Would you be our planner on the wedding day, or would we have a different coordinator? 
  6. Are you a member of any event industry groups? 
  7. What are some challenges you’ve had come up on wedding days, and how did you handle them? 
  8. Would our wedding be your only one for that day/weekend?
  9. Is event planning your full time job? 
  10. Would you have any assistance with you on our wedding day?  
  11. Are you onsite through the end of the event? If not, how long would you be onsite for? 
  12. Would we recieve and discounts through working with your vendor recommendations? 
  13. Do you make a commission on any rentals/orders that go through you? 
  14. If we hire you for Day Of or Partial Planning services, can you still recommend vendors for us? 
  15. What is included in your different packages? 
  16. Do you help run the wedding ceremony?  How about the rehearsal?  

Does your venue offer an event coordinator, or “Day Of Coordinator”?  Make sure to watch this video to learn what the difference is! 

Transportation

  1. Do you have vehicles of the appropriate size available for us on our date? 
  2. What is the cost for the vehicle we’re looking at? Are we able to split up rental hours? 
  3. Does this include champagne and/or a “Just Married” sign? 
  4. Is gratuity included? 
  5. Are we limited to the number of stops or locations within our rental time? 
  6. Can we bring food and beverages (alcohol and non-alcoholic) on board with us? 
  7. How are the vehicles licensed and maintained? Will AC/and AV be guarenteed to work?
  8. What happens if our vehicle has maintenance issues on the day of our wedding?  

Rentals (linens, chairs, lounge furniture, etc)

  1. What style of product do you have available for our date?
  2. Are you familiar with our venue and the load in/load out process? 
  3. Do you have liability insurance that you can provide our venue, if required? 
  4. Will you be able to deliver/pick up the items in the allowable time? (Some venues have very strict set up and tear down times that might result in additional fees from the rental company to staff properly, or overtime charges from the venue)
  5. Are there added delivery fees or charges for our venue? (It’s not unusal to see added fees if the venue has a challenging set up like no elevator access, or an elevator that is not suitable for their use.) 
  6. If our count is lower than predicited, are we still charged for the quoted amount? 
  7. If our count is higher than predicted, are we able to add to the quoted amount?
  8. When do you need final counts before the wedding?