When I meet with couples, we talk about their marriage proposal, their wedding party and their wedding day vision. And I love every minute of the discussion.
But, I’m surprised by the lack of the “boring” questions asked of me. You know which questions I’m talking about — The questions about insurance, contract policies, staffing, and wedding experience. These questions may not be as fun to ask, but they are equally important.
When you meet with your potential wedding vendors, consider asking these ten “boring” questions.
1. “Do you have general liability insurance?” All of your wedding vendors should have insurance that protects their work. When meeting with your caterer or baker, ask if they have a food handler license too because they definitely should have one. Side Note: You are well within your right to ask for proof of insurance (or a certificate of insurance).
2. “Will you be present at my wedding?” Don’t assume the person you are speaking with at your consultation will be the person working on-site at your wedding. If s/he won’t be at your wedding, ask about the experience and work style of the person who will be present at your wedding day.
3. “How many of your staff members will be present at my wedding?” You should ask this question to your wedding planning team, your caterer, your bartender, your photographer, your videographer, and your hair and make-up artists. You want to ensure there is proper staffing, AND, you want to ensure the agreed upon number of staff members is noted in your contract. Side Note: There should be 1 bartender for every 75 wedding guests and there should be 1 banquet staff member for every 15 wedding guests.
4. “Have you ever worked on a wedding at this venue before?” While it is not a necessity for your wedding vendors to have worked at your wedding venue, it is definitely helpful. Having worked at a particular wedding venue in the past gives your vendors the “leg up.” They will already know the venue contacts, and the rules and policies, and the little quirks related to your wedding venue.
5. How long have you been working in the wedding industry professionally? Are you full-time? It’s important to know if your wedding vendor has experience with weddings, and it is also important to know if your wedding vendor is available full-time or only available during the evenings or weekends.
6. “Am I able to make any changes to the services or the guest count after I sign the contract?” Some vendors will allow you to make changes after the contract is signed, and some won’t. So that you can plan accordingly, it’s good for you to know the answer to this question beforehand.
7. “What is your back-up plan if you are unable to work at my wedding?” This question is key because many wedding vendors are solo entrepreneurs. You want to know what your vendors have in place to protect their service in case of an emergency that may affect your wedding day.
8. “What is your cancellation policy?” So many factors could affect a wedding vendor contract — change of heart, change of management, acts of God, acts of government, etc. So, you want to know (in advance) what is required of you (and the vendor) if your wedding is canceled or if your wedding vendor cancels.
9. “What other fees are we required to pay? Are there any other fees I am not aware of?” Some of those additional fees could include parking, mileage, overnight accommodations, and hot vendor meals. If you don’t ask these questions before you sign on the dotted line, these unexpected expenses could wreak havoc on your budget.
10. “Is there a financial incentive if I pay with a check or if I pay in full?” You may save yourself between 5 and 7% if you pay with a check or pay in full. If your wedding is scheduled to take place during the wedding industry’s off-season, consider asking if there is a price break for off-season weddings.
BONUS QUESTION. “May I have 3 references from weddings you have worked on in the last 2 to 3 years?” If possible, ask that one of the references come from a wedding that took place at your venue. Once you receive the information, do the legwork and check the references.
ADDITIONAL NOTE. Remember to read the fine print of the vendor proposals and contracts, and make sure that the answers to your boring questions are documented in writing before you sign the contract.
Love & Soul Always, Kay