Wedding Expo Survival Guide – 10 Questions to ask EVERY Wedding Vendor you meet:
1. Can I contact some of your past clients? Get three or four references and ACTUALLY check them. If you really want to go a step further, check the venue you are having your reception at. Most venues will have an idea about the company you are about to use and will give you a non-bias opinion.
2. How long have you been in business? Most successful businesses have been around more than three years. Once you get past five, you know you found someone who not only knows their business, but knows the wedding biz!
3. Are you a member of any professional organizations? If so, which ones? Check out the professional organizations that they are a part of. This shows that they take their business seriously.
4. Do you have insurance? This is a big one because most small businesses may forgo this, but that puts you and your wedding at risk. If you are spending more than $10,000, you will want to think about insurance for your day, too. This protects your investment just like any other business.
5. Why do you like what you do? The key here is why. And the reason is because of the passion most wedding pros have for their respective businesses. In many instances, wedding pros love a certain aspect of what they do more than any other thing. Find out what that is and work that into your day. When you like what you are doing, you do it better!
6. What is your deposit policy? You want to make sure to find how this process works in case you change your mind or need to change dates for whatever reason. Most professional wedding vendors will want 50% upfront and give you a certain time frame to cancel your contract. The deposit will then become non-refundable because now the wedding vendor is turning away other business on your date to focus on YOU!
7. Are there any minimums to my order? This is especially true for food-type vendors and important to figure out in your budgeting. Some vendors require you to reach a certain point before they can work on your wedding. This is quite common and understandable when you think of the time, planning and cost that goes into any particular product or service.
8. How far in advance do I need to make my final selections? Creating the “final-touches” timeline for your wedding day will be important. Finalizing the dress, the cake, the music, all takes time and thought.
9. What makes you different than this other company in the same category? Differentiation is what sets any business apart. Some are experts in one area, while another deals more in another. You will want to pick out how you envision your wedding day and then
10. Is my date available? This is probably the most important question and one that qualifies the vendor immediately. If they aren’t available, maybe they can give you a referral that they know and trust. But make sure you do your due diligence on this referral.