What do you ask in a vendor meeting?
Now that you are engaged and starting to take the first few steps in your planning process you are probably about to start meeting with quite a few different vendors. How do you know that you are heading into the meeting asking the right questions? Check out this blog post for a starting point with the 7 questions you should ask!
- Ask for reviews.
Most reputable vendors have plenty of reviews available on Google, Facebook or Wedding Wire. If you are having trouble finding reviews on the vendor you are meeting with, consider asking in your favorite social media wedding planningplatform. When meeting in person, a vendor who doesn’t have reviews readily available on their site, should always have them available in person. If the vendor is open and honest about being a new business with no reviews, be sure that is reflected in their pricing and that you are completely comfortable moving forward. I would never suggest avoiding these vendors, because I was once the wedding planner with no reviews and I was lucky enough to still be considered. Just be mindful of this when considering your vendors.
2. Ask for pricing.
Be sure to find out what the pricing includes. Are there additional fees for mileage or long weekend premiums? Most vendors will not post pricing on their websites, or they will post a “starting at” rate. In the initial meeting, the vendor should be able to provide you with a black and white quote.
3. Find out the back up plan.
You should always find out if the vendor has someone available on the wedding day in the event that they are not able to attend. We never want to think of the worst case scenario, but it’s something you need to discuss. Does your officiant have a back up in the event they loose their voice from a horrible cold? If you are comfortable hiring a vendor that does not have a replacement, find out if the deposit is refundable in the event something like this should happen.
4. Talk about their personal life.
While I am not one to pry into people’s personal lives or gain information that isn’t readily available, it’s important to know who you are hiring. Have they owned their business for a while? If they haven’t, are you sure they are still going to be around in a year? Are you deathly allergic to dogs and they foster 3? While it seem like these questions may not be super important, you are hiring someone to be a part of the most important day of your life. The more you know, the better.
5. Will you be there?
Especially with photographers and planners, you may not be meeting with the person that will be working at your wedding. Be sure that you work well with everyone involved in the process. There should be no surprises here, expect the vendors to be honest when you ask this question. If they are not, some red flags should be raised. Are they taking on your wedding to fill the calendar, and then when their dream client comes along, you get passed on to the assistant and they move along to bigger and better? I realize this sounds harsh, but I have seen this happen in our industry.
6. Have you been to my venue?
Working with vendors that have been to your venue is great. They will be able to offer seasoned advice, and answer your questions with experience. It may also mean that they might be replicating a previous wedding…. Sometimes having a vendor that hasn’t been to your venue will offer a fresh, new perspective!
How often does the vendor communicate throughout the planning process? How do they communicate? If they are only available Monday to Friday from 9-5pm, and your job is the exact same hours, it likely won’t work out. Do they allow email and phone communication or is it limited?
As you being your planning journey, I wish you all the best with every vendor that you hire. If you are still on the hunt for a planner, day of coordinator or officiant, let’s chat!