A couple of weeks ago, we covered top questions to ask your venue before signing here. So many of you found it useful and asked for a followup on other suppliers so here is our list of all important question that spans from photographer to wedding planner. If you have anymore that you’ve found useful and we’ve missed out on, please do add in your comments.
1. How many weddings will you be taking on that day?
Its important to know how much attention and priority your wedding will take in your supplier’s schedule. Granted a larger company is possibly able to handle more than one catering event but there may be certain areas such as the wedding venue you would like to ensure you are the only bride their full attention is on for that day.
2. Insurance, portfolio, references
Depending on their field it may be important for the supplier to have necessary insurance and certification. Food hygiene (relates to catering) and electrical equipment (so DJ to Audio Visual) are key areas you really do not want to compromise on. So don’t just flip through the portfolio, ask for references, pick a wedding from their portfolio of your choice and ask not just to speak to the couple but other suppliers they worked with during the event. Suppliers can sometimes be a good way to get a reference on other suppliers because they will work with them or come in contact with them through their network in some way quite regularly.
3. Payment schedule
How much deposit is required? Often this can be upto 50% of the full fee or cost for the service provider. Have a schedule in place thats also agreed in writing.
4. Backup plan
If you have hired a planner or photographer for example what happens if for some valid reason they are unable to show up and thats the planner you had been working with or photographer you really wanted who’s namesake company includes no other photographer but he/she? Its important to know you would be comfortable with any stand in’s. Deal with this upfront in the unlikely event it happens.
5. Overtime, change of mind?
What happens when there are changes however minor to what is agreed? Will you be charged extra for changing your flower centerpiece to something you just fell in love with months to go? Or overtime for your waiters if your event day runs even an hour behind schedule? Are your prices fixed or charged by the hour? Ask, ask, ask…
6. Cancellation policy
What is the cancellation policy however genuine your reason? Does it change depending on the time to the wedding day?
7. Does that include VAT?
With all prices always ask “Is that including or ex VAT?” It makes a huge difference to the total costs.
8. Supplier restrictions
With some venues there can be supplier restriction particularly on suppliers such as catering, av and production. Check out the list you are restricted to for key areas and that you like or are comfortable working with them. Some venues may even go as far as to restrict creative suppliers such as florists, negotiate and clarify these points early on.
9. Whats your dress code?
How will your supplier come dressed? Whilst slouchy and laid back with trainers may not be acceptable for a supplier in view of guests all day, all black is often quite common for suppliers to remain unobtrusive. Some suppliers such as caterers may even charge for the uniform of your choice!
10. Is this your fulltime job?
The wedding industry is common ground for a part-time weekend job on the side. Depending on what skill you have hired your supplier for this can be detrimental to the quality of service you receive. You probably want to ensure key suppliers like your caterer and wedding planner are committed professionals that do not see your wedding as a part-time hobby but understand the importance they play in your one time life affair.
11. How many events of this size and budget have you done?
If you are holding a large scale event for example, whether based on size or budget, you want to know your planner, caterer, photographer is acusstomed to working in such environments as it means they know what to expect and can still perform well under the challenges of the scenario to give you the best service.
12. Do you connect?
Ultimately you should connect with the supplier well enough to know you are confident in their professionalism and their ability to do a great job for your wedding day. Sometimes you may love a supplier and they may not score well on every single query you have…who knows you may find a gem in the making but at the end of the day, you will know where you stand and have the information to make the right choices for your special day.
Happy supplier hunting…and don’t forget to let us know if you come across any more useful questions to help other brides planning by commenting below.