What’s the secret to a perfect wedding day? It’s not a gorgeous colour scheme or a breathtaking destination wedding venue (although both will make an impact!). Rather, it’s all about finding the ultimate combination of wedding suppliers, a dream team who will use their talents and experience to make your vision a reality. Your wedding suppliers are the foundation on which your wedding planning is built. That’s why it’s such an important part of a wedding planner’s job to recruit this trusted team. But how do we narrow it down? And what are the questions to ask before you hire a wedding supplier? Here’s the inside scoop!
The first step in working out whether a supplier is the right fit for you (and your wedding) is to do your research. Check their website, social media, and online reviews and take a look at their previous work. After that, it’s time for the interview – whether in person or via Zoom. Have a list of questions ready. Some will be specific to the type of work they do, but some questions are common to all. Here’s what I recommend as the key questions to ask before you hire a wedding supplier.
Are you available on our wedding date? It sounds obvious, but in the excitement, it can be easy to forget this crucial question! This should be the first thing you ask. After all, if a supplier doesn’t have availability on your wedding date, there’s no point in wasting either of your time. (Top tip: If the answer is no, your next question should be if they have anyone else they would recommend!)
Do you have any other events booked on our wedding day? While some wedding suppliers will likely have several clients on a particular date, others should give you their full attention. While having multiple clients isn’t necessarily an issue for cake designers, caterers, hair and makeup artists, etc., it’s good for you to know how busy they are and how much focus and time they will be able to give you, so you can factor this into your planning.
How long have you been in the wedding industry? While it’s not all about the length of time someone has worked in weddings, getting a sense of their relevant experience is a must. The more time they have put into honing their craft or business, the more you’ll know you can trust them to deliver.
Can you share some recent references? It’s one thing to look at a wedding supplier’s portfolio, but it’s just as important to talk to at least one or two of their previous clients, to get a real sense of how they work. A reputable vendor will always be happy to provide references.
How much do you charge for your services? Are there any other additional fees or costs we need to be aware of? Don’t be shy to ask about pricing up-front! In some cases (for example, a florist) they may not be able to give you an exact number until they know the scope of your wedding design. But they should be able to give you a good idea of their pricing structure and how the final cost will be calculated.
What are your deposit and payment terms? What’s your cancellation policy? If the last couple of years have taught us anything, it’s the importance of reading the fine print! Know what your potential wedding supplier expects up-front and what their policy is if a postponement or cancellation happens. Do they offer refunds, partial refunds, or no refunds for cancelled or postponed events?
What happens if you’re unable to provide the service or product? Another scenario that COVID has shown us is a possibility is that the wedding supplier themselves is unable to attend your wedding. What happens if they fall ill or are otherwise unavailable? It’s important to know they have a back-up plan in place.
These questions to ask before you hire a wedding supplier will give you a good sense of who you’re working with, and allow you to make a more informed decision before you sign on the dotted line. Good luck!
Slán go Fóill,