Smart Questions To Ask Of Your Wedding Vendors

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As a wedding planner, a large part of my commitment to my couples comes in the form of advice and guidance. For example, I am often asked by my clients how to best select and communicate with their wedding vendors.

Over the years I have developed good relationships with most, if not all, of the wedding vendors in Sonoma and Napa county. All of them have their strengths and weaknesses, and choosing the best possible vendor for a particular ceremony and reception is absolutely critical. A fabulous way to approach your potential wedding vendors is to have a list of questions that will spark a conversation. This will help you assess each vendor's personality and figure out if they are the best fit for your wedding.

Are you open and available on my wedding date? Ask this question first before anything else to save time. If you are early in the planning process and have a flexible date, of course, this is less important.

How many other events will you be at on my wedding day? You need and deserve each vendor's primary focus for your big day, so don't be afraid of asking this question early.

How long have you been in the wedding business? A photographer, for example, may have decades of photography experience but maybe has only worked a couple of weddings. Make certain they can provide testimonials and references.

What is included in your quote? If the vendor has not provided a detailed quote, it is perfectly acceptable for you to ask deeper questions to clarify what you are actually receiving from a vendor. Some vendors provide wedding services with considerable flexibility, others stick to their quote. Be sure you are getting everything you need before asking for a contract.

Do you carry event insurance? Most wedding venues in Napa and Sonoma counties require their vendors to carry liability and worker's compensation coverage. Clear the air about this early on so you can avoid last minute headaches.

What kind of deposit is required? Be careful to document pricing when it is given to you over the phone or in person. If you have a wedding planner, he or she will keep track of all quotes, deposits, and payments.

What if I need to cancel or reschedule? Let's face it; stuff happens. If you need to reschedule or cancel your wedding, you may think all prepayments and deposits will be returned to you. This is rarely the case, and you should document each of your vendor's cancellation policies.

What is the best way to reach you? Nothing is as frustrating as a non-responsive wedding vendor when you have a question or need guidance. Ask this question early on and avoid the stress later on.

Finally, what is your vision for my wedding? I recommend giving your vendors your theme and ideas before asking this question, but the answers may surprise you.

This is by no means a comprehensive list of potential vendor questions, but should give you a good start. If you have questions, please feel free to contact us anytime.