Today I'm running you through my top five most important questions that you should be asking each wedding vendor before you hire them. If you stick to asking at least these questions, you will be setting yourself up for success in ensuring that you are making an informed decision on whether or not to hire this vendor.
(1) How many weddings do you book in a day/weekend/month?
Why to ask this question: First off, there is no right answer to a question like this. Every business operates differently and some vendors may do a lot of weddings in a weekend and some will limit themselves to only one. You are asking this question to get a sense of how busy this vendor may be and how much access you will have to them before the wedding. This can also correlate to things like how long it will take to get your photos or video back, how many meetings you are contracted to have before a certain date, etc.
Things to look for: Do they have a good time management plan? How do they handle the stress of a busy wedding season? How do they prepare for each wedding in the weekend to make sure they are focused on mine?
(2) What is your cancellation policy?
Why to ask this question: You remember the COVID pandemic, right? 😉
Things to look for: Make sure that they have a well thought out answer to a question like this because it proves professionalism. You want to make sure you know what would happen if you need to cancel, if they need to cancel, or the world cancels thing for you (also known as Force Majeure clause).
(3) If you (or the person scheduled for day-of work) are sick on my wedding day, what is your back up plan?
Why to ask this question: Similar to question number 2, you want to make sure they have a thought out plan. You also need to prepare yourself to know who will be there if your hired person cannot. However, please remember.... we wedding vendors are HUMAN. Things happen. We get sick, we have to attend funerals, we have emergencies. So this question is also for you to ensure you are prepared.
Things to look for: That there IS a plan! You don't want someone fumbling over an answer to a question like this. An answer like "it's never happened, knock on wood, so it won't happen on your weekend" is NOT an answer you should settle for.
(4) Do you carry liability insurance?
Why to ask this question: I would never recommend to hire a vendor who isn't insured. This is something that typically sets apart the professionals and it's a very basic business step. Vendors who carry liability insurance are far less of a liability to you in case anything were to happen. If they are not insured, I recommend asking them if they would considering getting coverage.
(5) Can I have a draft of and review your contract?
Why to ask this question: First and foremost... make sure they have a contract. And secondly, make sure it it goes through things like the scope of work (things included and not included), cancellation policies, details about the event, etc. You want everything in writing, do not proceed and send money to any vendor who does not provide a contract.
Things to look out for: I am not a lawyer and do not provide contract review. I recommend hiring legal counsel to review each contract.
Photo by Riley Whitson Photography