7 Essential Questions to Ask During Vendor Interviews

wedding planning Nov 07, 2019

When you head off to meet vendors like Caterers, DJ’s, or Wedding Planners you might be unsure of what you should ask them during your interview, especially if this is your first time ever hiring that service.

We are here to help. Too many times we have seen vendors, who are at your wedding to work, slack off, be at the bar, or worse, end before their contracted time is over. The questions that we’ve compiled here will help you dive deeper and find the right people for your big day. 


 
1. What are your responsibilities on my wedding day? 

This question will allow that vendor to tell you, from their perspective, what their major duties and responsibilities are during your wedding. If they aren’t saying some of the basic things that you thought were a part of their responsibilities then talk to them about it.

Example: If a caterer isn’t telling you that they assist in setting up tables, chairs, and place settings, which is a responsibility that could be done by several different parties (venue, rental company, and planner) then ask them what it is that they do before food service starts.

2. Is the person that is going to work with me throughout the planning process the same person that will be there on the day of my wedding?

You’ve spent time working someone, they understand your priorities for your wedding and you’ve built up a level of trust over time. The last thing you want to hear is that they aren’t going to be there for your big day, because someone you’ve never met from the night shift will be on the schedule that day.

Working with someone else, just won’t be the same. The person that you’ve worked with throughout the planning process should be there for at least a portion of your wedding to ensure that everything you’ve discussed happens as planned.

3. Have you ever worked at our venue before? What kind of experiences have you had at our venue that we should be aware of from your perspective? 

Insider knowledge is always valuable. Maybe the barn where you are getting married at has a real sawdust floor that will ruin your shoes, or that the parking lot is a lot farther away from the ceremony site than you expected. Or maybe there is only one elevator for guests to use to get up to the reception space, and you should expect it taking 15 minutes or more for everyone to get upstairs.

If they have worked at your venue before they should have some thoughts about what makes a great event there. Listen to that advice. If they haven’t worked at your venue before, then maybe they can provide some thoughts about what, for them, makes for a great wedding.

 
4. If we go outside of our contracted time frame the day of the wedding, how to we ensure that we still have a great event?

This question is probably most important for your venue, your wedding planner, your transportation and your music. It’s good to know in advance if there are extra fees associated with going over your contracted time and how do ensure that vendor will continue to work (or not) if you do go long.

Example: Your wedding is just so much fun and guests don’t want to leave at the end of the night, but the last shuttle is about to drive away. How (and who do you talk to) do you find out if they can come back to pick up the remaining guests or if that isn’t an option if they can wait long enough to get everyone on the bus?

5. What is your policy about cell phone usage for yourself and your staff while working at my wedding?

Do you really want to see your DJ on their phone the whole time? Not really, especially when the song they’ve just picked sucks and it’s obvious they aren’t paying attention.  Sometimes cell phone usage can be taking pictures, promoting the work they are doing with you through Instagram, or communicating with staff, but when it is constant and the timing is inappropriate, it’s unacceptable.

Make sure that you know up front, and possibly have it in writing in the contract, what your vendor’s cell phone usage policy is.

6. What’s the best way to get in touch with you? 

Some people like to talk on the phone, while others want to have a written record of your conversations. Asking in advance to working with them will tell you which way will get the best, most prompt response back from them. 

7. What kind of experience should we expect from you throughout the planning process and on the day of the wedding?

Should you expect to have your email responded to within 24 hours or is 3 to 4 business days more in line with their normal response time? Should you expect a lot of advice or a little bit of advice? What is their top priority when it comes to you and your wedding?

When they respond think about what they are saying and how you and your guests are going to be treated. Are you loving their response or it is kind of lackluster? Go with your gut feeling on this one.

We also suggest asking them questions about things that are important to you and that will help to clarify their role within your wedding. 

 

I hope this has got you thinking about your wedding the way your potential vendors do - in that it's a business for them. Asking them very specific, business-related questions is necessary to find out who's a professional and who is just pretending. 


If you've gotten this far and are still saying "What now?" Then I want you to join me for an on-demand, Netflix style webinar that can start in the next few minutes if you're ready. 

 
Within this webinar, I give brides-to-be the 6 BIG ACTIONS that they need to take in the first 3 months of wedding planning. I take you from lost and confused to planning with confidence and clarity in 50 minutes flat. 
 
Sign up now and save your spot to watch this no BS, get right into the important stuff, wedding planning can be fun and easy fo' real kind of webinar. 

 

Hugs & Best Wishes

Emily

 

 

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