So… you’re in charge of planning your upcoming nuptials? Cool, cool, cool. Easy hey? Finding vendors that can fit your wedding fantasy isn’t really that simple. What separates one supplier from another? Who will help create my memories? What wedding planner questions should you ask?
Continuing on from Part 1, we’ll look at some other key wedding planner questions you shouldn’t forget to check off with potential vendors like caterers, designers, equipment hirers and all musicians. These posts are all about picturing your big day and pre-empting and disappointments on the night. Because failing to plan is planning to fail.
Here are some questions to add to your wedding planning checklist for vendors:
Key Questions for Caterers
The meal is a heavily discussed topic with guests the day after a wedding.
Your vision will be of lots of positive mmm-ing and aah-ing chat mixed in with some good-natured ribbing and talking up of their kick-ass moves on the DF. Good food and good dancing…
The reality is a wedding is a 3-course meal plus cake served over the course of about 5ish hours. Add to that the necessary multiple speeches, first dance, cake cutting etc. etc. and you’ve got yourself a jam-packed night.
But, the above schedule is not everyone’s cup of tea. And, of course, your not bound to follow tradition. Your big day is your big day and you can do what you want.
The Question: What Different Serving Styles Have You Done Before?
While good food is an important element of the event, it’s only one element. The entire process can be customisable to your needs as well, so ask them about different serving options to stay on trend!
If you want people on the DF more than at their tables then ask how that would work? If you want to roam the tables and speak to people during a meal see if platters could be an option to nibble on. If you want people to dance late into the night how would you keep their nutrients up?
Don’t forget that sit-down and cocktail are not your only options for catering. Expand your wedding planner questions from the usual chicken and fish to behaviours you want to encourage on the night and they’ll have plenty of ideas.
Key Questions for Designers
The vision is a sparkling slash glittery magic kingdom where you’re the princess for the night surrounded by lights, candles and magic.
The distance between your Pinterest pics of wedding decor and actual reality (even with a seasoned decorator) can be overwhelming, actually. You, you’re not a designer and you’ve never done this before. You have no idea how many vases are required.
The Question: Can I Speak to Someone Who Has Used Your Services?
Firstly, have a face-to-face meeting with your designer and understand how they have delivered their past clients’ requirements so you see some similar styles to what you’re looking to create.
Then after agreeing on a direction—and this isn’t taking anything away from the designer skills—it’s important that you ask to speak to a previous client. Ideally, one that’s used your venue before.
Don’t forget that a package is quite different from the actual delivery. Extra opinions on what was actually useful on the day, or what they might have done differently, will only help you and your budget.
Key Questions for Equipment Hirers
You are using vendors so that you can just rock up on the day and everything is done for you. It’s a vision of absolute happiness to feel important and have everything under total control.
This is especially crucial with away weddings where you have only spoken to your vendors on the phone. The reality is you do not, and I repeat do not, want to be worrying about when a particular thing is going to be turning up.
You also do not want your brother standing at the gate—while guests are drinking—directing traffic.
The Question: At What Times Will You Drop off and Pick up the Equipment?
Along with the details of where they will need to set up, and what they need in a particular space (e.g. electricity, water etc.), please ask them when they would drop off and set up the equipment.
Don’t forget that logistics like this need to fit into your day so iron out the details before you book anything. Work together on this one and make sure you share your schedule of the day’s activities so that they have plenty of time and everything appears seamless.
Key Questions for Musicians
If you have an end time of 11 pm set by the venue then you can skip this section.
Reading on? Good.
Ok, you absolute rock-star you’ve booked a venue with a flexible finish time. Your vision is you’ll party into the wee hours with your crew lifting you onto your shoulders multiple times.
The reality here is (1) you’ll need some music to continue partying and (2) you’ll likely only kick-on for an extra hour as you’ll have some late night activities you’ll want to enjoy with your new partner.
Regardless, while some musicians just love a party whereas others have many parties to get to that day and can’t hang. I’ve seen it happen though the venue is open, the guests are giggly, and the DJ stops their set.
Hold on, I’m sure any well-meaning parent would chuck a couple of hundred down to extend the show?
The Question: Would You Consider Extending Your Services on the Night?
Make sure to ask the DJ they’d consider extending their set on the night and chances are the fee for an hour or two more wouldn’t be expensive.
Don’t forget to let your personality and enjoyment shine on your night.
Make Sure Your Big Day Is Your Big Day With the Right Wedding Planner Questions
This advice is probably, really redundant, but its one of the most important factors to look out for whenever you’re doing something. Weddings don’t happen every day, so to make use of all the resources in the world to make it meet your vision and your dreams.