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 planning questions should you ask?
Of course, do your research and nut out exactly the activities you want for your big day. This will ensure you develop a list of questions—including boring stuff like logistics and finance (*yawn*)—you’ll need to ask. However, from experience, there are some things you need to consider before you move forward with any particular vendors.
Here are some key wedding planning questions for vendors:
Key Question for Venue Managers
You don’t even want to humour the thought of rain on your wedding day. It’s not a vision you’ve had or a concept in your mood board. And, it’s common for wedding planners, like you, to live in a world of make-believe where you don’t even want to discuss the concept with your venue in case you jinx it.
Even if you’ve planned your big day in one of Australia’s least rain-affected seasons you cannot count on Mother Nature to play ball. If you’re planning something outdoors it’s crucial that you (hesitantly, I imagine) choose a backup venue that you’ll be happy with. Because the reality is you may be creating a lot of lifetime memories in this space.
The Question: What Creative Backup Options Have You Used for Wet Weather?
But, the backup venue offered isn’t quite hitting the mark? Ask your Venue Manager if you can inspect all wet-weather options. This will include any creative options that they might have used in the past or float any ideas of your own that you’ve seen.
Don’t forget you don’t have to settle for the first choice and your vendor will be as keen as you are to make it all work.
Key Question for DJs
You—like every bride and groom in the world—have a particular vision for your wedding day and I am sure that vision does not contain a dude in a tracksuit spinning some disks.
Chances are that the ‘dude in a tracksuit’ is unbelievable and plays all the required killer hits on the night with your guests. However, the reality is that you’re planning on getting a lot of photos on the dancefloor and I’m afraid that, unfortunately, charisma doesn’t come through in a still.
The Question: What Are You Going to Be Wearing on the Night?
The majority of DJs are consummate professionals. It is not rude to ask them, and all your vendors, what they’ll be wearing and if they don’t mind fitting a certain dress code.
Don’t forget to make sure your black-tie dress is continued across the night. Your DJ should be keen to play the tracks you’ve requested so why not dress as requested too.
Key Question for Bands
You—if you’re anything like me—want a true party for your wedding. Your new life partner, all your best friends, important family members, less-important family members too (I guess) busting out some moves for most of the night. The band cranking out hit, after hit, after hit…
Unfortunately, you weren’t able to book that awesome band that played your cousin’s 50th birthday party. So you’ll be doing some googling and facebooking looking for local acts that you’ve never heard of. And, the reality is, music can be super personal (certain tracks and music styles might be on the nose) and make-or-break your night.
The Question: What Song’s Don’t You Like Playing Live at Weddings?
You know what gets you on a dancefloor and I’m sure you have a good understanding of what the majority of your friends and family like.
You would likely have some songs in mind that you’d love to hear but ask them what they don’t like playing so you can discuss tastes too. I personally requested (controversially) that my band did not play any Grease Megamix. Yikes.
Don’t forget that you can share all your do’s, but also your don’ts. There will likely be a lot of requests made later in the night and it’s important that you want to be up dancing and singing.
Key Question for Photographers
When you’re gathering quotes from the market you may start to picture yourself as the only person in the world doing so. Your vision will be that every potential vendor cares most about locking in your wedding and will bend over backwards to get it!
The reality is that you’re one of many, many, many engaged couples contacting the same vendors so bookings on similar dates. Sorry to burst your bubble.
The wedding planning phase can definitely get out of hand quickly with all the caterers, limos, bands, decorators, venues you need to speak to. While juggling an actual full-time job you can lose track of who’s locked in, who’s not and you don’t want to be disappointed by missing out on someone.
The Question: How Far in Advance Do I Need to Book to Secure You?
This seems like a logical question but it’s a good lesson for all your potential vendors: show them you’re serious and follow up. Ask them when you need to book them and add those preferred timelines to your diary.
Don’t forget to understand that vendors will take the first booking available so don’t be left looking for vendors last minute.
There is No Such Thing as a Stupid Wedding Planning Question
The key is to think of your wedding vendors as part of your wedding team. What do they need to know to help you succeed? Ask all your wedding planning questions before the big day and you will. Next week we’ll look at four more wedding vendors and key questions to ask them.