So, you've decided to get married. Congratulations! But now, here comes the hard part--planning for the big day. There are invitations to send, venues to find, dresses to try on, cakes to taste, flowers to order and more. If only there were a special guide to help you do it all. Well, if that's something you've been wishing for, then today is your lucky day! Here at Wedding Party we've put together a comprehensive list of all the questions you should be asking, from your wedding planner to your caterer to your DJ.
Check out the list below for some helpful hints!
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR WEDDING PLANNER:
After discussing with your fiancé your budget, the number of guests you plan to invite, your potential wedding date, and your overall theme/vision, follow up with these important questions.
1. What dates do you have available?
2. How long have you been a wedding planner?
3. How many clients do you serve each year, and how many will you be serving during my wedding month?
4. Do you have a team, or do you work alone?
5. What do you do in the event of an emergency?
6. What is your payment policy and are there any additional fees should I be aware of?
7. What is your preferred method of communication?
8. What is your refund/cancellation policy?
9. What is included in the package?
10. Will you be attending the wedding, and what time will you arrive and depart?
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR WEDDING VENUE:
Your reception venue will set the tone for the rest of your wedding, and will be the place where you and your guests spend the most time. It's important that it fits your vision and everything runs smoothly.
1. How many events do you host/put on per day? Will you be hosting any other events on the day of our wedding?
2. What is the maximum number of guests the venue can hold?
3. What is the fee for the venue, and what does the price include? Are there any additional costs not included in the package?
4. Will we need to bring sound equipment, or is it included?
5. Can we choose our own vendors, or is there a list we must choose from?
6. What is the process of setting up and taking down the venue? Is it included in the package?
7. Is the venue handicap accessible?
8. Are you licensed to provide alcohol?
9. Is there parking on site, and is it complementary or do guests have to pay?
10. Do you provide overnight accommodations? Is there a discount for groups?
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR CATERER:
Creating the perfect menu will likely be one of the most expensive and challenging parts of planning your reception. Ask these questions when you go for a tasting or interview, and hopefully they will help to take the pressure off!
1. Do you specialize in a certain type of food, cuisine or service?
2. Are you licensed by the state? Do you have a permit to serve alcohol?
3. What choices do you recommend for the type of venue and number of guests?
4. What type of produce, meat, and fish do you use? Fresh? Frozen? Organic? Local?
5. Is there a preset menu, or can we customize for our wedding day? Can you accommodate any special requests?
6. Can you accommodate certain dietary restrictions? Vegetarian? Vegan? Allergies?
7. Do you provide glassware, flatware, linens or plates? What kinds?
8. What is the setup and clean up process? Is it included in the package?
9. What is included in the per-person charge? Drinks? Dessert? Tea and coffee? Do you charge an alternative price for kids?
10. Do you provide a wait staff?
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER:
These are memories and photographs you will keep for the rest of your life, so you'll want to choose a professional photographer who is well trained and has lots of experience with weddings. Take a look at some of these questions to ask to get you started while you check out their portfolios.
1. How far in advance does a booking need to be made?
2. How long have you been in business?
3. How much experience do you have shooting wedding photos? How many weddings have you shot?
4. What is your photography style?
5. What kind of equipment do you have? Do you use film, digital or both? Color, black-and-white or both?
6. Who will be shooting my wedding? Do you have assistants?
7. What time will you arrive and what time will you leave?
8. What packages do you offer? Can they be customized?
9. Do you offer retouching or other photo editing services?
10. What is the timeline between shooting the wedding and receiving the proofs? What is the ordering process?
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR DJ/BAND:
The wedding band, DJ, and playlist will set the mood for the reception, so it's important to have a performer that fits your theme and vision. Check out these questions to keep in mind during your search.
1. Does pricing include the setup, take down and equipment?
2. Have you ever performed at my wedding venue in the past?
3. Do you have a demo/recording of previous weddings you've been a DJ for?
4. What is your music style/preferred genres?
5. How do you work with the couple to determine playlists?
6. Do you have backup equipment?
7. Do you take guest requests?
8. What is your wedding attire?
9. Do you have assistants?
10. Do you emcee and what is your mic style?
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR FLORIST:
1. What are your preferred design styles?
2. Will you be doing the floral arrangements, or will it be another designer?
3. What flowers are in season during my wedding month?
4. What are your recommendations based on color scheme, theme and budget?
5. How far in advance do you begin creating the designs and arrangements, and how do you store them?
6. Is there a delivery fee?
7. Do you work with cake designers?
8. Is there a difference in price between using one type of flower and mixed bouquets?
9. Can I create custom designs, or do you create your own arrangements?
10. What is the best way to maximize my budget?
About Kaitlin: Kaitlin is a senior English major at Loyola Marymount University. She enjoys traveling the world, binge watching episodes of the Real Housewives of Orange County and singing at the top of her lungs during road trips. She recently returned from a semester abroad in London, and hopes to move their someday after graduation.