Interviewing Your Wedding Vendors

Throughout life, you’ll find yourself in situations where you’re being interviewed—for jobs, for schools, for awards, etc. In some cases, though, you may find yourself on the other end, interviewing someone else. As the interviewer, it’s important to know what questions to ask to make sure you get all of the information you need to make a decision and move forward. If you don’t ask the right questions, you may not be able to decide between the different options that you have.

One situation in life when you may find yourself in the position of an interviewer is when you’re planning your own wedding and looking for vendors. You wouldn’t simply buy the first wedding dress you tried on right off the rack, would you? So, why would you choose a vendor without talking to them about their skills, experience, and expertise?

Whether you’re looking for a caterer, a venue, a photographer, a baker, or all of the above, it’s important that you sit down with all of the vendors you’re interested in hiring and get the opportunity to interview them. In the interview, you need to ask questions about their experience and about what they will be able to do for you and how they will handle your wedding so that you can make a final decision and move forward with wedding preparations. Here are some of the top questions you should ask vendors during interviews:

Are You Available to Service my Wedding?

Ideally, you’ll know before you even meet with a vendor if they will be available to service your wedding; however, if they don’t have a calendar online or you aren’t able to confirm before you meet with them for an interview, the first question you’ll want to ask is whether or not they will be available on your wedding date. If not, you’ll be able to move on to the next candidate.

Can You Provide me with References or a Portfolio?

Whether a vendor has recently entered the game or has been servicing weddings for a while, they should be able to provide you with references or a portfolio that shows their work. For example, photographers can easily prove their skill by sharing the photos they’ve taken of other weddings and events with you. Venues, on the other hand, may not be able to provide you with a portfolio of their work, but they can offer you references of other couples who’ve hosted their weddings there.

What’s Your Cancellation Policy?

Sometimes things go wrong and don’t work out, or sometimes you may find another venue, caterer, photographer, etc. after booking the first one. In that case, you’d want to know the cancellation policy, as well as your consumer rights, to ensure that you take care of everything before the deadline if you know in advance that you won’t be needing their services anymore.

Do You Have a Maximum Number You Can Accommodate?

Caterers and venues, specifically, may be limited in the number of guests that they can accommodate. You may or may not already have an idea of how many guests will be attending your wedding when you go to interview the vendor, but getting a maximum number of guests will help you either narrow your list down or keep it within a certain range when you start sending out invites.

How do You Charge?

Photographers will often charge by the hour or number or prints, venues will charge by the hour, caterers will usually charge per person, but may sometimes have a different payment structure. It’s important to know how a specific vendor charges so that you can work it into your budget and get a good idea of what the final costs will be.

How Late Can I Make Changes?

As you get further into the wedding planning process, you may find that you want to change up the menu a bit or add certain flowers to your arrangements. You might also change your mind about the flavor of cake or icing you originally chose, and so on. It’s okay to change your mind, but it’s important to ask in advance what the deadline is for any changes you may want so that you can avoid unnecessary hassle and stress.

Are There any Restrictions?

Some vendors may not be willing to travel outside of a certain area, and some venues may not allow certain things like glitter or alcohol on the premises. During the interview, it’s important that you ask about the restrictions that vendors have so that you can ensure that you won’t be in violation and have to pay an extra fee, or that that vendor will still be a good fit for what you have planned so far.

Final Thoughts

It’s just as important to know how to ask questions during an interview as it is to know the answers, especially when it comes to your wedding. Make a list of all the questions you need and want to ask your vendors before heading into an interview to make sure that you can get all of the information you need to make a decision and choose the vendor that will be the perfect fit for your big day. Which vendors do you still need to decide on?

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