OK, so you’re planning the biggest day of your life so far. You just have to be sure that you have the perfect suppliers. Simple! Well, unless you have a wedding planner, you’ve just taken on a huge role! Welcome to the world of project planning. To quote Stanley Tucci in The Devil Wears Prada, ‘alright everyone gird your loins!’. In other words, get ready people, this is important!
But, what if you have 10 simple questions to ask every prospective wedding vendor? LOVE IT we hear you say! At the least it leaves a bit more time for sampling cake. And at best, can save you from potentially making costly mistakes.
It doesn’t matter if you're planning an intimate elopement or something to rival a royal wedding. The team at Ananya HQ are here to help. We've got together with our friends in the wedding world to give you the top 10 questions to ask a wedding vendor.
1. From cake maker to dress designer, stationer to stellar photographer, you should ask to see genuine examples of their work. Take a look at their portfolio (and social media) to see examples of real weddings. If they are just starting out, then they may have aspirational images from an editorial or styled shoot. So, ask your wedding vendor to show you great real examples of their work.
2. So you’ve seen their work and you like it. All good so far. Now you need to ask about their credentials so that you can invite them to your big day. We don’t expect you to become best friends (although that sometimes happens). But, even though you like them it pays to see what other people say. A wedding vendor should be able to show you testimonials and/or references from recent work. And, if they say they are a member of a professional body, check out their membership. For example, Ananya is a partner member of UKAWP, the UK Alliance of Wedding Planners.
3. Ask about insurance. A reputable wedding vendor will have public liability and professional indemnity insurance in place. Public liability insurance covers the wedding vendor for accidental damage or harm. For example, someone may trip over a piece of equipment provided by the vendor. As a result they might seek compensation from the vendor for injury or harm. Professional Indemnity is about the services etc. that a wedding vendor provides. For example, a client may allege that the vendor has provided inadequate service or a poor design. The insurance provides cover for legal costs and expenses to defend such a claim. It also allows for compensation to be potentially paid to you the client, to rectify the mistake.
4. What’s the back-up plan? Of course the majority of time things go smoothly! But sometimes (see note on insurance!) things can go wrong. So, if the venue burns down, there's a major flood, or the vendor goes out of business, what happens? Is there a plan in place to make sure that your wedding goes ahead as planned? Or, if your wedding vendor falls ill what happens? Is there a plan in place to make sure that you get the service or goods that you paid for?
5. Now this next one is a thorny one. Most people will ask a wedding vendor about how many weddings have they done. True, that is important. But it isn’t just about quantity. It’s also about the type of weddings they do, and their experience. A luxury supplier may only work with ten wedding clients per year, for example. But, when those events are 3 days in duration and on a large scale, their experience may well eclipse someone who does thirty low budget events. Ultimately, ask a combination of questions. For example, how many weddings have they done? What type of weddings and if applicable, where have they worked?
6. By now you will have a good idea of how professional your vendor is. But if necessary, ask if they work as a full time professional in their field of expertise.
7. Be sure to ask about payment! So, when do you need to pay the supplier? What are the fees and cancellation charges and schedule? Are there any extras that need to be considered that aren’t included as part of the options available?
8. When will you receive what you order? Timing is everything! You don't want to be fretting over flowers during bridal prep! Or, waiting for your photos a year later!
9. T&C’s and contracts. If a wedding vendor doesn’t provide services with a contract or T&C’s, the decision is simple. Walk away!
10. At the end of your vendor assessment does everything feel ‘right’? If you have any concerns, ask questions now rather than after you sign on the dotted line!
We hope that you have a wonderful, perfectly planned wedding day. And if you would love to talk to us about stationery design, stop by and say hello at email@example.com. We’d love to be part of your day.