When you meet with potential wedding vendors, you may get a little caught up in their beautiful pictures and miss the “nitty gritty” of the business interaction. In order to compare vendor services, you want to walk away knowing pricing, reputation, contract terms, and coverage, so I have listed below five things you should ask for when you meet with a potential wedding vendor. Check it out.
1. References. Ask the vendor to provide you with the name and contact information of a bride or groom who got married in the wedding venue you are using for your wedding. Or, better yet, ask for the name and contact information of a bride or groom who used the vendor for the same services you are interested in booking.
2. Discount or Booking Incentive. If you are a current or former member of the armed forces, ask if the vendor if they offer a military discount. Some vendors offer a 5% discount to members of the military. If you are wiling to pay the entire fee (with a check) when you sign the contract, your vendor may offer you a 5% booking incentive. I love my alma mater so much that I offer a 5% booking incentive to Hampton University alum. I cannot promise you that you will receive a discount, but it definitely doesn’t hurt to ask.
3. A Copy of their Contract. Even if you aren’t completely sure if you want to book a vendor, you want to know their payment terms, on-site staffing details and cancellation policy before you send them any money.
4. Proof of Business Insurance. I know how boring and mundane this sounds, but all (yes, ALL) of your wedding vendors should have business insurance that protects their work. If they have it, they can produce documentation proving it.
5. A Follow-Up E-Mail. Ask the vendors you meet with to provide you with a follow up e-mail detailing what they offered you during the consultation. You aren’t doing this to make your potential vendor work — You are doing this to ensure they are on the same page as you. If you prefer to be in the driver’s seat, you can initiate the e-mail to the vendor with a recap of the discussion. Then, the vendor can concur or reply with edits.
The goal here is to ensure that everyone is on the same page after each of your consultations with the wedding vendors. Communication is key, so you have to be upfront (and clear) with your questions.
Love & Soul Always, Kawania
Photo by k. thompson photography