1. Research. Research. Research.
By preparing yourself before meeting with any vendor, you'll get much more out of your meeting and be able to make more informed decisions. Talk to couples you know who have gotten married recently. Find out how much products and professional services generally cost in your area so you can be prepared for any quotes that are given to you. The internet can be a great resource. If you don't know anyone who has gotten married lately or you are planning your wedding in an area where you don't live, wedding boards and chat rooms are great for sharing information.
2. Set Up a Meeting.
In today's fast-paced society, we tend to gravitate towards electronic communication. However, a face-to-face meeting, is essential to evaluating a vendor's personality, professionalism, and style. If a face-to-face meeting isn't possible, schedule a phone conversation.
3. Ask for references.
Let's be honest, if you ask a vendor for a reference, he/she will provide you with a list of clients that have been pleased with their services. You'll likely get some good reviews. However, you can usually read between the lines if things weren't as perfect as they seem. In addition to asking for client references, ask for professional references. Find out which other vendors they've worked with. This will also give you a better idea of their level of expertise. Don't just rely on the referrals provided to you. Check out sites like weddingwire.com and facebook.com to see their ratings and reviews.
4. Ask Questions.
The saying goes, there's no such thing as a stupid question. And while that may be true, it's best to ask thoughtful questions that will help you make the best decision. Here is a list of the top 5 questions you simply MUST ask each vendor:
- How many weddings do you handle per year?
- The answer to this question will help you to determine their level of expertise and with some vendors- such as wedding planners- how much attention they will be able to give to you and your wedding.
- How much do you cost?/How much is the deposit?
- Pricing varies based on services included and experience. Be careful not to make a decision based on price alone - but consider everything included. The lowest cost isn't always the best deal.
- What happens if I cancel? What happens if you can't perform services?
- Find out if your deposit is refundable and under which circumstances if so. Also, the best wedding professionals will have a backup plan in case of an emergency.
- Will you provide a contract?
- If the answer is no, back away slowly from the table, turn around and RUN!!! Contracts are designed to protect both you and the wedding vendor. Do NOT settle for a verbal agreement.
- Are there any additional fees?
- Taxes, gratuities, surcharges, and other fees can add up quickly.
We believe forming the perfect vendor team begins with hiring a wedding planner who can refer you to vendors who match your budget, personality, and style. We take a great deal of time in getting to know you and begin by referring you to professional, reliable vendors who have already met our high expectations. Call 318-549-9663 NOW to let one of our licensed coordinators help you begin building the vendor team of your wedding dreams.