When planning your wedding there is so much to think about it is easy to forget the important questions to ask when finding your suppliers. The endless research and ringing round, recommendations and discussions you will have can sometimes overwhelm you, even when you have lists as long as your arm to remind you, there is still a chance you could forget to ask the obvious questions. Remember you are after your dream team of suppliers who are going to be with you from day one, so careful and mindful preparation is key to not be disappointed in the long run.
You are after a team who are friendly, enthusiastic about their work, reliable, trustworthy and have a good reputation.You want to feel relaxed and reassured that everything will go to plan and run smoothly leading up to your day and especially on the actual day. It is important to seek as much help from your local area as possible before you look further afield for suppliers that fit your needs. It is also essential you feel they are as excited as you are about your day to come round.
We are blessed with the internet, so use it to your full advantage when searching for wedding suppliers, scrolling their website to see their portfolio to see whether they suit the style you are after and what services they can offer you, checking their social media accounts, and reading reviews and testimonials to see what other couples experiences were using them.
Sending an email is fine to start the ball rolling to ask your basic questions, like 'are you available on our wedding day?' And maybe a quote for how many guests you have. But I would strongly advise phoning your suppliers or even better meeting them in person before you commit to booking. You definitely receive a better picture of who you are dealing with. Also if you have the opportunity to attend an open day or a wedding fair, grab the chance to meet the people behind the brand.
One other important thing to remember is not to think booking the cheapest supplier is the best option because you are on a budget. Some times it is worth spending a little more just for the piece of mind, and that maybe because you just preferred the vibe and sound of the more expensive supplier to other one. They may have sounded friendly and more professional on the phone. So my advise is to trust your gut.
I remember when I was ringing around Teepee suppliers, and I phoned a company who were the cheapest. But I didn't get a great feeling from them, there was nothing wrong with the phone call, it was just an unsettling feeling, I didn't feel I could trust it with them. So we paid more, for a company who we trusted, and we never regretted it.
I also remember ringing around for mobile toilets, and again I encountered a company who sounded less than enthusiastic to help me out, so I went for the more pricy ones! I know it was only toilets for crying out loud, but for my piece of mind I went with it, and felt calmer about the whole thing.
Here are some questions to ask your potential suppliers to make sure you get that dream team.
Do you have availability on our wedding day?
Obvious I know, but it's amazing how you can forget this at the start of a conversation. You maybe in such a hurry to get quotes from suppliers, that you forget to ask if their free first. It would be so disappointing to feel happy with all their answers then you are unable to use them!
Do you have a brochure/price list you can send us?
It is important to get as much information as possible from the supplier. This will give you a better idea if that supplier is within your price range and budget. Bare in mind many suppliers give quotes based on the time you need them, or how many of something you need. Also with some, it may depend on the time of year, in less busier times, they maybe more willing to give discounts. So have your numbers ready to give them.
Do your prices include VAT?
This is so easy to forget to ask, suppliers may not automatically tell you this, so do try to remember. The VAT added can make a huge difference to the total cost of something.
What are your deposit and payment terms?
Ask upfront how much they are going to want from you to secure your booking, and when they will want the remaining payment by. This way you can plan out your budget better, to make it easier for you to manage as the process goes along.
Do you charge for travel expenses?
If your searching for suppliers further than your local area, you may forget to ask if they charge for travelling to your venue. Make sure to ask the question to avoid any surprise additional costs later on.
Do you have insurance?
It is important and absolutely fine to ask if the supplier has insurance. It is essential to know that they are covered for the work they do for you. And in case any errors or accidents occur.
How long have you worked in the industry?
You maybe able to gauge this from researching their website but it doesn't hurt to ask the question. If they have a big portfolio this will be a good indicator. It will also show how much they enjoy their work and if they match your style.
Have you worked on any other weddings at the venue before?
This isn't really essential as any professional supplier should be able to adapt easily to their surroundings. But it does give them a head start and reassures you they are already familiar with the layout and how things work within that envoirment. They may even be able to advise you on things you may never have even of thought about.
(We experienced this ourselves with the lady who owned our venue, she asked us what kind of vehicle the teepee company would be coming in, which we thought was strange, but many before had churned up her lawn with their heavy trucks! So it was so essential she mentioned it, as we would never of considered that factor ourselves, and we made sure to go to extra efforts in checking these things to keep her happy)
Will we be working with you the entire process?
Some suppliers may meet with your then hand you over to one of their team, without you realising that was going to be the case. So remember to ask this as if you have certain expectations of working with someone you are happy with, you don't want to be disappointed.
Will our wedding be the only event on that day you are attending?
Some suppliers only want to handle one wedding on one day but there are some who take on multiply weddings on the same day. Make sure your supplier knows exactly what time you want their services from, and what you are expecting from them.
Hopefully these pointers will help you put your dream team of suppliers together, and you can leave it in their capable hands with confidence.