As you embark on your wedding planning journey, it’s important to know the right questions to ask your prospective vendors. Be sure to ask each vendor specific questions pertaining to their products and/or services, and ensure they can meet your wedding day expectations. Our guide to finding & hiring wedding vendors provides useful tips for choosing your wedding vendors; valuable questions to ask each prospective vendor and a list of specific questions for your event rental company.
Tips for Hiring Wedding Vendors
- Decide your priorities first – It’s important to find vendors that can not only see your vision, but can help you accomplish it. Decide what is most important to you, and make those vendors your first priority. If you’ve always imagined a tented wedding, prioritizing the tent rental is a good first step.
- Talk to recent clients – Ask your vendors to provide references, and then take the time to actually talk to them. Ask about their experience, and anything they wish they had done differently or any concerns they may have about the vendor you’re considering.
- Note your first impressions – First impressions can tell you a lot about the company and individuals you’ll be working with. Are they professional, do they arrive to your meeting prepared, and are they knowledgeable about their service or products? Look for vendors that go the extra mile, even offering their own ideas for how to make your wedding one-of-a-kind.
- Match your tastes & style – If you’re looking for a rustic themed wedding, choosing a rental company with no variety of rustic accessories, seating, or other décor may not be a good fit. Choose vendors that can show you examples of work similar to what you have in mind for your wedding.
- Follow your gut – If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Don’t be afraid to walk away from a vendor if you don’t feel listened to or something seems fishy.
- Consider vendors who already have an established relationship with your venue – If your venue hosts weddings on a regular basis, there is a very good chance they’ll be able to make recommendations for vendors they’ve worked well with on previous weddings. It’s often beneficial to hire a vendor who knows their way around your venue and has a relationship with the staff.
- Keep your budget in mind – Be realistic about what you can afford and ask your vendors to help you to work within that budget.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want – If your vendors head in a direction that doesn’t align with your vision, don’t be afraid to hit the pause button. Make sure you and your vendors are on the same page, and be specific about what you want, and realistic about what you can, and can’t afford.
9 Questions to Ask All Prospective Vendors
- How long have you been in business, and how many weddings do you do each year? It’s important that your vendors have good experience under their belt. This is one of the most important days of your life, and likely one of the largest events you’ll plan, so your vendors should be experienced.
- Can you share recent examples of your work? You’ll want to make sure your vendor’s work meets your expectations, and that their style meets your vision for your big day.
- Are you fully insured, and can you provide a certificate of insurance on request? Make sure your vendors have appropriate insurance coverage just in case anything goes wrong.
- What back up plans do you implement in the event of under-staffing, illness, or severe weather? (Or a number of other circumstances depending on the vendor.) Make sure your vendors have a back-up plan for unforeseen circumstances.
- What fees do you charge for travel or overtime? Don’t get blindsided with fees that you weren’t expecting. Be prepared for any extra charges you may incur.
- When is payment due? Most venues and vendors require a deposit to confirm a booking, with the balance due by a certain date in advance of the wedding. Make sure you know those payment due dates and adhere to them.
- How far in advance will you arrive on site? Make sure your vendors arrive at the venue far enough in advance to provide them with adequate time on site to complete their work, and to not delay the work of your other vendors. Be sure to provide each vendor with a detailed timeline for your wedding day so there are no misunderstandings regarding your expectations of them.
- What exactly does your service include? Make sure you are getting everything you want from your vendors, and not paying for anything you don’t want.
- Do you take it upon yourself to communicate with other vendors as needed? Your vendors should work well with others, and will likely need to communicate with the venue and/or other vendors leading up to the wedding or on the day-of. It’s a good idea to provide each of your vendors with a complete vendor list, which should include each vendor’s company name, contact person’s name(s), phone number(s), email address(es), and their role in your wedding.
10 Questions to Ask Your Event Rental Company
- Can you provide all of the rental products and services I need? Be sure to ask your rental company if they can provide all of the rentals you need. Having to hire two (or more) rental companies will likely require more of your time than working with a single source for all of your rentals.
- If we want to rent items you don’t stock, are you willing and able to get them for us? Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. Ask your rental company if they can work with other rental companies to arrange for all of the rentals you need.
- If we are planning a tented event, will your company do a site visit, and will you provide a suggested floor plan for our event? If your rental company is providing a tent, tables, chairs, etc., ask them to diagram their plans for set-up. Unless you are using a venue your rental company has tented in the past, they should do a site evaluation prior to confirming your rental order. Be sure to ask if there is a charge for the site evaluation and/or the CAD drawing.
- Can you help me to work within my budget? If the preliminary quote for what you think you want exceeds your budget for rentals, ask your rental company if there are ways to create your vision within your budget. They may be able to suggest some lower cost alternatives and creative ideas to help you achieve your dream wedding at a price you can afford.
- What fees do you charge for delivery, set up and/or removal? Make sure you are aware of any extra fees you may incur and include them in your budget. Your rental company should be able to provide you with an itemized quote / reservation with all of your costs clearly shown.
- Can you make recommendations for the layout of the event, based on your professional experience? Your event rental company has probably done a number of events (maybe even at your venue), and should be able to offer their professional opinion regarding the best way to set up your wedding. Explain your vision, and then ask them for their input and ideas.
- What would you suggest for a backup plan in the event weather does not cooperate? If you’re hosting an outdoor or tented event, it’s important to have a backup plan in case the weather does not cooperate on your big day. Your event rental company should be able to provide a contingency plan for less than ideal weather conditions.
- Will you secure permits, if needed? Your event rental company should be able to obtain any necessary permits, leaving you with one less thing to worry about.
- Are there any new or relevant rental products that would work well with my theme? Ask your event rental company if they provide any rentals that would work well with your theme. Often, they can offer extras that you may not have considered, or didn’t know they carried.
- If I need recommendations for other wedding vendors, can you help? If your rental company has done many other weddings, they’ll likely be able to recommend a variety of vendors they’ve worked with, who are reputable and do a good job.
To help you keep track of all of your wedding planning details, check out our DIY Wedding Planning Guide!