We know that there are way too many important decisions to make & tasks at hand when it comes to planning your big day! We recognize that it is way too easy to get off track when it comes to planning so we are creating a guide to help you find a starting point. We will start with some resources where you can find your vendors and when you have narrowed it down to the ones you have consultations with, we will give you specific questions to ask. And once you find them, you can always check out our recommendations on vendor gratuity to learn how to take care of them when all is said and done!
WHERE DO I START TO FIND THEM?
First of all, it's important that when you do find someone you are interested in, you follow up and find their reviews - whether it's on their website, The Knot, Wedding Wire, Facebook, etc. There are SO many helpful sources out there for locating your vendors! Here are a few we recommend:
Facebook Pages & Groups: Bride to Bride Austin & Surrounding Areas
Open houses at venues
Referrals: Ask the vendors you do have booked
Weddings you're attending - if you see someone working, get a business card
And remember there are the preliminary questions you can ask all vendors, like - are you or someone from your team available on that particular date? Do you charge a travel fee? How much is your deposit? When is your final balance due? Are there any other taxes, fees, or surcharges that I may not know about? Now let's talk specific questions tailored to each vendor you're shopping for!
Is there ceremony & reception location inside/outside? What is the rain plan?
What are the difference on prices for the different seasons and days of the week?
What comes with the venue rental and what needs to be brought in? (Tables, chairs, etc.)
Can I have my rehearsal the day before?
How many hours are included and can I purchase additional hours, and for what price?
Can I select my own vendors to come in besides your preferred vendors?
What vendors are inclusive to the venue? For example, if catering is inclusive to the venue, you may want to ask if you can still bring in outside food for the bridal suite or a late night snack for your guests.
How many hours does this include on the day of? If I need an extra hour, what is the cost?
Do you come to multiple locations?
Can you provide me a checklist of photos I would want on the day of?
How long can I expect to get my photos and in what form?
How many photos am I going to get? Who can I share them with?
What is the benefit to having more than one photographer?
How ,much would it be for an additional session like bridal or engagements, if that is not included?
“It's important that when you do find someone you are interested in, you follow up and find their reviews - whether it's on their website, The Knot, Wedding Wire, Facebook, etc."
Get the catering menu, request a proposal, and sign up for tastings!
Buffet, plated, family style, etc. - what are the differences & costs associated with each?
Can they also provide bar service?
Do they provide the tea & water station?
Have them explain ALL of the final charges - specifically ask what the service charge goes to and if gratuity is not included, what is standard?
Do they take care of bussing tables and removing trash?
When do they arrive and depart to the venue on the wedding day?
Do they set up tables, chairs, or offer a room flip?
Request a list of pricing and packages. Confirm what sets each package apart from each other.
How much communication do you get in between booking and the big day? Does that change with each package?
What type of software, documents, or information is provided for the bride, groom, and coordinator to work with?
How many meetings do you get with them before the wedding?
Do they provide recommendations on other vendors? Do they offer discounts for partnering with other vendors?
Is the rehearsal included with any package?
How long do you have them on the day of and what are their duties? Is there anything that they don't do on the day of?
Decide on your color palette, style, and must have & must not have flowers.
What is your budget?
How many bouquets, boutonnieres, centerpieces - # of tables, aisle decor etc. & who provides the vases?
Are there any fees for arrangement, set up, breakdown?
How long do we have you on the day of? Is it for the ceremony and the reception?
How do we communicate songs that we do want played and do not want played?
Will I know who my DJ is before the wedding day?
What equipment do you have? Wireless microphones, lapel microphones, second speaker system for ceremony, possible third speaker for cocktail hour
Do you need the venue to provide you a table/linen anywhere for a setup?
What are some trends that you recommend or special touches you can do to bring guests on the dance floor?
Do you have a certain style?
What is the delivery time of my product?
What do you include in the video? Can I choose the music or audio?
What equipment do you use? Do you provide more than one person on the day of?
How do you work with other photographers when it comes to not getting in each others way to capture the same moment?
HAIR & MAKE UP
Do you have a minimum amount of people or dollar amount you require to book?
Can I see examples of your work?
Airbrush makeup - do you offer it, why do you recommend or not recommend, and does it photograph any different?
Do you charge for trials? When is best to schedule a trial?
Do you provide a timeline for the day of when it comes to start time & how long each person's application takes?
What extra stuff do I need to bring on the day of - certain hairpins, foundation color, etc.
Can you provide me with any extra product after the initial applications for touch up throughout my wedding?
Let's talk servings! What size do you recommend to feed # of people?
How do I know what style to choose?
Do you recommend a groom's cake?
Can you provide other desserts?
Do people still save & freeze the top? Are you able to make a fresh one instead on the anniversary?
How do we schedule a tasting and is there a cost?
Do you deliver and set the cake up?
How many sets do you play and how many breaks do you take?
Can you DJ during the breaks?
Do you emcee - for introductions, dances, etc.? Can you provide a microphone for toasts?
What is the typical ceremony script and how can we customize it?
Do you take care of mailing the marriage license afterwards?
Do you attend the rehearsal?
So from a planner's eye, you have a bird's eye view over what we are thinking and now we don't even have to say it. You can always check out our preferred vendors! Please feel free to comment any useful questions you have asked and had success with when it comes to establishing your wedding day vendors.