You’re engaged! Congratulations! The initial rush of the engagement quickly makes way to the excitement of planning the details of your big day. From florist to photographer, most wedding planning guides outline who you should be talking to and when, but knowing what to ask them can be just as important. When you meet with your vendors, make sure you include these vital questions.

To 10 Questions to Ask Every Vendor

  1. How long have you been in business? Decide whether you want to work with an up-and-coming business or an old pro that has seen it all and has connections throughout the industry. A younger professional might add a lot of creativity and fresh ideas, but talk through your ideas and service delivery expectations beforehand, and develop a plan together.
  2. Can you share references? Almost every vendor has a list of their most satisfied customers. Be sure to scan referral and social media sites for customer reviews as well. If anything stands out online, be sure to bring up questions or concerns when you meet with the vendor.
  3. Do you have business insurance? Your vendors should be licensed in their respective field, and have business insurance that will cover them in case something goes awry leading up to the big day.
  4. What is your payment structure? As you start budgeting for your wedding, you will want to track expenses and understand payment terms. You will want to know if payment is expected up front or if you will be billed later, and what type of payments they accept. For larger expenses, you may want to see if the vendor will allow you to make payments, or negotiate a more favorable deal for early payment.
  5. What services are included in the cost? Read the fine print – will your venue supply tables and chairs? Who will be responsible for set up and tear down? Will linens rental be an extra charge? Your vendors should be able to supply a list of included services, but also a list of things that are not covered by their fee.
  6. Is our wedding date available? One of the most important questions to ask is whether the vendor is available the day of your wedding. Set clear expectations: do you need the vendor for a full day, or a partial day? Will they be booking several appointments the same day as your wedding, or will they be reserving the entire day for your event?
  7. Do you have a dedicated contact the day of the event? Wedding days get a little hectic, and most wedding planners will tell you that something unexpected always seems to come up. If you must revise plans at the last minute, who is the best contact? Many brides find it helpful to type a list of important contacts and print it for the maid of honor and best man so there is no confusion on the day of the event.
  8. Do you have weather contingency arrangements in place? Do you have your heart set on an outdoor wedding? If so, do you have an alternate location planned in case adverse weather pops up? Make sure you have a good idea about what will happen if something doesn’t go as planned.
  9. When do you need to know the size of the guest list? The size of the guest list is important for almost every aspect of the wedding plan. Whether planning for food, beverage, venue or florist, your vendors will need a good idea of how many people will attend the wedding so they can accurately order the supplies they will need.
  10. What are your technical needs? Does your venue supply an on-site technician to assist? Many wedding vendors will need to plug in or recharge equipment. Make sure there are outlets available that carry the correct electrical wattage necessary for peak performance.

With proper planning, your wedding day can be the magical event that you have always dreamed about. Asking questions early is a great way to ensure you plan for and have the best experience possible. Be sure to contact your Farm Bureau agent to plan for life after the “I Dos” too! Your agent will be able to help you secure a strong financial future for all of life’s big moments.