In the final days leading up to your “I dos,” it’s easy to get swept up in the flurry of excitement that is your wedding day. However, you still want to stay on top of all the logistics and important tasks so that your months of planning all goes according to plan. Of course, delegating tasks like creating an emergency kit and arranging for wedding gifts to be taken home to the maid of honor and best man will help immensely, but what about coordinating with the vendors you’ve hired? Make sure everything goes smoothly by asking your wedding vendors these last-minute questions before your wedding day.
1. What is the total amount owed and when is it due?
An important question to keep things on track, knowing exactly how much you owe each vendor and when each payment is due is absolutely crucial. Every vendor will probably have a different policy on how many payments they’ll require (for example, a deposit was due when you signed the contract, then another payment a month before the wedding, then another immediately after the wedding). Ideally you will have organized this information in a way that makes it easy for you to pay everyone, but it’s always a good habit to ask each vendor you’ve hired what the outstanding balance is and when they expect to be paid. Double check their responses with what you’ve already paid and the agreed-upon amount from the contract. Be sure to ask about any additional charges, such as overtime fees, so that you aren’t hit with surprise costs after the fact!
Photo Credit: Top Wedding Sites
2. Can you give me the contact information for the best point of contact on my wedding day?
Sometimes the person you’ve been working with isn’t going to be the person who is actually present at your wedding. Find out who the best point of contact is for your big day and get all the important contact details, including their phone number, cell phone number and email address. Compile all of your vendor contact information in one area to hand off to your maid of honor and best man so that they can be in charge of handling vendor issues on your wedding day.
3. Do you have all the equipment and supplies needed? What are you missing?
Maybe you asked for a specific type of flower for your bridesmaids’ bouquets, or maybe you ordered a certain brand of liquor for your bar. Whatever it is, make sure that your vendors have everything you’ve asked for. If it turns out that what you’ve chosen is unavailable, find out what the alternatives they’ve come up with are and what the price difference is. In addition to actual supplies, some vendors might require equipment to be set up at your venue. For example, your caterer might need a way to heat things up or keep things cold, or your band might need speakers and power cords. Go over everything they need that they aren’t able to provide themselves and make sure your venue is able to accommodate their needs.
4. Ask your photographer: How long will photos take and am I missing anything on my shot list?
Many brides like to put together their own versions of a shot list based on images they’ve seen online or specific VIPs that are coming to their weddings. After you given your photographer a chance to review it, ask if they think you’ve missed any must-have shots and approximately how long they think all these photos will take. Having his honest and professional feedback will have a huge impact on your wedding day timeline and schedule.
Photo Credit: Brita Photography
5. Ask your officiant: How long will the ceremony be?
Based on the content you’ve selected for your ceremony (readings, vows, songs, etc.), your officiant will have a general idea of how long the ceremony will last. Ask her how long she thinks you should allow for the ceremony itself so that you can allocate time as needed on your programs and in your overall wedding day timeline. This is also helpful information to relay to other vendors, such as your wedding photographer, your transportation company, your venue and your caterer.
6. Ask your venue: What time can everyone start setting up?
Some venues will allow you to start setting up the day before, while others might have a strict time restraint. Check with your venue to see when you can start bringing things in and when other vendors can start setting their equipment up. Be sure to relay this information to your other vendors so that they can get things set up and ready to go as early as possible.
Photo Credit: Howard Johnson
7. Ask your florist: Do you have a sample arrangement I can see?
Whether you’ve chosen a simple hand-tied bouquet or an elaborate floral arch, you want to make sure that your florist is able to bring your dreams to reality. Asking to see a sample arrangement will show you whether your flowers will be what you imagined. In the final days leading up to the wedding your florist should be able to show you a sample, and if it’s not what you expected, you still have time to make adjustments.
8. Ask your caterer: How long will dinner take, from the first guest served to the final dish cleared?
Knowing how long dinner is going to take, from the first plate served to the final plate cleaned up will dictate the timing of your reception. This entire process, plus the time it takes for guests to actually eat, will give you an idea of when your band or DJ can start playing more music, when the toasts can be made and when the cake can be cut.
Photo Credit: Matthews House
Staying on top of logistical items like these will help you stay calm in the final hours before your wedding. Ask your vendors these important questions so that you feel confident in your planning and timeline for the happiest day of your life. If you have any doubts or concerns, speak up and ask your vendors – they’ll be more than happy to clarify anything for you so that you can feel at ease.