Never Ask Your Wedding Vendor These Questions (Ask These Instead)
Chances are, your wedding is once-in-a-lifetime event. Among other things, that means you probably aren't an expert at talking to wedding vendors. Dealing with wedding vendors may seem no different from dealing with any other business, but often, your wedding vendor isn't just a business. They're an entrepreneur, and quite possibly the only employee of their business. Their wedding craft isn't just a job to them; it's their passion and their art.
It's easy get caught up with all the details of planning and forget that you're not dealing with corporations—you're dealing with artists. And because they're artists, there's just some things you should never ask your wedding vendor.
5. Never Ask Your Wedding Vendor: Why Do You Charge So Much?
What You Should Ask: Can You Break Down Your Price and the Benefits for Me?
(Another variation of this question is: Why does so-and-so charges less than you?)
Wedding usually come around about once a lifetime, so it makes sense that you’re unfamiliar with what vendors charge and why they charge it. If you find yourself facing sticker shock, asking “why” is probably your gut reaction, but it’s not the most productive.
Instead of asking your wedding vendor, “Why,” ask them to break down the price for you into digestible pieces. This way, not only do you get a complete explanation of the cost, you get a better idea of the benefits that come with booking that particular vendor. Especially if you have a cheaper quote from another vendor, this will give you a better reference for comparing them and making the best decision for your needs.
You can’t compare vendor’s packages just based on their price. More experienced vendors will cost more, and vendors that offer more services will, too. That other vendor may be getting away with lower price because they’re cutting corners, using cheaper materials, or aren’t running a licensed or insured business.
4. Never Ask Your Wedding Vendor: What Happens If You Mess Up?
What You Should Ask: May I Have a Copy of Your Contract to Review?
(Another variation of this question is: Can I trust you?)
A good vendor has thought of everything that can go wrong, including some things you didn’t know could go wrong. And that vendor has them all written down along with their solutions. Reading through an experienced vendor’s contract should answer all of your questions regarding “what ifs.”
So if you’re having trouble trusting part of your day to a stranger, ask for their contract. Read through it and make notes. Ask for clarification if you need it. But instead of spending your time with them asking about those “what ifs,” spend it finding out if your personalities click.
3. Never Ask Your Wedding Vendor: Can’t I Just DIY That?
What You Should Ask: What Are the Benefits of Hiring You Instead of DIYing It?
(Another variation of this question is: This looks like something I/my cousin/my dog could do!)
Well, technically, yes. You can *try* to DIY anything you want. But vendors get into the business because they know how to do it cheaper, faster, and better quality. The best vendors make it look easy, which might make you think it would be easy for you, too.
Before deciding to DIY something, you need to find out just what it’s going to take. What materials, equipment, tools, and time will you need to invest? Your prospective vendor can tell you this, and may have a story or two of couples who learned the hard way they couldn’t DIY it.
That’s not to bash DIY. If you are really crafty, have the time and the money to invest, and are really dedicated, then it might be a great fit for you. In this case, ask your prospective vendor for advice (and be upfront about wanting to DIY), but also ask if they can sell you any materials, rent any equipment, or have any good DIY blog posts, or even if they teach a class. If you show that you appreciate their talent, they’ll be happy to help!
2. Never Ask Your Wedding Vendor: Can You Help With My “Family Reunion”/“Party”/“Generic Function”?
What You Should Ask: Would We Be Able to Book Our Casual Wedding at Your Party Price?
(Another variation of this question is: Why do you upcharge for weddings?)
A lot of budget wedding blogs or forums give the advice to pretend you’re planning a family reunion or some other non-wedding function to get a lower price.
Please, don’t do this.
I’m sure there are some vendors out there who upcharge simply for the word wedding. But in my time, I can’t say I’ve ever met one among the vendors I’ve connected and collaborated with. Most vendors do their best to keep prices competitive (weddings are an extremely saturated market), and they don’t actually take home all that much at the end of the day.
If your vendor does offer different prices for parties versus weddings, see question number 5; ask them for a breakdown. Find out what the differences between a “party” and a “wedding” are, and if you decide you don’t want the “wedding” extras, ask for the “party” package instead.
1. Never Ask Your Wedding Vendor: Can I Get a Discount?
What You Should Ask: I Love Your Work, But It’s Outside of Our Budget. Do You Offer a Smaller Package? How Can I Get the Most Out of My Budget?
(Another variation of this question is: Is that the best price you can give me?)
This is probably the most common advice I see blogs give: don’t be afraid to ask for a discount. It can’t hurt, right?
Do not ask your wedding vendor for a discount.
Personally, I wouldn’t want to work with someone who asked me for a discount on their wedding invitations, especially right out of the gate. It’s kind of a turn off. It also comes off as rude. It says that you don’t care about my work; you just want to get something cheap.
Vendors are artists. They’re also entrepreneurs, which means that weddings are their livelihood. Once they account for expenses and taxes, the money you pay them goes towards their mortgage, their groceries, or their child’s clothes. Imagine your boss asking you to do the same quality work for a lower salary just because they don’t want to pay you that much.
If, on the other hand, you really do want to work with that vendor to find a mutual price that works, tell them! Ask if there are items you can forgo or if there’s a way to include the detail you want, but in a different way that’s cheaper. Maybe there’s a flower that looks close enough, or you don’t need the DJ for the cocktail hour and the reception. Your vendor will help you think outside the box and find the right package so you can book them and they can still make a living.
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