Must-Ask Questions for Wedding Vendors

It takes a lot of time and research to find the perfect wedding vendors that suit your needs and can make your wedding visions come to life. Wedding vendor searches typically start online, but you will need to reach out to get all your questions answered. Make sure you don’t miss these must-ask questions for wedding vendors before you sign a contract.


All wedding searches should start with finding your event venue space because most of your other decisions will stem from this one. Check out my wedding vendor checklist if you need help on where to start with your wedding vendor search. First, you will need to settle on a date and a rough estimate of the number of guests you are having. Look for venues by searching online at places like or by joining a local bride group on social media. I recommend narrowing your search down to no more than five places you might want to look at in person.

Questions for wedding vendors: Venue

When possible, it is important to visit these venues and see them with your own eyes. Photos online won’t give you the full idea of what it looks like and visiting will give you an idea of how the day will flow. Make note of where you will get dressed, where the ceremony will be, how guests will make their way to the reception, etc. Ideally, visit during the season that you might want to get married so you can see everything how it will look on your wedding day.

Choose a venue on what feels right to you, but also consider your guests’ experience. If you have a lot of older guests, don’t make them walk up 100+ steps. If you want to get married in Florida in the summer outside, look for a venue that offers a lot more shade. A venue helps set the overall tone for your wedding, so take your time in finding the spot that is perfect for you.

Venue Questions:

  • Are you available on my selected wedding date? I recommend having two options.
  • What is the seating capacity?
  • What all is included in your package? Food, bartenders, chairs, tables, etc.
  • Are there any hidden fees?
  • Can you walk me through how weddings typically flow at this venue?
  • Where do the bride and groom get ready?
  • How do you handle rain plans?
  • What does a general timeline look like? When can we start decorating and when do we need to be out of there?
  • Are there any limits on decorations? Can we hang decor on the walls and ceilings?
  • Where do guests park?
  • Do you have wheelchair accessibility?
  • Do you have preferred vendors or will you work with anyone? Do you require any permits or proof of insurance?
  • What are the next steps? When are payments due?
  • When is a final head count needed?
  • What is your cancellation policy?


After you find a venue, securing a photographer is likely the next to do on your checklist. Finding the right photographer is essential for a wedding day. Twenty-five years from now you likely won’t remember what you ate or the music that was played, but you will have your photographs to look back on forever. I strongly recommend budgeting accordingly for a professional photographer as they are the ones that will capture the memories of the day.

When looking for a photographer, it is important to find someone that is easy to interact with and that you just “click”. You want someone that can make you and your significant other feel comfortable in front of the camera and can give you easy direction. Often photographers will offer a free engagement photo session with their packages as a way to get to know you before the big day. Definitely take advantage of this opportunity so you can all get comfortable with each other.

Your venue will likely have a list of photographers in the area that they have worked with previously. The benefit to using one of their recommended photographers is that they are already familiar with the area. They won’t waste precious time on your day looking for a spot to take photos, but will already have the best areas picked out.

Photographer Questions:

  • Are you available on my selected wedding date?
  • What is the cost of different packages you offer? What is all included?
  • Are there any hidden fees?
  • Are engagement photos included in your package?
  • How would you describe your photography style?
  • Will you have an assistant on our wedding day?
  • Will you help us develop a shot list and timeline? Can you describe your process?
  • Have you shot any weddings at this venue before? Ask to see examples!
  • How long will it take to turn around photos? How will you deliver them?
  • What are the next steps? When are payments due?
  • What is your cancellation policy?


Besides a photographer, I recommend budgeting for a day-of coordinator. Wedding planners have a variety of services in how involved they can be during the wedding planning process from being all-inclusive to just being there day-of. They are there to handle everything that can go wrong so you don’t have to worry about it. Coordinators can be expensive, but they are worth every penny!

For my day-of coordinator, we started off with an initial call to just get an idea of the type of wedding we were planning and how she could be most helpful. Things ramped up about a month before our wedding where she participated in a zoom call and responded to emails between myself and our venue. While we were in town for a food tasting appointment, she joined us at the venue for a walkthrough to understand the layout for both the ceremony and reception. Additionally, she coordinated our ceremony rehearsal and everything on our wedding day.

Coordinator Questions:

  • Are you available on my selected wedding date?
  • What level of services do you provide? What all is included?
  • How long have you been coordinating weddings?
  • Will you be available for questions during the planning process?
  • How many pre-wedding meetings are included?
  • Have you worked at our venue before?
  • What are some of your favorite vendors to work with?
  • Will you help us develop a day-of timeline?
  • How do you handle when things go wrong?
  • Will it just be you or do you work with an assistant?
  • Will you be available to help with the rehearsal and ceremony logistics?
  • What are the next steps? When are payments due?
  • What is your cancellation policy?

DJ or Band

Whether you want a classical string quartet or fist pumping rave music, a DJ or band can help create that perfect vibe for your wedding day. You are certainly not required to have a DJ at all, but I do recommend background music of some kind. At my dad’s wedding, I created multiple different playlists for cocktail hour/dinner and dancing that we just played off of an iPod.

Figure out what sort of music you want for your venue to help narrow down your search. Do you see your guests dancing all night or are you having a quieter morning wedding and brunch? Do you want to hear popular music or do you prefer the live performance of a band?

Questions for wedding vendors: DJ

The most important thing is to look for a DJ that will collaborate with you. You want a DJ that doesn’t just play what they want, but instead takes your tastes into consideration and then builds on that. My DJ Robby, from A Bride’s DJ in Asheville, was absolutely amazing and helped create the perfect playlist for our wedding. I absolutely love pop songs and oldies, while my husband is all about EDM and techno music. Find a DJ that can blend your styles and match it with some crowd pleasers to make an unforgettable night.

DJ & Band Questions:

  • Are you available for my selected wedding date?
  • What is the cost of your package? Do you include any sort of uplighting options?
  • Will you play for the ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception?
  • What is your favorite style of music? What songs do you perform?
  • Can you provide a microphone for wedding speeches?
  • Can we give you a list of must hear songs or a do not play list?
  • How will you handle special requests from guests?
  • If hiring a band, how often do you need breaks? How do you handle breaks? Should we arrange to have other music played during that time?
  • How would you handle if no one dances?
  • What do you do if it rains?
  • What are the next steps? When are payments due?
  • What is your cancellation policy?


Florals are another part of wedding decor that absolutely aren’t necessary but are an easy way to brighten up a space and make it beautiful. I found that the only way to get an accurate quote for florals was to have a general sense of exactly what I wanted. This included knowing roughly how many centerpieces, how many bouquets, ceremony decorations, etc. Browse Pinterest for some ideas on what type of florals you are looking for so you can bring examples to your potential florist.

Flowers are not cheap; so work with your florist on how you can stay within your budget. We were able to cut back on flowers for the ceremony and the size of some bouquets to help cut costs. They might also suggest which flowers are in season or how you can use some greenery to cut costs.

Questions for wedding vendors: Florist

Florist Questions:

  • Are you available for my selected wedding date?
  • What all is included in the cost?
  • How can we maximize our budget and cut costs?
  • Can we recycle some florals from our ceremony to use during the reception?
  • What flowers do you recommend for the season of our wedding?
  • How do you handle day of logistics? How will bouquets and boutonnieres be delivered?
  • Will you be there for set up and clean up?
  • Do you supply other items like vases, table numbers, or candles?
  • Do you have any plans for leftover flowers? Can you donate them?
  • What are the next steps? When are payments due?
  • What is your cancellation policy?

Need other ideas for decorations? Check out my ultimate list for wedding decorations that make your wedding uniquely yours.


When picking a venue, consider if you will need to hire an additional caterer or if your venue has one included as part of their package. There is a lot of benefit to having a venue supplied caterer because they have everything they need on site already. If you have to hire a separate caterer, ask your venue if they have anyone they prefer to work with. This will guarantee a caterer that is already familiar with the kitchen area and how things will need to be set up.

Caterer Questions:

  • Are you available for my selected wedding dates?
  • How much will it cost? Is it a flat rate or charged per person?
  • Do you have a minimum cost requirement?
  • What types of meal service do you provide? Passed hors d’euovres, buffet, family style, etc.
  • What’s included in your package? Do you provide rentals for dishes, table clothes, flatware, etc.?
  • How many wait staff do you provide?
  • Do you offer menu tastings?
  • Are menus fixed or can we do a custom menu?
  • Have you worked at my venue before?
  • How will you prepare food day-of? Will you cook on site or bring in food?
  • How do you handle food allergies?
  • Can you provide to-go boxes?
  • When do you need a final head count?
  • What are the next steps? When are payments due?
  • What is your cancellation policy?


Nowadays, couples are opting for other dessert options over the traditional tiered wedding cake. For our wedding, we had an ice cream bar and a large assortment of cookies baked by family members. Other couples might opt to have a small cake for photos, but then slice and serve sheet cake. At my dad’s wedding, they just served a bunch of different flavors of cupcakes.

Again, use Pinterest for some inspiration on what type of cake or dessert style you might want. Bakeries might specialize in certain types of cakes, so make sure you find one that suits your needs.

Questions for wedding vendors: bakery

Bakery Questions:

  • Are you available for my selected wedding date?
  • Do you do custom cakes or create them from set designs?
  • What types of cakes do you specialize in? Do you prefer fondant or buttercream?
  • Which flavors and fillings do you offer? Can we do custom flavors?
  • What is included in the price? Are tastings included?
  • How will you deliver the cake to the venue?
  • Is there a cutting fee?
  • What is a general timeline? How far in advance do we need to order?
  • What are the next steps? When are payments due?
  • What is your cancellation policy?

I hope that helps you prepare for hiring all your perfect wedding vendors. Drop the names of some of your favorite wedding vendors in the comments!

Wedding Photography Credit: Asheville Wedding Photography

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