10 Questions You Didn't Know To Ask

Unless it’s a diamond necklace or a brand new car, surprises are rarely welcome on your wedding day. To prevent any deer-in-headlight stares or tears the day-of, here are 10 questions you need to ask.

1. What staff will be present?
You’ve secured your caterer, florist and photographer, but there’s probably some staff you forgot to ask about. For instance, bathroom attendants. After the tequila starts flowing and the lights go down, your female guests will flock to the washroom in carefully curated groups, so having someone who regularly maintains them throughout the event is so important. If you’re celebrating at a large venue with multiple events, make sure staff will greet your guests and direct them to the appropriate ballroom.

2. Will I own the photos?
Ask your photographer who will own the rights to the photos after your wedding day. On top of a service fee, some photographers will require the bride and groom to buy the images for an additional cost.

3. Do you charge overtime fees?
Ask all of your creative partners if they charge an overtime fee. If your party goes two hours over the scheduled end time, you can rack up some serious overtime fees between your DJ, catering staff, photographer and lighting crew. That’s a huge amount, so if there are charges be sure to pull the plug on time.

4. What's your specialty?
Ask your photographer, florist, baker and caterer what their specialty is. If you’re looking for a wedding cake made entirely from fondant flowers, but the baker only works with fresh blooms, move on. As much as you may love their work, you don’t want to be the guinea pig.

5. Where is the food coming from?
It’s so important to know exactly where your food is coming from. Are your eggs from pasture-raised hens in Pennsylvania, your fish farmed or wild, frozen or fresh? Knowing exactly what you’re eating will greatly determine the taste and quality.

6. Will my wedding be the only one on-site?
Take it from someone who has worked in the event industry… if a venue has five ballrooms, management will try their absolute hardest to fill all five ballrooms on any given day. If you have your hopes set on being the only event in that venue on your wedding day, ask in advance and re-think your options if it’s not a possibility.

7. What lighting features do you offer?
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. Lighting can change the entire feel of your event, so make sure you give enough attention to it! Ask about the venue's lighting capabilities and if they would be willing to install dimmer switches if they haven’t already.  Keep in mind that whatever you don't light up will fall into the darkness once the sun sets.  At the very least, use candles generously. They make everyone look young and fabulous.

8. What can I borrow?
Ask creative partners if they have props or items that could alleviate your expenses. Ask the DJ and photographer if they have props, the cake baker for a topper, caterer for linens, limo driver for endless amounts of champagne…. Kidding on that last one (kind of). 

9. Can I see previous work?
Ask to see creative partners' previous work, and not just their best work they initially present to you. After viewing their portfolios, ask if they have any additional photos they can show you. Ask about testimonials and if you can speak to any previous clients. It's also perfectly acceptable to stalk their work on Google, but remember to take online reviews with a grain of salt.

10. What will staff wear?
Make sure you know exactly what your DJ, catering staff, bartenders and driver will be wearing on your wedding day. Make sure the look is cohesive and subtle. Hint: black will never go out of style. 

Remember: if you don’t ask, you don’t get! Don't be afriad to politely ask bold questions and get as much information as possible. You'll be happy you did in the long run.

--Keely-Shea Smith

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