How to Choose a Wedding Professional by Asking Only 4 Questions
Happy Beginnings & Engagements.
A blog series to help every couple on their adventure to marriage.
Even if Budget is a factor.
As a bride you have a lot on your plate. You have your every day life. You have your work life. To top all that off, you have a wedding to plan.
You may not have an issue with your wedding budget. You may have a very slim and tight budget. Either option, you believe you deserve a great quality. You don't want to hire a vendor and have them deliver false promises. You are more than their pay check. You are a person and you have wedding memories.
Most of the brides that I see online today ask the simple questions, "How do I know who to choose for my wedding day?" If you haven't thought about a wedding planner, you might want to reconsider, but that is for another post.
If you are new to the engagement world, I am here with 4 Questions on how to choose a wedding professional. You can ask any vendor for your wedding these.
As I said at the start, you might have a tight budget, you might have a more relaxed budget. So first is to decide what that number is. Then you need to divide that into a few categories. Bride, Groom, Getting Ready, Ceremony, and Reception. Those categories have subcategories. Things like caterer, venue, church, photographer, and so on.
Knowing these numbers helps filter which vendors you can or can't meet with. Find out their starting price and then set up appointments if they are in your price range.
The Harsh Truth.
I'm sorry to be the one to tell you this but, anyone can call themselves a professional. There is no website, committee, school, or leader that hands out certificates for actual "professionals". Most websites and companies are out for money. So any non-professional can pay, and look like a professional.
Example: You can have a brand new DJ, calling them selves an experienced professional. For all you know they have only done 3 weddings, have several booked, and have DJ-ed a few birthday parties.
Are you asking, "How can you tell the difference between professional and a faux-fessional?"
It comes down to these 4 important questions. These will expose the "claimed professionals". Remember your wedding is about quality not quantity. Getting a "sale" or "special price" may be hiding some scary truths.
4 Questions to ask any wedding vendor/venue.
Can we set up a time to meet in person?
This should be your number one questions right off the bat. When talking to someone in person, you get to read their body languish. You can hear if they are telling you what you want to hear, or what they believe.
Asking a questions through text or email is bad. Hear me out. They could easily copy and paste an answer. You wouldn't know if it was their business or if it's from someone else's answers.
Would you hire someone if you were sitting at a coffee, and they were reading answers off note cards?
And remember, don't be afraid of putting someone on the spot. This is your wedding, this is your money.
If you and they aren't able to meet in person, set up a 30min phone call. Again, talking to them live will reveal so much. I am asked so many questions, and I'm not afraid of anything. I welcome the new questions I haven't yet answered for clients.
Are you a registered business or person?
What happens if you are not satisfied with the quality or service that you receive, who do you tell? What would you do if you hired a “faux-fessional" who took your money, but didn't show up to the event? Facebook review them? They remove that feature. Complain to other professional? They have other brides to work with. If they are not registered, they are not held responsible for their business.
A quality business will protect the company, themselves, and you. Be smart on your choices.
If you ask and they say no, Why? Why are they not registered as a professional business? It costs near pennies to become registered. (I think a $25 processing fee depending on state requirements.)
Do they respond, "Because I don't need to be registered in this state". Danger. Danger. Red Flag. Run. No matter if you like the quality or price.
Perfect example. a best friend choose a photographer, who wasn't registered. She sent a deposit, but did not get a contract or receipt. 3 months before the wedding she wants a meeting with her the planner and the photographer. He tells her that he never agreed to photograph the wedding. He accepted another higher payed event to attend. She was up poop creek.
Do you have a professional Website, not just Facebook?
Did you know social media could freeze all business pages and say we have to pay to be on their network? Not only that but a website can be reported to the BBB. so a company is more apt to being professional. They will work a little harder to hold their reputation.
If the pro you like has a website. Go digging. Read everything. Do they have spelling errors? grammatical errors? Is it up to date? Do they have review? are they recent? Do they have updated photos? Do the page look like basic text or is it super nice looking?
A business's website is like a store, or a nice outfit. The website should look professional as if meeting them for a coffee.
Oregon district coffee press shop
Do you have weddings/brides/and fellow professional to reference your quality?
If you do not ask for references, or simply read their reviews, this is your own fault. "faux-fessional" don't typically like review because they don't want any bad ones. No one does, but if there is a bad one, why? how did they fix it? could they fix it or was it out of their control?
If you can’t find reviews, ask them where they are? If they say "let me check with them first", great! Respond with "please do, I need to speak with references before making my final decision". Again, don't worry about hurting their feelings. They are running a business. They want your money. You deserve a quality professional who stands behind their company. Again I am proud of every review I have ever received from my brides, grooms, and all their family members.
Yes, everyone starts some where. But running a shady business from the start is not beneficial for anyone.
How can someone learn if they have never failed, or haven't done their research?
I took a risk on my dj who wanted to do weddings but only did the bar scene. He turned out to be amazing and I was a happy bride. Now my photographer, I made sure to hire quality. I eliminated anyone who was under 3 years in business.
It's Your Wedding
The world of wedding professionals is getting cluttered. Faux-fessionals are bad businesses with good equipment.
I don't usually say this, but don't be afraid to go a little outside your budget for a quality vendor. Going an extra $300 could be the difference between a true professional, and a wolf. Someone who has the confidence and quality versus inexperience and disrespect.
Look past the bells and whistles and fluff. Look deep into their work, and even consider reading their contract in full detail. you might panic that they told you one thing, but the contract says something very different!
Best Wishes and happy interview.
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Keywords: 4 questions, a, ask, faux-fessional, professional, questions, to, wedding, wedding professional
Joe Testa, You are correct. I have been finding more and more professional who are what I nick name as Faux-fessionals. I truly believe that if we "true professional" share the knowledgeable power with our clients, they feel confident in their decision to choose us, or at the least take a moment to stop and think about their decision it makes their life easier.
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