It is likely that you have spoken to more than one wedding supplier this year via Zoom or Facetime rather than meeting them in person at a wedding show or visiting their boutique or studio.
While this is very 2020, it is more than likely going to become part of the new normal for weddings, even after the pandemic as it can save time while also embracing new forms of technology.
With this in mind, it is important that you ask all the right questions during your virtual wedding supplier meeting to decide whether they are the right supplier for you.
Here are seven questions that you should ask every supplier during your virtual meeting, presuming that you have already established that they can do your date:
- Ask about them; how they got into their field of work, what they love about it and whether they have won any awards? Ask to read any customer testimonials.
- Ask to see examples of their work – this could be photos or for some suppliers they should be able to show you actual items i.e. cake, stationery and dresses.
- Ask what they think of your vision (this could be a Pinterest board for example) to establish if they “get you”. Is there anything they would add or change?
- Ask more about their team, and how many weddings they will be doing that week or day.
- Ask how long it will take to make or do the work? What is the process from start to finish? This way you will know if you have enough time.
- Ask about the prices for your vision and what are the payment terms? Ask to see their full terms and conditions.
- Ask practical COVID related questions. What is their plan B if they get ill? What does their insurance say? And what happens if you need to postpone?
We have talked with some industry experts to find out the key questions to ask over and above the basics to help you plan your wedding.
What to Ask Your Venue in a Zoom Meeting
Many venues are offering virtual tours right now, and if they are COVID secure they may give you the opportunity to look around while social distancing. If the latter is out of the question, you will need to ask all the right questions during the virtual tour, so you won’t need to re-do the call.
America Brewer from Oastbrook Estate, a vineyard wedding venue in East Sussex, shares the important questions to consider: “Of course, the starting point is date availability but there is so much more you should ask. For example, will you get exclusive use of the venue and for how long, especially if you are staying the night there? We also suggest asking how many weddings the venue does every year as this may impact yours – we aim to do 10-15 a year meaning we have the time for every couple in the planning and set up stage.
“With the current rules on fewer guests, ask about connectivity and wi-fi as you may want to add a screen so other guests can message you or the day be live streamed. Using local suppliers and being sustainable is also important so do take the time to ask about the venues policy and ethos.”
Read more: 14 key questions to ask your wedding venue
What to Ask Your Photographer Over FaceTime
A virtual meeting with a photographer is maybe more straightforward as they can send you examples of their work or show it to you on screen.
Louie Donovan, based in Ruislip, Middlesex suggests asking “Will they use a second photographer or ‘shooter’ on the day as this person can capture even more moments throughout.
“As the photographer is so important to the day, I would also suggest asking about the back-up plan if they get ill – for example I am a member of the Societies of Photographers (SWPP) which means if something happened to me, someone else would step in.”
Questions for Your Wedding Planner in Your Virtual Meeting
If you are looking for a wedding planner, you will need to find out more about their past weddings; what worked and what didn’t.
Sara Bertie from Peony and Lace Weddings advises, “Ask your potential planner what their most challenging wedding has been and why, and more importantly what did they do to overcome any issues.
“It is also a good idea to establish if they have worked at the venue and whether they will book your suppliers for you (saving you loads of work) as this will be a great help for your wedding.”
Read more: Key questions to ask your wedding planner
What to Ask Your Cake Maker in a Virtual Meeting
You may think a cake consultation needs to be in person so you can taste the product, but Kate Tynan from Little Button Bakery shares how you can find your perfect cake maker without this.
She advises, “It is important to establish how much cake is needed taking into consideration your guest numbers and anyone you may want to send it to, who cannot be there due to the current restrictions.
“Now is the time to also establish the delivery and set up details, and whether you will be decorating it or if you want us to.
“Those are the practical questions but don’t forget to discuss your favourite flavour combinations and to arrange to get a taster box sent out to you before you decide on the final cake. Finally make sure your cake maker has all the right insurance and certificates.”
Virtual Meeting Questions for Your Wedding Stylist
A virtual meeting with a stylist in some ways is easier as you are likely to have a Pinterest board to share with them as a starting point.
Stacey Hartley from To Be Revealed Styling feels you should ask “about all the different packages stylists provide, from hiring out props to total set up on the day. The most important thing to discuss though is your vision – ask them to build on it to get an idea of their skills.”
Read more: How to style an outdoor wedding
What to Ask Your Bridal Boutique on Zoom
Of course, you will want to try on wedding dresses with your bridal party there, but it may be worth having a virtual meeting first. This will help you see whether they have the right designs for you and may help you shortlist for the actual visit.
Stephanie Moran Couture based in Tadcaster, North Yorkshire suggests, “Ask the boutique owner or a member of staff to try on the dresses to show you all the different options on the virtual call.
“It is also worth asking about extras – do they make them and the timescales; such as alterations, accessories and veils. I design bespoke dresses for my brides so if you are doing this, it is also worth asking for more information about their timescales and how many amendments can be made to the design.”
Read more: What every bridal boutique wish you knew
What to Ask Your Wedding MUA or Hairdresser on FaceTime
Choosing a makeup artist or hairstylist is not easy without a trial, although most will be offering this right now. You may choose though to have a virtual call first before you book this.
Jenny Buckland, a makeup artist based in Buckinghamshire is used to virtual meetings as she has been teaching university students this way all year. Her advice is to ask: “What they will do to ensure that your makeup stays looking flawless all day, especially if you have to wear a mask for some of it. They should also be able to offer skincare advice for the lead up and how to manage any breakouts due to wearing masks.”
Whilst it’s important to use your virtual meetings to ask all the important questions, you should also establish if they are the right fit for you, whether you gel and share the same vision for your big day.
This is much easier in the flesh so make sure on the video call you take the time to chat about your wedding and what is important to you both to get a good feel of whether they are right for you. Remember it is not an interview; have a chat over cuppa or glass of wine to relax and enjoy it!
Now you know exactly what to ask, make sure you don’t forget these key things whilst planning your wedding!