Change of Wedding Plans? Ask Your Vendors These Questions

If you're planning a wedding during the coronavirus pandemic, you should ask your vendors these questions. Get the answers to couples' most pressing vendor questions here.

By Nikki Ridgway

table setting at wedding
Photo by Zola

Planning A Wedding During A Pandemic: Every wedding planning journey has its twists and turns. To make sure your path is as smooth as possible and to help you keep an eye out for tiny potholes and giant roadblocks, always follow the advice of your local health guidelines and the recommendations set forth by the CDC. The state of the pandemic can change quickly, but by staying informed, you can make it to your destination—wedded bliss—without a hitch.

One of the great treats and surprises of wedding planning is the relationships with your wedding vendors. From the florist to the photographer, these professionals know, love, and live weddings. And they’re rooting for a perfect day for you two. We hear from so many couples who miss their wedding crew after “I do,” and many who form lifelong friendships.

So, for couples facing postponing their big day, making the new date work for all vendors is a priority. Communication is key, so after figuring out the questions to ask (see below), get on the phone first then follow up over email. Lean on your existing relationship and remember why you loved their work in the first place. It can be easy to forget while rereading a dozen vendor contracts.

If you can all reset on a new date, amazing! Get ready to send change the dates so that your guests can start planning. But if you need to shuffle day-of timing or replace one vendor to secure another, then, well, that’s the new perfect plan. In all cases, the most important questions to ask now cover vendors’ availability, your budget, and day-of logistics.

What To Ask Your Wedding Vendors About Changing Your Wedding

Questions For Your Venues

Go in with realistic expectations. We’ve heard from couples who are rebooking a favorite venue for a weekday wedding, others who are pushing out a whole year, and some who are swapping the big event for an at-home celebration.

If you’re changing venues completely, remember to check the deposit and cancellation terms of your original contract. For existing venues, be sure to cover:

- “Do you have availability on XX/XX/XX or any weekend that month?”

- “Does the new date mean changes to inclusions from our original contract?”

- “How many weddings do you host in one day? Has this changed recently?” - “Is my deposit transferable to the new date?”

- “What is your weather contingency plan and can the indoor space accommodate all our guests?"

- “Can you adjust the site fee for a smaller wedding?”

Questions For Your Florist

Questions for your floral designer will vary by where you are in the planning process. Just getting started? You can rethink everything from seasonal availability to the scale of your arrangements. Nearer term dates may mean swapping themes, flowers, and display rentals. Cover the basics first, then check-in if the new date means adapting your floral design.

- “Are you available for our new wedding date of XX/XX/XX?”

- “Can I transfer my deposit to the new date?”

- “How far in advance will you be creating and delivery the bouquets and arrangements?”

- “Do you expect the same floral availability and pricing as on our original date?”

- [If you are postponing to a smaller celebration] “Can you work with my new budget?”

- “Is there any way to source my favorite flower even though it’s now out of season?”

- “Will you be available for a walk through at the new venue? Have you done any events here before”

- “Who is responsible for collecting rented items?”

Questions For Your Caterer

If your caterer was attached to your venue, ask them to reconfirm details of the menu and inclusions. Off-site caterers need more flexibility since they’re starting from scratch on food orders, equipment needs, and staffing. If they can’t work with you on the new date, don’t be afraid to ask for local recommendations, as well as these crucial questions:

- “Are you available on our new wedding date? If not, do you have any availability that month?”

- “Will you communicate price changes if the cost of ingredients goes up or down due to the new date?”

- “Will you be operating with the same number of staff as in the original contract?”

- “Will you be available for a walk through at the new venue? Have you done any events here before”

- “Who is responsible for collecting rented items?”

Questions For Your Band or DJ

We know that lots of couples look forward to the party as much as the ceremony—everyone you love on one dance floor! Ask for a call with your band, DJ, or other entertainers and have options in mind. Would a shorter set or smaller band work? How do you feel about a playlist during dinner?

Also, check availability with alternative entertainers from your shortlist, and ask for recommendations from your existing vendors. The essential questions should cover their availability and if the scope of work changes with the new date.

- “Are you available on XX/XX/XX and do you need to make any changes to our original contract?”

- “Will you be available for a walk-through at the new venue? Have you done any events here before?”

- “Who’s responsible for paying for pre-booked equipment rentals?”

- “Will you be in touch with the venue directly to check on AV options and noise limitations?”

Questions For Your Photographer

You’ve probably spent more time choosing a photographer than all your other vendors. From the Instagram deep dives and portfolio review to kick-off meetings and devising shot lists, it’s likely already one of your closest vendor relationships.

If you’re not already talking over text, get on the phone and figure out your next steps together. Are there dates that work for both of you, but mean losing the second photographer? Can they do the wedding day but not the rehearsal dinner? Go in with flexibility in mind and don’t forget to cover the basics, as well as quirks unique to wedding photography.

- “Are you available on XX/XX/XX?”

- “Does the new date mean any changes to our original agreement?”

- “Will you be available for a walk through at the new venue? Have you done any events here before?”

- “Is the deposit transferable?”

- “Will the new date impact our agreed shoot list?”

Rest assured that your wedding will be a gorgeous, love-filled affair no matter when or where it ultimately takes place. In the meantime, continue to reference information and updates from the CDC and WHO and consult your wedding planning team. Reach out to our customer support team—we are here to support however we can.

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