As you start contacting and booking your wedding vendors, you'll find that your email inbox becomes filled with one surprising thing: vendor questionnaires. Whether you're talking to a florist, photographer, planner, or officiant, it seems like every type of wedding vendor wants prospective clients to fill out a big-day questionnaire. When you're trying to book an entire team of pros, that can feel like a whole lot of paperwork. But, according to the vendors we spoke with, the questionnaire serves a far more important purpose than just gathering basic information. It's actually way for the professionals to get to know the couple and start building an idea of what their wedding day might look like.
Here, five reasons why filling out a wedding vendor's questionnaire is so important, and how your responses to these queries can impact the service you receive.
It's an easy way for vendors to get the basic info about your wedding.
Wedding photographer Larissa Cleveland sends out a general questionnaire to all new inquiries, which asks couples to specify logistics like their wedding date, location, number of guests, wedding planner, and more. She also asks them about their overall wedding plans and what drew them to her photography. "This sets the stage for me to be able to provide them with accurate pricing, and to assess whether we'll be a good fit stylistically," Cleveland says. As for getting to know her clients better and getting more detail, she usually leaves that for in-person meetings.
Some questionnaires offer a lot of room for personality.
Wedding planners and designers will often ask more in-depth questions about a couple's style at home, taste in fashion, what cultural elements they identify with, what kinds of books and art they like, and more. The simple exercise of sitting down as a couple and going through those details can be really helpful in determining what kind of wedding atmosphere would best suit them. This often comes across in the responses, allowing vendors to expand on certain details and brainstorm creative ideas with the couple.
Sometimes questionnaires lead to surprising outcomes.
Event designer Nicole Sillapere recently asked a bride to send a list of words describing things she liked and was surprised by the idea it sparked. Mixed in with a group of helpful adjectives, Sillapere spotted the word puppies. "Being a huge believer in puppy power, and knowing this was a really playful and open-minded couple, I decided to pitch the idea of a puppy room," Sillapere says. The couple loved the idea and Sillapere's design team ended up bringing in a photo booth full of puppies from a local shelter (along with a puppy caretaker). Needless to say, it was a huge hit that probably wouldn't have come about if it hadn't been for the instinct to ask questions.
Weddings should feel fully customized, and vendors need to know their clients in order to do that.
The best weddings are always the ones that reflect the spirit and energy of the couple. In order to get to that outcome, it's important for vendors to get to know their clients on a personal level. "Are they fun, silly, lighthearted, romantic, emotional, or shy?" Cleveland asks. "I want to capture their event in a way that shows their chemistry and love for each other in an authentic light, so getting to know them to some degree is really important to me."
Jotting down rough ideas at the start of the planning can help you formulate your priorities for your wedding.
Once you start wedding planning, you'll realize that keeping your top three priorities in check is crucial to keeping decision-making simple and quick. Though the questionnaires you receive may not ask what your top priorities are, you'll start to realize how each element ranks as you go through the vendors' questions. This is a really important step in the planning process, as your priorities are thing you'll want to come back to again and again.