Hiring the right team is critical to planning your dream wedding, and it can also be quite stressful.

Some of the many questions that you might have include: How do you find the right match for you?  How do you know who to trust?  Where do you go for advice?

First of all, this is not an easy task and it’s totally normal if you feel overwhelmed, frustrated or confused.

It’s not like you plan a wedding every day!  This is all probably brand new to you, so be patient with yourself.

Let’s start with the first question: How do you pick the wedding vendors who are right for YOU?

First of all, STYLE, PERSONALITY, and PROFESSIONALISM are the biggest things to look for.  You want to hire vendors who your guests will feel comfortable with, because the more comfortable your guests are the more FUN they will have. Each vendor should also match the style and the vision that you have in mind for your wedding.

Here are 8 Must Ask Questions to ask ALL your potential wedding professionals before booking:

How many weddings do you do per year? How much experience do you have?

There are two extremely important questions.  Ideally, your wedding professional should have lots of experience specifically with weddings.  Not only does this make them more skilled in their craft, but this also makes them a valuable source of information. It ensures that your wedding day goes smoothly.

How much do you charge?

Price is often relative, especially when you factor in experience, reputation and expertise. Generally, the most talented professionals have a higher price tag because they are worth it.

How much is the deposit?

This question is pretty straightforward. The deposit amounts vary wildly depending on the overall cost of the services you’re purchasing.

What specifically is included in that cost?

Because packages often vary, it’s likely that you won’t be able to compare one vendor exactly to the next without doing a little figuring.  Keep in mind that the lowest cost isn’t necessarily the best deal; some higher quotes include services that you have to pay extra for in other packages.  Make sure you take this into account.

What happens if I cancel? What happens if you cancel?

Find out if your deposit is refundable under any conditions.  Does the wedding professional have a back up plan if something happens to them? This is important, since you might be stuck without the crucial services that you paid for if they do not have a plan in place.

Do you use a contract?

If the answer is, “No,” RUN!  A contract is designed to protect both you and the wedding professional.  Don’t settle for a verbal agreement that won’t hold up in court.

Are there any additional fees?

Taxes, service charges and travel fees can add up quickly.  Make sure that you understand exactly what is included and if there are any other fees that you’ll have to pay.  This should be clearly defined in your contract.

Do you carry liability insurance?

The answer you’re looking for here is, “Yes.”  This protects you in case an unfortunate accident should occur on your wedding day.  It’s also a sign that you’re dealing with a reputable business, since most “fly by night” operations don’t invest in insurance.

One final bit of advice: READ YOUR CONTRACT.  Make sure you understand everything that’s written and ask questions if you don’t.

There IS no stupid question, except for the one you don’t ask.  Make sure you know the price as well as cancellation and refund policies.

Lastly, GO WITH YOUR GUT.

If something feels “off” about the wedding vendor, then you’re probably right. Make sure you feel comfortable with him or her.

Remember: if chosen wisely, the right wedding vendors will give you expert help and advice on every aspect of your wedding…for free!