Questions to ask vendors during first consultation?

posted 2 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 2
2428 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

For the photographers:

How long they will shoot for? Do you get a second shooter?

How long it will take to receive your photos? How many photos will you receive, edited or unedited?

Will you get them all on a disc or in an online gallery? Will they give you print release? When can you expect to see previews?

Will you get a photo book/album, prints, or an engagement shoot? (if those are things you’d like)

Post # 3
9859 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2014


Photographer: what’s included in the package, how many hours, how many shooters, turn around time for proofs, final edits, how do they back up their work, do they have backup equipment, what happens if they’re sick, how many weddings have you done, where did you go to school/what’s your training, how long have you been a photographer

DOC: what services are included, how many weddings have you done, how many weddings in a weekend, how long have you been doing this, what’s your background/training, how many hours day of, connections, references,

Post # 4
2791 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2015 - Walnut Hill Bed & Breakfast

Do they have a backup plan? What if they’re sick/in an accident… whatever. 

Post # 5
4965 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

stephncollins:  MOST IMPORTANT FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS – make sure your contract says that you have the rights to the photos and can print them out on your own. This is SO important. If they say no, no matter how great they are…. move along to the next one. 


Post # 6
273 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2025

stephncollins:  For my photographer, I asked to see their portfolio of edited and unedited photos (just to see how they’re coming up with all these gorgeous photos). Since we were getting a cutom album also, we negotiated an engagement session and guestbook also.

We asked the general questions: how long they’ll shoot for, how many people they bring, what requirements do they have (ie keep guests from getting in the way in the way). Also, consider your venue and see if the photographer feels comfortable with producing awesome pictures in that setting. My photographer is a lighting geek, which is perfect for my venue because it gets kinda dark inside!

For the DOC, I asked them to let me know what they would be responsible for doing and how many hours they will be present. I have a loooong day (around 15 hours), so I needed to make sure the DOC wasn’t charging by the hour or anything. Also, I gave her a list of things that were important to me (sticking to the timeline, paying off the vendors, setup of ceremony/cocktail/reception areas, etc) and asked how she would be able to help me with them. My DOC said she’d personally run over to the safeway to get ice if my bar service didn’t bring enough lol It’s kinda like being on the other side of a job interview 😀 

My top advice is to have an idea of where your wedding will be and the events of the day . This way you can ask the vendors specifics to your wedding, and you’ll be able to get a better sense of how they can be a part of the crew. Hope this helps!

Post # 7
8680 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

How many locations will they travel to? [some have limits of 1 or 2 locations]

Is a vendor meal required? [most have a meal in their contract, along with specific meal instructions]


Post # 9
941 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

stephncollins:  PPs have provided great questions. I always liked to ask how and why the vendor got into the business. This gives you some great insight into what they like about their job and their personality. You are going to spend a lot of time working closely with these people and trusting them with your wedding day – it should be someone you like. 

Post # 10
1532 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Ask the photographer about back-up equipment and back-up people. You want to know that he/he has at least considered what would happen if something goes wrong.

My favorite question to ask was if they knew my venue and if they had any suggestions for photo locations. This information was super valuable even if I didn’t like the photographer.

Ask to see albums they’ve created if that’s something you want to purchase from them. With some photographers I interviewed, they would get gorgeous shots, but their album composition was horrendous.

Ask what they’re gonna wear and if their lighting equipment is obtrusive. My sister’s photographer is a freaking genius, but I was not impressed that she looked like she was on safari and had her assistants drag umbrella lights onto the dance floor. I’ll trade a little bit of genius for some professionalism.

Ask where she/he will be during your ceremony. Asking that question made me realize I really wanted two photographers. (If that’s something you want – ask how the second photographer is chosen)

Some brides spend more time with their photographer than their groom on the wedding day (if you get a package with lots of hours) so make sure you like him or her! But I mean – the most important thing is to look at the pictures. You need to love the product.

I didn’t have a DOC so I can’t help you there.

Post # 11
19 posts

Make sure you ask your photographer these 15 questions: [link removed per self promotion policy]

Your initial consultation is your chance to get a feel for your photographer’s personality and style. If you don’t feel like your personalities mesh then this may not be the photographer for you. 

Post # 12
289 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

I would ask about their style of photography and know what type of wedding photos you want. Look at their work to make sure they are a fit. Inquire about a timeline for photos, especially if you want a first look. 

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