Responsiveness - If you can't get ahold of your pro, that will most likely continue throughout the entire process. For Initial inquiries, give your pro 24-48 hours to respond Monday through Friday. Allow for extra time Friday through Monday, as they may be working on their feet at an event. Many event professionals such as myself do everything themselves, and weekends can get busy to respond. In your initial contact, figure out what the best method of contact is for both you and your professional to use, be it e-mail, phone call, or text.

Liability Insurance - Most Venues require it, but so can you! I am a big believer in keeping myself and my equipment covered. You can also look into a single-day insurance policy for your wedding day or event.

Trusted Event Insurance Companies:

Thimble https://www.thimble.com/

RVNA https://www.rvnuccio.com/?gclid=CjwKCAjwwMn1BRAUEiwAZ_jnEpE4eMRbbtB14YzDog7r0UaZJobqyA23yGabTG0U_FHwPR2VAivPyxoC0WIQAvD_BwE

Know What You Want - As much as possible! Provide a handful of reference images or must shoots for photographer. For any vendor, share your Pinterest boards! Get Started: https://www.pinterest.com/

Pricing Transparency - Take a look on your vendor's website, social media channels, and wedding marketing sites like The Knot or Wedding Wire and make sure that their pricing is consistent and on display. Ask if their pricing increases year to year or by which day of the week it is. Sometimes midweek rates are lower than weekend rates, but the lower price will be advertised. Just dot your i's and cross your t's :)

They Use Contracts - Read thoroughly and make sure both parties are protected. Look for Pandemics under Force Majeure (Hello COVID-19!) Postponements, Cancellation policies, etc. If they are your friend, use a contract, If they are your family, use a contract, If they are a student use a contract. Contracts should not feel offensive or full of mistrust, they are in place to protect the business of the event professional, and ensure that your event goes smoothly.

Manage Expectations Ahead of Time - Get a clear picture of what the vendor expects from you about booking and the process and lay out your expectations of them before signing an agreement.

Personality Mesh - Hire someone who you jive with personality wise. If you don’t feel comfortable around your photographer in your consult, you might get clammed up in front of their camera. That is why I highly recommend that calls in the consulting process are done via skype or facetime and that couples get their engagement photos taken before being photographed all day long on their wedding. Other vendors where personality mesh is very important is your planner and coordinator, videographer, and DJ.