So you're engaged, now what? Well, now you have to start planning your wedding by looking for all the best wedding vendors. If you're having your wedding in Austin or Central Texas, you'll have to find a wedding venue in the area, which can be difficult, if you don't plan early! You'll also need numerous other great wedding vendors that service the Austin area, such as a wedding DJ, a photographer, a wedding planner, a catering service, florist, wedding decor, cake... You get the idea.
I'm sure you have numerous questions and don't know where to even begin! Well, you've come to the right place. When it comes to Austin and Central Texas weddings and events, we've got your covered! We provide music and entertainment for approximately 200 events per year, so we know weddings, quinceaneras, parties, holiday parties and events! However, we know you need to hire more than just a great Austin wedding and event DJ and/or photo booth! So here are 8 great questions that you can ask any wedding vendor!
1. Experience - Ask, how many weddings do you do per year? Experience is one of the most important aspects of a wedding professional. The more experience the vendor has, the more skilled they will be. Don't just ask, "How long have you been in business?" That won't get you the best idea of their experience. Someone could have been in business for 5 years, yet only do 10 weddings per year, which means they've done about 50 weddings.
2. Price - How much will it cost? Most vendors have a basic starting price, so ask them for it, directly. Many vendors don't like to talk about price, but unfortunately, you need to know exactly what the price will be. Keep in mind that experienced, professional wedding vendors are most likely going to be more expensive than the Austin DJs, photographers, or catering services that advertise on Craigslist. With the higher expense, however, should come great, quality service that you're willing to pay a little more to get! You only get married once, so be sure to hire the right people to make sure your big day goes the way you want it to!
3. What is Included - Beyond the price question, find out what exactly will be included. Many vendors have basic packages, but you need to get all the details to know what you're getting. We know there are numerous vendors who may have a low introductory price to "hook you" and then charge you for everything that you'll need. For example, many of our DJ and photo booth competitors will charge a starting price, but then charge extra for things you'll need, like lighting, a microphone, set-up and break-down fee, a fee for every song you need that isn't in their music library, etc. Always find out exactly what you'll get for the price.
4. Deposit - How much is the deposit? The deposit rates vary per vendor, but we actually only charge a $100 deposit, to book a DJ for any Austin-area event. Many wedding vendors will require a 50% deposit, upfront, so be ready to pay this, if needed. After you pay the deposit, find out exactly what the payment terms are. When is your final payment due? Cash only? Check? Credit card? Ask questions.
5. Cancellation or Change Policy - In addition to the deposit, find out exactly what the cancellation policy is. Find out what happens if you cancel? What if they cancel? Ask them if they've ever cancelled on a client. Many vendors will keep your deposit, if you cancel, no matter how far out your event is. Be aware of this, when paying high deposits.
6. Additional Fees - Always ask if there are additional fees. Many vendors will add taxes and other charges, such as travel fees, or special overtime rates. Find out what exactly those fees are.
7. Liability Insurance - Ask if they carry liability insurance. Any reputable company carries insurance. If they don't, RUN! You don't want some fly-by-night company to take your deposit and run. Unfortunately, we've seen many Austin DJ and photo booth companies do this to many of our customers, and we hate to see this happen. So if they don't have liability insurance, beware.
8. Contracts - In addition to insurance, ask about contracts. The same advice applies. If they don't use contracts, RUN! A contract protects the vendor and you, just in case you need it! We get calls and emails all the time, from customers who need to book a DJ for their wedding, because another vendor took their deposit and stopped replying to their emails, changed their phone number, etc. Don't be another victim, ALWAYS get a contract!
These questions are a great start. We encourage you to do your research on your vendors. Ask around, to see if anyone you know has booked them. Read the reviews and remember, it's nearly impossible to please everyone, every time. If a company has a lot of bad reviews, well, obviously you should keep looking, but remember, if a company only has all good reviews, you have to wonder if they are all from legitimate customers? Lastly, directly ask your vendor that typical interview question, "why should we hire you?" The wedding vendor should be able to tell you why they are the best choice! If you decide on price, alone, beware, this isn't a great strategy. The lowest priced, AND the highest priced wedding vendor doesn't necessarily mean it's the absolute best choice! Congratulations, and ask always, contact us if we can help you answer any questions for you!
-Austin's Best DJs Team
Austin's Best DJs
We've taken our decades of experience and compiled it into a few helpful articles, to help you plan your wedding or event!