Wedding Ideas

This Wedding Planner Shares the Essential Questions to Ask Every Vendor

Posted on January 09, 2024 by Jacqueline Larcara

wedding couple
Photo: Євгенія Височина on Unsplash

If you choose not to hire a wedding planner, remember that you alone are leading the charge for your vendor team, which can feel daunting. New Jersey Bride spoke with Danielle Rothweiler of Rothweiler Event Design in Verona, who offered up tips for what to discuss with your vendors.

“Everything goes hand in hand,” says Danielle. So it’s important to think about how something in your venue contract, for example, could impact what you need to ask your florist or photographer.


wedding couple, sparkler send-off, dip
Photo: Edward Cisneros on Unsplash

Danielle suggests either choosing a venue that only hosts one wedding per day, or if a venue hosts multiple weddings per day, inquire about paying a fee to have the entire venue to yourself. This will help ensure that your wedding day stays on schedule.

She also always asks venues if they have a generator on site. “The odds that a natural disaster or something is going to affect your wedding are very slim,” she says, “but I definitely encourage couples to ask, ‘what’s the backup plan?’”

[RELATED: “The Ultimate Guide to Wedding Venues in New Jersey“]

Photo & Video

wedding flowers and rings
Photo: Nick Karvounis on Unsplash

She recommends that your photographer and videographer are each a two-person team. In addition, she says, “get the longest package you can get. You need a minimum of 10 hours. You don’t want to get to the point where the timeline is coming together and the photographer is like, ‘you only have me for eight hours. So what do you want me to miss?’”


wedding band, music
Photo: Music HQ on Unsplash

Danielle emphasizes the importance of connecting with your DJ, emcee or band leader. “You want to talk to them. You want to actually have a vibe with them because if you’re not feeling their energy, well, that’s the energy that they’re going to bring to your wedding day,” she says.

When it comes to the music itself, she says providing a do-not-play list or a playlist that showcases the genres of music you enjoy is fine, but providing an entire playlist for the night that the DJ or band is expected to play is not recommended. “You have to trust your music vendors to change the music according to what will get and keep guests on the dance floor,” she says.

Hair & Makeup

wedding hairstyle
Photo: Angelo Pantazis on Unsplash

“I always like to work with hair and makeup teams that either I know can work together really well or that are all under one company,” she says. “The stylists determine if the time for the rest of the day is going to work out or not.” She’s also in favor of getting a trial done and having touch-ups, at least for the bride, on the day of the wedding. Also, she notes that many brides want to look natural on their wedding day, “but you have to let them pile enough [makeup] on so that the camera will see you,” she says.

[RELATED: “Wedding Planning Mistakes to Avoid, According to an Event Planner“]


wedding table setting; bright florals
Photo: Pablo Lancaster Jones on Unsplash

Danielle thinks providing inspiration pictures and explaining the design you want are crucial. “If the quote comes in higher…ask the florist ‘how can we still have the same vibe [for less money]?’ and just be open to their suggestions,” she says. “They might substitute different flowers that will bring the cost down.” Right off the bat, you should also know how many personal flowers you need (boutonnieres, corsages, bridesmaids bouquets) so the quote can be accurate. One other tip on choosing a florist: “Normally, I will say it doesn’t matter if the vendor has ever worked in your venue before, but with florals, it’s really helpful,” says Danielle. “They’re going to know the spots to put everything and the rules of the venue.”