First and foremost, it does not matter if one of your sellers is a personal friend who you've known since childhood, GET A WRITTEN CONTRACT, you would think that everyone sees court shows? It's amazing how many people go into verbal agreements, I mean, do you want to hear your florist tell you she's overbooked and your flowers will not get done, or what if she tells you she'll only have 7 of the 10 bouquets she said she'd have done ?. Getting a written contract is just the beginning, you actually have to read it and make sure that you get exactly what you discussed, and that there are no hidden fees. Another very important factor to consider is that if the seller was not recommended to you by someone you know and trust, then you should do your research. Ask the vendor for at least three references and make sure you call them and ask them a few questions. Like, when was your event? How many guests did you have? How was "ABC co."? What did they serve?
Important things to consider / ask:
1. Make sure that the services to be provided are listed in detail.
2. Is gratuity included and how much?
3. What's the cancellation policy? Can you get back part of your deposit if you cancel with enough time?
4. Ask your videographer how long of a video you will get and will you get the unedited version also?
Questions for your venue:
1. Does the fee include tables and chairs? If not, what's the extra charge?
2. Can you bring your own caterer? If you'll like to do this.
3. How many hours are you getting for your money?
4. Does it include clean up? Not a stupid question.
5. Will your wedding be the only one that day?
6. How many hours do you get to set up?
7. If they are catering the event, how many servers will they have? Also ask your caterer this question if different than your venue.
8. Do you have a waiting room for the bride?
9. And finally, will there be anyone in charge in case any issues arise?
Everyone has different needs, so write things down as you think about them so that you remember to ask your vendors everything that's important to you.