Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Professional Wedding Decorator

Hiring a wedding decorator can be helpful in many instances. Sometimes the wedding is so large or of such scope that it would be nearly impossible to decorate it without the help of a professional. A decorator can also help implement theme weddings and take them from start to finish in a clean, continuous fashion. A wedding decorator can also help a wedding stay small and under-budget in situations where money is tight. Once you’ve decided to hire a decorator, interview and select carefully. Here are some things to ask to make sure you get the best decorator for your needs.

First, figure out what you need in a decorator. Why are you choosing to hire one and what specific goals do you have for them? Write these down. What are your hopes for each decorating need? Do you have a theme? Also consider a budget. What are you willing to pay for decorating needs, as a whole? Write down any questions you want prospective decorators to answer.

The following questions may be helpful guidelines while you’re making your list:
1. Do you offer free consultations? A good decorator will. You’ll want to do a small phone interview beforehand, though, to save yourselves time. You’ll be able to narrow down the pool significantly before the consultation period by doing online research and calling ahead with questions.

2. How long have you been a decorator? Every decorator has to start somewhere, and a low experience level doesn’t necessarily mean they cannot provide you with what you need. Ask for referrals and testimonials from past clients to determine the quality of work and satisfaction customers received. Ask to see a portfolio of their work. This is one of the main pieces of evidence you’ll work from to determine if the decorator is right for you. Note things you like in the portfolio (and on the website).

3. Are all the pictures on your website and in the portfolio your own? If they cannot answer this to your satisfaction, they are not operating at a professional level and you should not work with them.

3. What does pricing include? Go back over your original needs and ask the decorator for a ballpark quote on what it would cost to implement your ideas. Also ask about the cost of specific items in their portfolio. Ask if they can give you examples of their work at different price points. Ask about available discounts, contracts, and the cancellation policy.

4. How many weddings have you done? How many do you do in a year? A month? A day? Do you do this full-time? This will give you an idea of how much time they have to dedicate to your project, how competent they are, what their level of experience is, and if they are over-booked.

5. Why do you do this? This question will give your decorator a chance to explain the passion behind the work. It will also give you a chance to see if your personality and desires mesh with the decorator’s. You’ll have to work with them on something that can be highly emotionally-charged. You want a decorator who listens well, is open to your ideas, and who can take whatever comes their way.

6. Do you have any training or certifications? Are you insured? Is there a contract? Always sign a contract. This not only spells out exactly what is expected, so that it is very clear to both parties, but it gives you both a safety net should there be a disagreement later on.