A few weekends ago, as we were getting ready to start a wedding rehearsal at one of our couple’s venues, the on-site coordinator walked up to our client with a clipboard and piece of paper. We knew in a heartbeat that it was a “dreaded” questionnaire. Now, we’re really not fans when venues and vendors wait until the DAY OF or day before a wedding to collect this info, but sometimes they don’t have a choice if it isn’t filled out in advance.
So, we started thinking: Questionnaires… what’s the deal?
What are wedding planning questionnaires?
This may be obvious, but let’s tackle it – just in case. Wedding Planning Questionnaires come in all shapes and sizes, can be sent to you via email as a Word Doc, snail mailed in a pretty envelope, placed right in the copy of an email, done online through a website… the possibilities are endless.
For example, we have questionnaires. Four of them, to be exact (as of 2015, anyway). They start with finding out info on our clients that makes them think a little. Questions like “Pretend it’s fifteen minutes until the last song on your wedding night, what are you doing??”. Others include info on your wedding party, wedding vendors and your personal items that you have on your wedding day. They are available via Google Docs (one of our favorite tools) and accessible 24/7. Everything they cover are ALL things we talk about it more detail via our in-person or Skype meetings, but gives us the basic information to do some preliminary research.
What we’ve found is that more and more vendors are sending out these questionnaires and while to us, as vendors, we only see that one (or four), you (the couple) are receiving A LOT of questionnaires.
And it can be overwhelming. And holy-time consuming.
But, there’s a reason we send them.
Why you get them…
While you may be receiving a lot of different questionnaires to complete, what their purpose is, though, is clear across the board. They are sent to you, the couple, from your vendor and/or venue to gather information from you in a fairly organized fashion.
While we’d love to sit down and chat with you with every new update, sometimes that’s just not possible with coordinating schedules. The form is usually available for you to update at your convenience AND it gives us a written documentation straight from you as to what you want and expect with very little room for misinterpretations.
If you feel like you’re struggling with finding time to fill them out, TELL YOUR VENDOR. Our biggest fear is that we have a breakdown in communication with you (second biggest fear is that we forget our pants on your wedding day – eep!) and that’s partly what the questionnaire is there for.
Plus, at any given time, your vendors are working with a handful of other clients. Some work with 15-20 a year, others are working with HUNDREDS. Those questionnaires help us neatly review and keep things straight.
Daniel Moyer of Daniel Moyer Photography put it well when we asked him about it…
“With so many of my couples residing over 2 hours away, communication is key especially with the way I approach a wedding day. My contact form and subsequent questionnaires are more than just information gathering tools, they’re the doorway through which I step into my couple’s lives.
“I feel like I do a much better job when I am able to photograph through the eyes of a friend rather than playing the role of the hired help. As a result, my questionnaires are purposefully written not as a replacement for face-to-face communication, or a good old fashion phone call, but as a jumping off point so we can start connecting on a deeper level rather than small talk from the very first response.”
(Btw, just reading that should make you want to hire Daniel for your wedding. Like. Right. Now.)
What to do with them…
Now, our favorite part of all of this, is that as a DPNAK client, you can absolutely 100% send these suckers our way. After you’ve filled out our questionnaires, we’ll already have MOST of the information that these questionnaires will be asking. Things like dates, times, venue locations, wedding party details, key addresses, and so on – we’ll be able to tackle that for you. We’ll send it back to you BEFORE sending it to the vendor so you can double-check everything is a-okay, fill out any personal questions that require a more intimate response, and ultimately save you lots of time.
If you do not have a coordinator that’s happy to help with these, then I would HIGHLY recommend getting them filled out sooner vs. later. Don’t save them until last-minute. Tackle them asap, and send them back. If there’s questions you’re still not sure on, let your vendor know that you’ll get them an answer on that as soon as you can, but at least they have the other info handy. Again, COMMUNICATION is key. We can never stress that element enough.