An average American couple hires about 13 vendors for their wedding. And sometimes, it’s a real problem to understand which vendor you can trust and which should be crossed out of the list long before booking them. There are certain tips and tricks that will help you to find out if a vendor is worth working with them. If you see one correspondence with your situation, just look closely at the vendor and analyze their behavior, but if there are several red flags, forget about this vendor altogether. By the way, even if you’ve already booked them and have problems working with them, it’s ok to fire a vendor – you deserve a perfect, stress-free wedding, you pay a lot for it, and you always have a choice.
Communication and quick response
Notice how a vendor communicates with you even before you hire them. Small things matter – how quickly they respond to your message, how politely they talk to you, do they pay attention to your opinion and wishes, do they even have enough time to work your wedding, etc.
Of course, we don’t say that everyone should leave all their other clients and work full-time on your wedding. You have to understand that it’s business. But at the same time, every vendor should be motivated to work with you and have enough time for it. You should be able to trust them to do their job and be sure you’ll get the best result.
Talking about the response, usually, you discuss this before hiring a vendor – how you will communicate and how soon you’ll get a response. It’s totally fine if the response is 2-3 or even 5 business days (depending on the vendor), but you have to be notified about it. And if your vendor doesn’t follow their own rules, it is the first red flag for you.
In general, don’t be too selfish in your communication with a vendor, but your cooperation should be stress-free and comfortable for both of you. If your vendor constantly forgets about you or can’t cope with the work, you can talk to them first and fire them if the situation doesn’t improve.
They don’t have contract? That’s suspicious
When a professional wedding vendor that is in this business for some time doesn’t have a contract you could sign with them, it’s highly suspicious. Surely, there are some cases when it’s the norm, but usually, it’s strange. If you don’t write down your agreement and sign the paper, who guarantees you’ll get the promised service? You won’t be able to sue them if they don’t hold to the verbal agreement. So, always try to make the arrangement official, on paper. Even when the vendor is your friend or relative or acquaintance.
Inconsistencies between contract and verbal promises
When you’re first communicating with a potential vendor, pay attention to whether their contract or brochure says the same as their verbal promises to you. If you see too many inconsistencies, that’s suspicious. Again, you can ask them about it first, before giving up working with them – maybe there’s a reason. But you should understand that in case you have to go to court, only things that are written down will matter. No verbal promises can be usually proved. Sometimes, you want services that aren’t on the usual contract, so just ask the vendor to write them down in your personal contract or at least in an e-mail so that you had proof that the vendor agreed to provide this particular service.
Bad reviews – are they death sentence?
Before booking any vendor, search the internet to see what reviews they have. That’s not a hard thing to do and it can really help. Of course, you have to do it smartly. If there are 1-2 bad reviews and a bunch of good ones, it’s fine. But too many bad comments and reviews should alert you. If a person or company has a bad reputation, don’t expect them to suddenly become the best partner ever. Also, if you see bad reviews but still like a particular vendor, you can ask them about it – maybe they’ll give you a plausible explanation.
Weird payment plans
This depends highly on your country and region, but in most developed countries, wedding vendors pay taxes, and so, they ask for card payments. If your vendor accepts cash payments only, that might be suspicious. In case you still decide to pay with cash, always get receipts. Also, most wedding vendors work through deposits (whether it’s 10% or 50%), and the rest of the sum you pay after the work is done. But if your vendor asks you to prepay 100%, don’t. Because they might bolt with your money.
Too low prices
It may sound odd to you, but low prices can be a bad thing. Just think about it, why would a professional vendor charge you twice or three times less than the average price on the market? This should alert you – either they will offer you fewer services than their competitors or they underestimate themselves (which could mean they’re not qualified enough or new to this business) or they don’t know what’s the situation on the market. In any case, this is bad.
At the same time, reasonable discounts are useful and great, and a lot of vendors offer them this year when the business is so slow.