Securing your wedding vendors is not as easy as it looks.
From the ceremony to the reception, the photographer to the videographer, the DJ to the florist, the transportation to the hotel, the invitation company to the dress company, there are so many options out there, and it’s hard to select just one for each category.
Personal example: It wasn’t too long ago that I myself was in your shoes. I, like all brides, wanted everything to be perfect, and so I made sure to do my homework. However, even with all my research, one company slipped through the cracks and nearly ruined my wedding. Without mentioning any names, I contacted at least 8 different transportation companies for my wedding. I researched them all on the Knot, Wedding Wire, Google Searches, and talked to others to get their recommendations. I was looking for a particular kind of limo and several places claimed to have what I was looking for. After speaking with the companies, my ultimate decision was based on excellent reviews I read on one company. There were hardly any bad ones! I figured it was a sign, and I was even willing to stretch my budget a little because of the peace of mind the reviews gave me.
Disclaimer: The above photo was NOT our limo. Although not far off!!
Well, on my wedding day, the limo was broken, they didn’t notify me, and I received an old piece of junk that barely fit my entire wedding party and did not have a working radio system. On top of that, the driver did not follow directions and caused me to miss out on valuable picture-taking time. I was furious! So, what went wrong? After my wedding, I called to complain. The company said there was nothing they could do AND the associate had the nerve to forward me the fine print of the contract I signed stating that by signing the contract I couldn’t write a negative review online. It was no wonder why there wasn’t a negative review; the company blackmailed people by their contract so that they couldn’t. Needless to say, I will never use nor recommend this company to any one of my friends or clients…ever.
Live and learn… as they say. I wouldn’t want anyone to fall victim to the same trap. Below are some suggestions to help you navigate through selecting your vendors:
- Read through all reviews, but take it with a grain of salt, both positive and negative. People usually write a review when they are really happy or really angry.
- Compare the company on different websites. Check the Knot, Wedding Wire, Facebook, Yelp, and Google. Note if the reviews seem to be the saying the same things.
- Talk to people. Has a family or friend used the vendor before? A good indicator of future performance is past performance, and it’s best if you can hear directly from others.
- Talk to more people. Consider contacting someone who used that vendor before. If there’s a person who reviewed a vendor on Facebook or Instagram, you might want to reach out and get more information about their experience. Also, vendors network with each other. You might want to ask another vendor (who you trust) who they recommend in the industry.
- Call the companies. While it’s easier and more convenient to email, calling the companies will help you get a better sense of the management and business practice. I personally found that the best companies were the smaller, local companies because they took more pride in their work and were more willing to go the extra mile. The larger companies seemed too corporate and treated you as if you were just another client.
- Ask to read the contract in advance. If there’s fine print, read it. You might be alarmed by what you read. Better safe than sorry.
- Ask questions. There is no such thing as a silly question, so ask it, and ask as many questions until you are satisfied.
- Trust your gut. If you get a bad vibe, listen to it.
While you can never be 100% certain of the vendors you book, you can only do the best that you can. Following some of the tips in this post can certainly help.
If in the end a vendor doesn’t work out the way you hope, reach out and express your frustration. On the contrary, when you have a great experience, don’t forget to post a glowing review and spread the good-word along.
At Elegant Invites®, we strive for each couple to feel happy and excited about the services as well as the finished product that we provided. By ensuring our customers are satisfied, we hope they continue to refer us to their family and friends and use us again for all of their life’s special moments.