Bridal Guide January 2016

Wedding Vendors: When To Say Yes – Or No

You’re super excited about your big day, even though your to-do list seems miles long. But how do you know if that DJ you’re eyeing will be a good fit? Or if you should hire that perky photographer?

First, you’ve got to rely on your instincts — but also consider these tips from seasoned wedding professionals so you can better spot good traits and avoid red flags. 

Good Signs:

If you’re seeing positives from this list, you’re likely on the right track.

Staff at your venue are on board. “One of the best tips I can give is to ask your venue about any wedding vendors you are considering using,” says Sheila Weiner, president and founder of The Event Group, which specializes in weddings and parties in the greater Pittsburgh area. “They will usually have the best insight on whether that individual is a good fit for your big day.”

Red Flags:

If a vendor has traits from this list, you may want to say “I don’t” when it comes to working together.

There’s no insurance — or not enough. You hope nothing goes wrong on your big day, but if it does, a vendor’s insurance can help protect all parties. “Wedding vendors should be insured for a minimum of 1 million dollars,” says Weiner. “Be sure to ask about their insurance coverage during your meeting.”

Your styles are super different. You don’t need to be a carbon copy of your service provider, but your styles should blend. “If you are a bohemian style bride, chances are you are not going to like a more traditional wedding planner’s photo gallery,” notes Weiner.

Pushiness prevails. If a vendor doesn’t respect your ideas or your budget or makes you feel uncomfortable, be concerned. “If you walk away from a meeting not liking the person, you are probably not going to like their work or their presence on the big day,” Weiner says.

Your wedding planner has no staff. Some really great vendors start off working alone — and some (like your officiant) always will. But solo operations can be problematic for wedding planners. “If it is a one-man show, but the planner says they take more than one event a day, chances are you are not going to be getting the attention and service that you will be paying for,” says Weiner. “There should always be two planners involved, not only on the day of, but during the entire planning process. If something were to come up with one of the planners, there is always a backup person equipped to take the lead.”

The vendor is overbooked. “Ask how many events they usually take on any given day,” says Weiner. And when you’re dealing with a makeup artist or hair stylist, for instance, ask how long your appointment will be to make sure you’ll have sufficient time. (You should have an idea of how much time you need from your trial.) If a vendor is late or ducks out early, you won’t be happy.

You’ve never seen the person in person. If you’re planning a local wedding, get together. “Meeting in person is key to see whether or not your personalities blend well,” says Weiner. “Most local vendors prefer to meet their clients in person, so it is definitely a red flag when they do not want to meet face-to-face.” And if you are planning a destination wedding, try to have productive, detailed conversations.

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