The days surrounding your wedding are a special time. Ideally you won’t have to stress too much over the details as long as you choose vendors from the best of the best. They are professionals in the wedding industry therefore they have the couple’s best interests in mind. What could possibly go wrong? Unfortunately, it can happen when least expected. You will be better off in the long run if you protect yourself from day one.
Sign a Contract! The meeting you have with vendors before booking are crucial. Ask each vendor about their procedures in the event that something goes wrong. For example, the cake might get ruined during transport or the photographer’s camera might stop working. If they don’t have anything in mind, make it clear that a backup plan is nonnegotiable. Moving into the booking stage, an extensive list of terms and conditions should be written down. A contract will hold the vendor accountable should he leave without completing his responsibilities. You will have the freedom to request a refund and take legal action if you choose to do so.
If a contract does not exist or a vendor bails regardless of a signed agreement, don’t panic. It is still possible to make up for what you lost. Go back to your list of potential vendors. The research is already done so you will save valuable time. Start with your second choice, and if they are not available, move on to your third choice. If your wedding is not taking place in the near future, you have the option to start from the very beginning and research local vendors.
If you run out of phone numbers and still don’t have a replacement, the next step is networking. One vendor might be gone, but there are still other professionals around you who could provide assistance. Ask your wedding planner and vendors about previous work relationships. They might know of someone trustworthy to fill the gap. You could also seek help from your venue. They might have a package that includes the vendor you need or a directory of contacts.
When all else fails, look within your inner circle. Inquire in person, make phone calls, and post on social media. Perhaps your best friend recently got married and has a list of referrals. Maybe you have a relative who works in the wedding industry and has connections to expedite the process. You could also reach out to a local university. There might be a student eager for experience and ready to bake a cake, do your hair, or take photos. It is a gamble to hire a student, but time will not always be on your side. You might be pleasantly surprised at the quality of work. They are, after all, building a portfolio to get their foot in the door of the professional world.
When a vendor disappears, your ability to trust is affected. It may feel like a hopeless situation, but that’s just your emotions getting the best of you. You have plenty of resources at your disposal so don’t waste precious time. Start searching for a replacement immediately to give yourself a better chance of finding a vendor available on your wedding date. Once the chaos of the wedding has died down, remember those emotions and take action against the vendor who wronged you. Even if a contract doesn’t exist, you can still write a review and post it online. After what you’ve been through, other couples should be aware so they don’t have the same negative experience.