Dealing with vendors
Unless your wedding is a completely do-it-yourself affair, you will probably be hiring vendors to provide services. How can you ensure that transactions go smoothly?
First, it helps to shop around – this allows you to see who provides the services/goods most in line with what you want as well as who offers the best price. Choose at least three vendors to interview for each function (caterer, photographer, band, cake baker, etc). Discuss with them what you want (remember to make a list before the interview) and what their experience is. Also ask them to provide references of past customers. After the initial consultation, each vendor should give you an estimate of the price. Obviously who offers the lowest price is important, but you will also want to consider your impression of them during the interview (Did they seem knowledgeable? Responsive to your desires?) and satisfaction of references. If the person you like the most doesn’t offer the cheapest price (or does offer the cheapest price, but it is still more than you want to spend), you can try to negotiate a lower price. It doesn’t always work, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.
In order to book them, most wedding vendors require you to make a non-refundable deposit and sign a contract. Before you do, it is important to read the contract carefully and make sure you understand exactly what services and goods the vendor is providing, the cost, and the cancellation and other policies. Get everything that was agreed to in writing – verbal promises can be easily forgotten. Once you find all of your vendors, don’t forget about them! It is a good idea to periodically check in before the wedding to ensure that everything is on track.
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