After meeting with one of my clients today, (I know you're reading this Yun Jae! :) I decided to post something very important for all you brides out there who are in the process of choosing your vendors.
Remember all contracts should be in writing and should include, dates, products, prices, name brands, etc. These contracts need to be signed and dated by all parties involved. Be sure to understand the cancellation policy and have that included in your contract, including refund policies and returns on deposits. Insist that these factors be included in the written and signed contract.
Most vendors will require a non-refundable deposit. Try to keep them as small as possible in case you have to cancel or change plans. You never want to give full amount or half the amount. (I would generally say $200-$300 except for the caterers and photography) Putting down the deposit simply means you are securing your wedding date not making any payments.
It is best to set the budget early on and stick to it. Remember to get multiple quotes on services, don’t always be lured by the lowest price. Don’t be afraid to ask for references and contact them. Don’t fall to high-pressure sales tactics. (Trust me, they will pressure you to pay the deposit right away and tell you that the dress you're renting will be rented out to someone else if you don't make the deposit now! Unless you haven't found your dress and your wedding is next month, you can definitely walk out of there knowing that that was just their sales tactic) To simply put it this way, if you do not want something, do not buy it.
Another consideration is Wedding Insurance. Some venues require wedding insurance but if your total budget is below $40K, it's not necessary. However, it protects your investment from circumstances outside of your control and you can seek reimbursement for incurred expenses. Speak to your insurance agent to find the policy that is right for you or check out www.wedsafe.com to find out more.