Monday, July 20, 2009

Before signing the contract (part II)

Before signing the contract (part 1) click here!

Edited by Christine Lee

Over the years of working in the wedding industry as a wedding planner I’ve had the opportunity to work with many great vendors. As I work with these vendors, I am constantly being humbled by the way they incorporate their creative talent to execute works of art. Not only are they capable of producing amazing work, but their business ethics, and how they balance their personal life and business challenge me to become a better wedding consultant. Of course, I can never take all the credit for the beautiful and seamless events that have been produced. It is because of the priceless relationship and great teamwork with other vendors that we were able to execute flawless weddings. But I have also worked with vendors who do not quite meet that same standard. Not saying that the work that they produce isn’t great, but the manner of professionalism while conducting business is less than par.

To all the brides who are still searching for the right vendor, please be cautious before signing the contract and making a deposit. Prior to signing a contract, know who you are booking. I know a lot of you may be saying “duh, that’s a give in,” but you may never know what/who you will be getting on your wedding day. ASK QUESTIONS, and lots of them.

For example:

  • Are you signing the contract at a rate for the main photographer or their “team of professionals.” A “team of professionals,” could be a “professional” that is a hired freelancer or a part time photographer that the company uses when they are short handed or double booked. * I always suggest getting a 2nd shooter on your wedding day (there's no way one photographer can capture all the details) but is the 2nd shooter just an assistant or a helper to the main photographer or a professional photographer who can capture the shots just as well as the main person?
  • When booking a DJ, are you booking the DJ you love or the DJ who is available on the day of your wedding? There may be 4-5 staff members working for the same company. The company may say that all of their qualified staff members produce the same quality of work, NOT TRUE!

Brides, know who you are booking. Write down the names of the people who you are booking on the contract, that way your vendor will not be able to call you two weeks before your wedding date telling you the person you wanted is double booked on that date, but they will send a replacement.

As a vendor myself, I hate telling a potential client that I am unavailable on her wedding date because I’m already booked. However I have come up with an option for those brides who don’t mind working with an associate planner the day of their wedding for a lesser rate. With confidence I can tell my brides that they will receive the best service that they deserve. If an associate planner is also unavailable, I refer those brides to another planner.

I will say that there are many honest vendors out there. When they can’t take on a wedding because they are completely booked, they will let the client know. However, recently I have come across a few vendor who are double booking the event reassuring the bride that they will be there on the day of the wedding but to find that they send another staff member without letting the bride know. This makes me furious because the bride and groom are not getting what they initially signed for. Sometimes the “team of professionals” that they send as replacements are could be far less than what is expected from a professional vendor.

Brides, you have the right to ask those knick picky questions! You have the right to know who is going to show up the day of your wedding, and the quality of the work that will be produced. Before booking vendors look over the contract, know what/who you signing for. Photographer, videographers, and DJs usually fall into the category of vendors to be on the look out for.