6 wedding vendor red flags to avoid
If you're planning a luxury Tampa elopement you've more than likely come across some vendors or "deals" that seem a little to good to be true? Or get a funny feeling about someone? Go with your instant, if something feels off to you it's don't ignore those red flags. But you might be asking "what are some red flags I should keep an eye out for?". Here are my top 6 things you want to avoid!
1: BAD A COMMUNICATING
While you're planning your upcoming micro wedding you want to feel important to by all your vendors. If they take more than a few days to respond that could be a a precursor on things to come and bad customer service. Don't take me wrong we all get busy and have multiple weddings we are photographing or planning as well as we keep strict office hours so we don't take away from our own personal family time. What I'm talking about is if several days or weeks go by with no communication that is unprofessional and rude in my opinion. So if you notice you're always the one if you’re following up with them before they respond to you with in a reasonable time, that’s not a good sign!
2: THEY DON'T HAVE YOU SIGN A CONTRACT
RUN!!! If a wedding vendor doesn't have you sign a contract that is a HUGE red flag. Contracts are there to not only to have all of the logistics in writing but it's also to protect the vendor and you as the couple. ALWASY sign a contract and make sure to read the contract and make sure you're comfortable with all the fine print.
3: RIDICULOUSLY LOW PRICES
Don't get me wrong I know everyone loves a good deal and sometimes wedding vendors do give a small discount or add in a product at no extra cost. But what I am referring to is a deal that seems too good to be true. Remember you get what you pay for. They might be using very cheep products, inexperienced employees, or lowering the prices so much just to "get the booking". In any case when you see prices that are lower than the industry standard in your area is questionable.
4: NO REVIEWS
No reviews for any business makes me uncomfortable and most of the time I keep searching for another company that has multiple 5 star reviews. Look for legit and real reviews from actual customers on Google and Facebook. Testimonies on their websites are nice but reading reviews from a public platform will give you a honest and well rounded view from the clients perspective. Pay attention to the business owners reply to the reviews. Especially if it's a "bad review". Did the owner respond respectfully or were they defensive and dismissive. I can honestly say that sometimes people will leave fake reviews for a place of business they've never been too because it's happened to me. I had someone leave me a Google review and it was obvious this person was just leaving random reviews for businesses in hopes of getting gift card or something. I responded kindly stating "thank you so much for taking the time to leave me a review. I have not had the privilege of being your photographer or meeting you, so the next time you're in the market for a photographer please reach out me. I would love to meet you and be your photographer." I wanted customers to see that not only did I respond to this fake review but I did it in a professional manner.
5: CASH ONLY
I can't help but think when a business is a "cash only business" if they pay takes or if it's just a front for something illegal. If a vendor will only allow you to pay cash it very well may be that they are not a legal business and do not want the paper trail. As a bride you want that paper trail for your records incase you need it later for proof of payment.
6: YOUR PERSONALITIES DON'T MESH
I have said it before but I'll say it again. It's SO incredibly important to feel a connection with all your wedding vendors. For example, your photographer and your planner will be the two vendors that will spend the most time with you on your wedding day. The last thing you want is to feel awkward around them or for them to make you feel like you're just a number and not listening to your wants and needs. You want them to treat you with kindness and respect. So find wedding vendors that make you feel valued and appreciated!
Nina Bashaw is a St. Petersburg, Florida based fine art elopement photographer that specializes in senior portraits, lifestyle headshots, and destination weddings, She travels to Tampa Bay, Sarasota, Siesta Key, Anna Maria Island, Longboat Key, and is available for worldwide travel.
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