Having been to a lot of weddings over the years, I’ve come to the conclusion that a great deal of stress can be added by choosing the wrong vendors, and a great deal of stress can be avoided by choosing the right vendors.
But sometimes it’s hard for us to know quite when to be ruthless about ending a relationship with a vendor who isn’t following through. Here are five signs that it’s time to cut the cord and find someone else to do the job you need and want done.
1: You dislike them so much you avoid working with them. If you don’t want to be in the same room with your florist, photographer, wedding planner, or caterer, don’t be. It doesn’t matter how popular, talented, or highly-recommended this person is if you can’t stand to be around him or her. You want to be surrounded by people who make you feel as relaxed and comfortable as possible on your wedding day.
2: You can’t get a contract out of the vendor. This is a professional relationship. Both sides are protected by contracts. A professional will want you to read and sign a clear contract.
3: Your vendor tries to sell you things you’ve already said you don’t want/can’t afford. Once you tell your wedding planner you don’t want alcohol, or informed your florist that you can’t fit imported orchids in your budget, that should be the end of the conversation. It is then up to the professional to come up with a plan that does work for you. The vendor works for the bride, not the other way around.
4: You can’t get in touch when you need to. If your vendor cancels multiple meetings or can’t ever seem to get back to you when you call, you’re not getting the attention you need. (s)he may simply be overbooked or having a personal crisis, but you’re paying for services rendered. If your professional can’t be there for you, then you need to find someone who can.
5: Your vendor doesn’t pay attention. You said last week that you wanted pink roses, but your florist forgot to write it down and is still trying to design around red ones. You brought in a swatch of the bridesmaids gown for your baker to match in frosting, but he’s lost it. Your wedding planner is asking questions that you answered two days ago. Run, do not walk, to the nearest exit. You’re paying these people to be more organized than you are. They’re adding stress where you need it removed. If you can’t count on them to remember that you’ve already discussed a throwing bouquet and whether you want more posed or candid shots, you may not feel you can count on them for anything.
It’s not easy to break up with a wedding vendor, but there are times when it’s the only way to stay sane. Remember, you’re not marrying your vendors. You have a business relationship with these people, and you need to expect professional behavior. You’re marrying that person waiting for you at the altar…and that ain’t your caterer.