Spotting a Wedding Vendor Rip-Off
I'm going to give you the easiest way to spot a wedding vendor trying to rip you off. Each of us has a wonderful thing inside of us called intuition. Some are more in-touch with it than others, but now is an opportune time to become one with yours. Start by listening to your "gut reaction" and preparing yourself to respond appropriately whenever you start thinking "this just doesn't feel right".
A good example is when you contact a photographer about shooting your wedding. He or she may be the person you will end up hiring. They call you back the next day telling you that they have another couple considering the same wedding date and you need to put your deposit down immediately or you will risk loosing them on your desired date. Trust me, it happens often and I've even had people try that with me. All I can say is look out!
It may be the truth, but more often than not, this is often just a high pressure sales tactic to get you to commit before you have had a chance to really consider all the facts because they are afraid you will find they aren't as great as they pretended to be.
Perhaps the reception hall you are considering is telling you that you have to go with ACME Florists if you want to use their location because "they have an agreement." Perhaps they claim that there will be an additional fee of several hundred dollars if you don't. Why? Because the hall is getting a kickback from the florist and they won't get it if you use someone else? It shouldn't cause any more work for the reception hall if you use Joe's Flower Cart instead of who they want.
Keep in mind that sometimes the "add-ons" are required. Perhaps the city where you are getting married requires a law enforcement presence because of alcohol being served. This is a legitimate added expense which might only be avoided if you don't have the adult beverages.
If you are hiring a band or DJ for your reception and their demo sounds and/or looks fantastic, make sure you have an opportunity to see then in person before signing on the line. If they tell you there is no way you can see them perform, there's probably a reason and you'll want to know what it is. Do they not really perform like their demo? Perhaps the demo portrays them as a mix master but they really only have a music playlist on an ipod. Maybe it's because they have no other gigs between now and your reception which is still eight months away. In either of these cases you should be able to negotiate a much better deal, assuming you still want to hire them.
Regardless of who the vendor is, including us, if you think something just isn't right, find out why. If someone's trying to pad their pockets with extra fees without providing an additional service, call them on it. Perhaps you can negotiate the extra fees away rather than opting for a vendor you didn't really want.
I hope this makes at least some sense. Weddings are expensive enough without people trying to rob Patricia to pay Paula.
Just remember that it's your money. Act like it!
You need to give yourself permission to say NO to any vendor you aren't comfortable with and to tell them that you feel their policy is unacceptable.
Remember, EVERYTHING is negotiable.
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