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A few weeks when I announced on Instagram that I was going to be starting a Wedding Wednesday series I asked for questions or situations that you might want to talk about. I got a comment that stopped me in my tracks. It was along these lines… “I wish I didn’t get a scam artist as a wedding photographer.” Of course as a wedding photographer this hurt my heart. I hear about things like this happening way too often in the wedding groups I am in and it breaks my heart. In this post I will try and share my two cents about how not to get scammed by any of your wedding vendors including your photographer. This could turn into an extremely long post very quickly so I’m going to just pick a few of what I think are the most important things to look for and red flags to touch on very briefly.
SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE- Anyone can throw up a page on Facebook and call themselves a professional. Professional wedding vendors should have a professional website and social media profiles. Now, I’m not saying they should be on every social media site, but on a few for sure.
CONTRACTS- Plain and simple, if your vendor does not make you sign a contract, RUN! No reputable wedding vendor is going to work without a signed contract. These are meant to protect both of you.
PRICING- Now this can be a touchy subject because everyone has a different budget. One thing to take into consideration is the average price for the vendors in your area. There is a reason the vendors charge what they do. It takes money and experience to run a successful business that produces quality products and services. So if a deal seems too good to be true, then it usually is.
EMAIL- Now this may sound a little silly, but just like anyone can get a free website the same is said for your email address. Professional wedding vendors will typically have a professional email account. So if your vendor has paid for a professional website then they usually have paid for a custom email as well. Look for emails that end in .com rather than your free email options.
REFERENCES/RATINGS- In this social media world that we’re living in this is easier than ever. Visit your potential vendors social media sites to see their reviews and clients recommendations. If they don’t have any reviews or recommendations that could be a red flag. If the vendor has worked with your venue before reach out to your vendor to see what they thought of them. Google their name and see if anything alarming pops up. Check Yelp and see if anyone has left them bad reviews. Ask friends and family that have recently been married. If you have a wedding planner, or even a vendor booked already that you love, reach out to them because chances are they have amazing vendors to recommend to you.
Sadly, there is no way to completely prevent yourself from falling victim to dishonest businesses. My hope is that these tips will help at least a little bit.
Bottom line is go with your gut. If it doesn’t feel right, then it probably isn’t.