I have spoken to a lot of couples who are worried about booking their suppliers with so much uncertainty and that is completely valid! We have no idea how coronavirus and government restrictions will impact weddings in the future. However, as a wedding industry, we need you to keep on booking to ensure that we can keep on providing you and everyone else who has booked us the most amazing weddings.
But we aren’t stupid, there is more risk involved now that needs to be mitigated and we want to work with you to ensure you feel comfortable working with us going forward. So here are some top tips on what to do if you are thinking of booking wedding suppliers but want to safeguard yourself and your money.
Talk to us!
We aren’t going to bite, we are all human and we all want the same thing - for you to have the best day with the best suppliers and for us to do the job we love and adore. Just be open and honest and we will work with you to find the best way to make sure you are happy and that we get to work at your wedding.
Read the testimonials and reviews
That are on Google, Facebook and wedding planning platforms (not just on their website). If their reviews are glowing (especially those in 2020) then you know you are onto a winner! Reputation is pretty much all we have this year so it must count for something right?!
These need to work for you both and suppliers are finding they are having to adjust. If you feel that the deposit amount doesn’t equate to the amount of work that will take place up front then discuss this with your supplier. It may be that a non-refundable reservation fee for holding the date is smaller and more appropriate but the frequency of paying instalments increases.
How did they handle 2020 postponements?
What has their policy been for postponing their bookings this year and what do they anticipate for the future if the need arises? How many weddings have they had to cancel and why? Does it sound like they have your best interests at heart and that they will look after you if you should be faced with having to postpone? Remember you have to work with these people for a long time so it is important to feel comfortable with them and know they will work with you. There will also have to be a compromise, no one is winning in these situations but 9 times out of 10 a solution can be found easily.
Read your contracts!
(And make sure you have one)
The Consumer Rights Act 2015 does work in the favour of the consumer so the contract must be fair to you but it must also work for the business too (otherwise what’s the point?!) We have seen during this time that clauses in contracts that seem grossly unfair probably won’t stand up in a court of law so do discuss this with the supplier and ask them what the legal advice was surrounding that clause. However, don’t expect them not to safeguard themselves. A contract isn’t set in stone but businesses would (or should) have spent a lot of money getting expert legal advice on providing contracts that will stand up in court if needed and that work for all parties involved.
Stalk them on social media
What are they doing or not doing to show up, be present, and be relevant? Do you feel that their posts have been sensitive to the situation? Are they providing hope, or are they burying their heads in the sand? (Who can blame them!) However they have reacted it isn’t necessarily right or wrong, it is more whether you feel that this connects with you.
Credit card payments
Ask if you are able to pay by credit card as this will give you extra protection should anything happen where you need to get your money back. Not all suppliers are set up for this as the fees charged by the bank for doing this can really eat into the costs but it is worth an ask!
Get wedding insurance
You wouldn’t spend tens of thousands of pounds on a car without getting insurance, so don’t do it on your wedding too! Wedding insurance is just starting up again and although it is unlikely to cover you against COVID, it will protect you against other issues that we are a bit more used to! As before though, read the policies, ask questions, make sure you understand what it will and won’t cover.
Know where you stand
If you are concerned about the number of guests going down or the amount of time the person is needed changes then ask them what will happen in this instance. Do they readjust their price accordingly or is there a minimum spend? Some suppliers may be happy to accommodate the change but will need to put a minimum spend in place in order for it to be worthwhile for them to carry out the service.
Don’t feel under pressure
If you are keen to go ahead with the booking but would prefer to wait until the next announcement or update then that is fine, but just let the supplier know. The worst thing is to be ghosted - believe it or not we fully invest in your wedding from the first email we receive, don’t break our hearts by ignoring us! The supplier should be happy to pencil your date in for a little while and keep you in the loop/give you first refusal should someone else enquire with the same date.
There's a major ripple effect to you booking your suppliers though...
It is true when you make an enquiry we do our happy dance, but right now, we do the Cancan, Macarena and Agadoo around the whole blimmin' house! Every time you send an email asking if we are free on your date it gives us hope for the future, it makes us positive that our businesses can carry on surviving the worst year in economic history, and then if you actually book, well, that's putting food on our tables and keeping our businesses going to the other side. All our business is deferred, not cancelled, so with new bookings coming in you are strengthening a £14.7 billion industry, and for that, we can't thank you enough.
But also, we love what we do, we miss what we do and we want to be talking about weddings and getting excited with you!
So, whatever happens and whoever you book, make sure you feel comfortable, that you have found a compromise with the terms and that you are truly excited about this company being part of your special day. Your suppliers are your squad on the day, they have your back to make sure everything is perfect and they will make your wedding, so if you pick the right ones then your day will be all kinds of magic!