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  • Meredith Heim

5 Vendor Red Flags and How To Protect Yourself

Not to be dramatic... but definitely RUN.


Photo by Madeline Serio Venue Cold Saturday Farm


From the moment you hop on a call, get that first email, or meet in person, you will pick up a vibe. Alike your first introduction and impression with anyone, trust your gut.


You should be comfortable with this person pretty early on, especially your 3 Event Fairy Godparents.


Red Flag #1 - NEGATIVE NANCY

If your vendor does not seem to love what they do, why would you? Rushing through a call, dismissing your concerns, or being overly negative about past clients in a disgruntled manner is not a good sign. This will not be the kind of personality that you will enjoy working with or feel comfortable going to with questions. Search for a service provider whose representative is authentic, excited and passionate.



Red Flag #2 - PUSHINESS

When a vendors pushes you, harasses you with an email every day following up, or just does not give you room to breathe to make this big decision you might want to take a step back. Why is their service such a hard sell? A quality vendor will be sought after by many, yet are self-aware in knowing they are not the perfect fit for everyones vision. Finding the best match for you is similar to dating. It may not be a bad option, but does it check most of your boxes? Fit your vision?


The average number of vendors that clients speak with directly before booking is 2. We recommend at least 3, especially if you have over 10 months until your event.



Red Flag #3 - BME: BILLY MAYS ENERGY

Is the team almost annoyingly peppy and a little out of touch? Any big life events are an incredible, magical time and it is great if they are sharing in your excitement.. but it is important that everyone stay grounded and down to earth. Realistic expectations and transparency is very important and phony bolognies will make honest communication difficult. These types are more likely to be passive aggressive and not truly care about any concerns you voice.



Red Flag #4 - AVOIDING DISCLOSURE OF CAVEATS

Your vendor should be open and honest, always. If you get through a tour with your venue and they mumble something along the lines of "...oh and you are responsible for renting restrooms and the tent (easily a 15k additional expense) ...over here we have the bridal suite!" RUN. They are hoping you will swoon over the "first date" with the space and overlook the work going into the long term commitment.


"Get EVERYTHING in writing. Amend the contract. Send another email if you do not hear back within a week. Be annoying if you must until everything is crystal clear. Anyone can say anything in person. It has to be in writing."

Keeping the majority of your communication via email in a single thread is appreciated and also imperative to stay organized. This is also a good way to protect yourself if (God forbid) you get with a bad apple vendor. Avoid anything other than cute supportive messages via social media or in Instagram DMs. Any important information sent there will get lost.


Red Flag #5 - POOR COMMUNICATION AND RESPONSE TIME

Unless a vendor is out of town with a posted away message, there is no reason you should go longer than 5-7 business days without a response.


Schedule your emails to be sent to your vendors at 8:00am on Tuesdays or Wednesdays so it is at the top of their inbox at the start of the day. Thursday-Sunday are event days, and Monday is a day to catch our breath. By Tuesdays and Wednesdays, we are back in the office and ready to rock n' roll!


If you are struggling to get ahold of a vendor during the inquiry stage before you even sign a contract, move on. If a business is not excited and eager to follow up with a new inquiry, nothing will change after they have your money in their hand.


BONUS Orange Flag #6 - LANGUAGE OR CULTURAL DIFFERENCES

Please always book with vendors in which you can communicate throughly and efficiently. Unaddressed barriers as such can put a major strain on the planning process and risk deeply offending you and your family members. Be sure who you hire respects your culture, practices, traditions and values. Encourage them to ask questions, and educate them on what is important to you.



We Hope These Tips Were Helpful, Bookmark This Page!


You've heard it a million times, but sharing a post to your story or writing a review is enough to bring a small business to happy tears. Follow, Like, Share, Comment, Support your vendors on social media. It is TOUGH out here and we all wear many hats.

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