Full List of Tips for Hiring a Wedding Vendor on Social Media or in General
1. Make sure the vendor providing services is licensed and insured. The importance of this is severely significant! If a provider is not licensed or insured, your investment is NOT protected. A vendor NOT having Liability Insurance can put you in jeopardy if perhaps the vendor would break something at the venue- if not insured, you can be held liable in a court of law. Liability Insurance and other policies can also provide you with additional protections such as "if they didn't show", "data loss" "medical" "damaged footage" "breakage" etc.
2. Contracts. Make sure you have a clear contract with the individual you are hiring. Make sure it has a detailed list of services that are to be provided. Date, Time, for instance, how many bartenders? or How many Photographers? How many hours? What all is included and or any other fees that may occur. Also, last but not least- if a contract states that you are paying a deposit for services- a deposit is refundable, a retainer is not.
3. Never pay a individual or business by PayPal's (payment between friends) Venmo (payment between friends), Cash App or Facebook pay. And by no means do you pay the individual in full.
4. Ways to tell that a vendor is a legitimate business and not someone on Facebook that has created a "business page". The first things to look for. Is their email address yahoo? gmail? Not in all cases, but typically a legitimate business has a .com email address that matches their business name and or website. Such as ours. Ours is email@example.com, our web address is dandelionweddings.com (for example).
Does this individual have a website? How to distinguish if a website is a possible legitimate business is by looking at whether it is the business name or abbreviated name of business plus .com. If there are ads on the site, this site is what is referred to as a "free website". 99.9% of legitimate businesses have "paid" websites with no ads. If they only have a Facebook and Instagram only to send you to, most likely they are just starting out. Anyone can own a camera and name a Facebook Business page or Instagram. Again, legitimate, licensed and insured business have a paid website. Web addresses to look for:
The website examples above are examples of free websites. Anyone can obtain a free website.
5. Are their reviews authentic? Anyone with a website, paid or free can write any review or post any reviews they want, even fictitious reviews. To ensure a vendor has authentic reviews, see if their profiles are on wedding registry sites such as Wedding Wire or The Knot. Facebook (perhaps)- but Facebook reviews may not matter if they are possibly having their friends add reviews. Wedding Wire or The Knot is more apt to be "real reviews". You may also ask for recommendations from others, but again, make sure all the tips listed on this blog are on point concerning said referral.
6. Search the vendor out on Google. Do they have a Google listing? Do they have reviews? Don't be afraid to search business on search engines to see what profiles or web presence they have or if any additional reviews are listed on other platforms.
6. Do you have a phone number to contact said vendor? An address? An email address? Where are they located?
7. Do your research! Think wedding planning is a headache? It can become a migraine if you book a non-professional who doesn't show up for your wedding. We understand everyone has a budget, but protect yourself when hiring even a non-professional with some of these helpful tips, such as contract, payment, etc.
8. Experience - make sure you're asking for full REAL galleries of their work or services they provide- for instance, a cake baker- you want to do a tasting, same with caterers, with photographers, you want to see a full gallery, not just what they feature on their website. Many beginners, such as photographers need to build a portfolio, so they participate in styled shoots. Styled shoots are a way of building a portfolio and images for their websites or advertising, especially if they are a beginner. The vendor may have all the wedding content in the world that's beautiful and out of this world. If the wedding vendor is lacking in real wedding experience, it'll show in the services or images (if hiring a photographer) that are being provided. Styled shoots do not give a vendor real experience for them to properly work/capture and navigate your entire wedding day.
9. Backup Plan? You want to make sure to ask about back up plans. What if it rains on your wedding day? What is an alternate plan for pictures for example? Where and how they're backing up your photos? How are your images going to be delivered? Are all your images edited? Will you get a Copyright Release or is that an extra cost? Are the images full size resolution? Ask if they have backup gear, batteries, cards, etc. Even ask about backup photographers/planners/caterers etc. in the event of an illness or accident. LLC's and Sole Proprietor business owners carry insurance to cover accidents, such as breakage or data loss protections. But pre-plan for weather, illness or accidents. - You won't be sorry.
10. Make sure you get copies of all contracts, insurance, and a itemized detailed invoice from every vendor for your records. Your wedding is an expensive investment to learn lessons from- so be wise when hiring your wedding vendor for the most important day of your life.