How to tell if you’ve got a great vendor – don’t get burned!

Don’t end up broke and sad

You don’t want to end up with a vendor that doesn’t fit the bill. Wedding planning can be a very difficult and stressful time in your life and you could lose your mind trying to ensure you end up with only the best vendors. Online reviews are great – in fact, you could say they are the golden standard for service providers in any industry. For the wedding industry that goes doubly so. Unfortuneatly there are ways to ‘fake’ online reviews. Here are some tips to make sure you get an authentic vendor and leave the amateurs where they belong.

Amateur’s are not prepared

I’ve got a pretty big circle of friends in the wedding industry; I know people in almost every niche. Here’s a horror stories that they have witnessed while working at a wedding. One time a ‘DJ’ completely ruined a first dance between husband and wife. I’ve shot a few weddings myself where the song skips, or even is the wrong one (easy fix, just annoying.) At this wedding the DJ’s computer ‘crashed’ and he didn’t have a backup. Apparently people were trying to connect their smartphones to his speakers just so the bride and groom could dance… awkward.

Speak with your vendors. In person.

This is key. I’ve mentioned how important online reviews can be, but equally important but often never brought up or talked about is the need to meet in person. As a photographer, I insist on meeting every couple. Use your gut instinct and consider just how important that first impression is. Usually, your gut instinct is correct. If a vendor keeps dodging on the meet and insisting on a deposit, that’s going to send up some red flags. When I’m in contact with a potential customer I’m the one pushing for a meeting. It shows clients I’m serious and professional.

References; not just for a new job

Ask for references! I’m always happy to provide a long list of references. Customer service is something I work very hard for and I love to show that off. If you find a vendor is dodgy when it comes to references or only can provide one or two, and they aren’t recent, run!

Wedding Photography is tough to fake.

I was in Glasgow last year at a friends wedding. A few nights before the big day we all went to a local pub for some drinks and to spend some time catching up. It turns out, he almost had a really bad time with a photographer. He was ready to send a security deposit when his friend contacted him and recommended a local pro. When you type: wedding photographers Glasow into google he is one of the first ones to come up. My friend held off on sending the deposit (he trusted his instinct) and waited to meet with Mark Anderson. It turns out it was one of the best decisions he had made.

We’ve heard all the tricks. Don’t get caught with one.

When my friend met with Mark (the meeting was quick, this is how pro’s do things) they talked about their wedding. My friend told him of his encounter with the last photographer who insisted on a deposit before meeting. It turns out their was a scam going around the area at that time and this pretender had ripped off at least 8 different couples. Mark knew about this because he works in the industry. He’s spent years as a professional and his photography speaks for itself. Where I live, Halifax Nova Scotia, the same thing happens. People end up booking an amateur and wishing they went with the pro.

Wedding planning is crazy as it is, don’t make it worse!

You wouldn’t invite a carpenter in to fix the leak in your roof without ensuring he was legitimate, would you? No matter where you are; Glasgow or Halifax, Scotland or Canada, make sure you do what’s best for you and your wedding. Wedding planning isn’t always stressful and crazy, but I’ve found that for those people who are trying to nickle and dime for vendors it usually is crazy and stressful!

A good wedding photographer is like a planner

I’ve helped countless brides and grooms with their wedding planners, and why not? I know so many people within the industry and who to look out for. If you find a great photographer, like Mark Anderson, ask them for some wedding planning advice. A professional will have a large social network to rely on and we love the opportunity to send referrals.

Amazing pictures and all the help you need

It’s the best of both worlds. You can run any potential vendor by your photographer and they will let you know if they’ve worked with them before. It takes the stress out of booking and it will let you focus on what matter the most; love, love, love.

 

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