Scams are everywhere and it can happen to anyone. Even if you feel you’re smart enough not be be scammed by anybody else especially suppliers for your event, unfortunately that’s not true. Everybody is prone to being scammed. That’s the sad reality – the hard truth. So, what can you do to ensure that you’re not really at risked of being fooled by your potential wedding and other event supplier?
Below are some of the most common red flags that you need to be aware of. These are based from real life experiences of couples that we have encountered with since we started our own wedding planning journey.
1. If the supplier pretends to be who they’re not, then this is an obvious red flag. But , how would you know? Thanks to the power of social media and the internet, it’s not easy to check supplier’s portfolio. Don’t easily give in to all the ads and sweet words that you see online. You have to be smart enough to determine which the fake ones against the real ones. Yes, it’s so easy to pretend these days – live the life of anybody and be somebody, but since this is your hard earned money and a once-in-a-lifetime event, be a keen observer. There are so called reviews and feedback from previous “real” clients that vouches for their work, so it’s up to you to do your homework and get yourself educated.
2. If the supplier asks for more than the usual down payment without any valid reason, then this is already a red flag. Remember, the supplier can only ask for full payment days before the event or on the day of the wedding. Down payment for wedding and event suppliers are around between 10-50% maximum of the total package. 10% or lower sometimes if they’re usually new in the industry. Around 30% if they’re mid-famous or they’re quite popular or trending with a couple of potential portfolio to boost and 50% if they’re the high-end, reputable, really popular ones who basically have the means and credibility to ask for more. Two words to remember: reputation and credibility. Likewise, some suppliers ask for an automatic 50% depending on their category such as Caterers, Venues, Hotels, Coordinators and some Photo Video teams so this should also be considered.
3. If there is no acknowledgment receipt and/or contract provided after paying the deposit after the allotted “ethical” standard time frame of 7-14 days max has been given is an automatic red flag. Although this varies depending on the situation since maybe the supplier is not at the office or home, is not in front of the computer, is super busy with something else, out of town without access to the internet and is sick when they received the deposit and other succeeding payments so they have a valid reason not to send the acknowledgment receipt and/or contract right away. But, if the supplier seemed to have literally forgotten that it has already been past the 7 days mark (or even 14 days maximum to say the least) which is the obvious standard ethical time frame of giving someone enough time to check things out without any logical, understandable and valid reason, then it’s probably time to set the alarm!
4. If the supplier is Missing In Action, then of course this is an obvious red flag. There is a thing called Smart phone and the Internet that virtually connects everyone around the world in a split of second, so there’s no way that the supplier can reason out that they don’t have any connection or whatsoever when they just suddenly went MIA without any proper notice. Better set the alarm because there’s a risk that you won’t have your dream supplier on your big day and that your hard earned money has already gone poof!
5. If the supplier is insists on what they want more than what you and your fiancee wants, then this is a red flag. Yes, suppliers may be the “expert” on their fields, but this is NOT their event. It is YOUR event. So a compromise will do, right? But, if the supplier seems to hard headed and wants to be in full control of things, thus making you and your fiancee feel like puppets, then it’s definitely a no-no. This is your wedding, you should at least have the control over majority of things. Who knows if you push through with this, things might’ve explode in the end and turns to World War 3! I guess you don’t want that to happen, do you?
6. If the supplier is very disorganized, this is also a red flag. Why? Simple. You hired them to organize your wedding, so if they’re already disorganized then how can they organized yours? Should you wait for the concluding part on your wedding or you’d stop, look and listen (not listen, look and listen and learn XD ) and pray for a miracle to happen? It’s your call.
Now if you ticked majority of the examples above, better start asking for a refund now but please do it politely. You’d better be safe than sorry. It’s your hard earned money anyway. But if the supplier insists that they won’t return your money and gives awful reasons, better file a case.
The overall take away here is simple: Respect is due to those who deserves it. Events suppliers are doing businesses and in order to flourish, it’s better to be honest and just do the job without stepping on other people. Isn’t that right?
Anything you want to add on the list? Feel free to do in the comments below.