How to Know your Wedding Booking is Safe
You’ll be investing a lot in your wedding venue and suppliers and in most cases, paying deposits months or even years in advance. How do you know that your deposit is safe, the business is reputable and that the business actually exists?
Where to find your venue and suppliers?
Most wedding businesses are known to their peers, so booking through recommendation, or checking your choice with another professional, is a really good start. The benefit of using wedding platforms such as Guides for Brides over Google is that there is accountability; we speak to advertisers throughout the year, we remove any that we feel aren’t offering a professional service and we mediate on the rare occasions (such as during the pandemic) if couples have any concerns with venues or suppliers they found on our platform.
We are only as good as the suppliers we represent, so we like to represent the best.
Checking that the business has a social media presence too is a great idea as you can see how long they have been around and how they interact with their customers. However, we’d never recommend booking a business that only advertises on social media as you will have no means of contacting them if they disappear.
Which reviews can you trust?
Reading reviews has become an essential step in making a decision to purchase. But how do you know that you can trust what you are reading, and that reviews haven’t been edited?
Most wedding review sites allow businesses to add any reviews they have received, but these will inevitably be the most positive ones. It is the reviews added by their customers that are the most relevant and it is important that you can read them
Both Guides for Brides and Hitched have a robust, fair policy similar to TripAdvisor’s, in allowing businesses the right to respond to reviewers they disagree with but not to choose which reviews they show and which they don’t. This offers customers a huge amount of added protection. Plus, we recognise those venues and suppliers who have been highly-reviewed by couples in our Customer Service Awards; read more about our 2020 winners.
We encourage all couples to leave reviews of their experience while planning and after to help other couples plan effectively. So, if one or more of your wedding suppliers or venue have been amazing, let other people know!
Watching for scams
As existing, trusted suppliers reach full capacity, it is tempting to look beyond the wedding planning platforms and consider booking businesses found on social media. Wedding planning platforms are free or very inexpensive, so question why these businesses don’t have a professional profile. Some just run their business that way, but others are intentionally operating under the radar.
The most common scam is that the business simply doesn’t exist.
- Head to Google Images, and click on the camera icon (this is the “search by image” tool).
- Upload the image you want to check and Google will search the internet for images that are the same or similar to that image.
- Evaluate the sources that appear. It will generally be obvious where it’s a stock image (a copyright-free image made available for any business to use) or an image owned by another business.
Clear and transparent contracts
Contracts should be written in a way that enables you and the supplier to confirm that you both agree on what will be delivered, when and for what price. They are designed to protect both parties so should be fair. The contract may consist of a simple document confirming the date and the amount to be paid along with their standard Terms and Conditions or might be a fully bespoke contract. Either is fine, as long as both parties have written confirmation of what has been agreed.
Is there a risk of businesses becoming insolvent?
The wedding businesses that have fought to survive a year without weddings are highly unlikely to close now that weddings are back. They also have more robust processes and contracts in place to protect them better financially in the future.
Do you need wedding insurance?
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