How to Talk to Your Vendors

I am going to assume that you are recently engaged if you are reading this, so I want to start off by saying congrats! I know that this is probably not the most ideal time to be engaged/getting married (Trust me I never thought in a million years that I would be postponing my wedding due to a worldwide pandemic), but just like that old 80s song that Marc thinks is going to be our first dance (Spoiler alert, its not), “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us” from planning our big day.

It may not seem like it now, but you actually have a huge advantage planning your wedding during a pandemic. There are a lot of questions you definitely should ask about, things I never thought about when I booked my vendors but will definitely help ease your mind if you need to postpone.

1. Deposits

This is typically the first thing you talk about when booking a vendor, Covid or not. Most people don’t think about the initial deposit, as it secures your date with your vendor(s) that you probably weren’t ever thinking about postponing. During “these unprecedented times” (bet you’re done hearing that shit), its important to get crystal clear clarification about what you will get back deposit-wise should you need to cancel/postpone. For instance, my venue allows for payments to be refunded, but not the initial deposit. Remember, you have a lot more power now to make informed decisions, don’t be afraid to ask your vendors to remove clauses in contracts that state that your deposit is “non-refundable”. Its bullshit if you ask me, and if they really want your business they will be more than happy to work around it should you need to move your date due to Covid.

2. Extra Fees

This may not affect you if you are just starting to plan, but its important to ask about extra fees. I have heard from friends who tied the knot this year that some vendors have added a “covid fee” which is ridiculous, Kim, people are dying. You are most definitely entitled to ask what this fee entails, and should stick with vendors who aren’t trying to milk the fact that they need to take extra precautions during this time as a way to make a bigger profit.

3. Payment Schedules

When Marc and I postponed our wedding back in May, we were sent new contracts and payment schedules from our vendors. Some of them added an extra “Holiday fee” because we are now getting married on New Years Eve, which was fine with us since we knew there may be extra costs involved if we picked this day. Initially this was just added to our invoice, with payment expected on or before our new wedding date. However, last month one of our vendors re-sent us our new contract and asked for the extra holiday rate up front. I was just about to send it to them, but then I used my brain. What if I needed to postpone again and I was no longer getting married on a holiday? Would I receive this extra money back? I shot them an email back and stated that I would be more than happy to send them the money upfront if they included a clause in my contract that I would receive it back should I have to postpone again. Thankfully, they came back to me and said that they were okay if we just paid the extra fee closer to our date and just wanted a signature on our contract. They also agreed to add in a clause stating they would remove the holiday fee if we changed our date again due to Covid. I’m so glad I asked about it, we have a ton of money wrapped up in vendors right now and I wasn’t down to give anyone a cent more until at least next year. Long story short, ASK about payment schedules, and make sure that it is CLEARLY stated in your contract that you will be refunded due to a change of date.

4. Price Increases

This is a big one, and probably one of the most important things to ask about. This didn’t happen to me personally, but a friend of mine wanted to postpone to next year and her venue flat out told her it was going to be an extra $5,000 because she would be paying 2021 pricing. This extra cost gave her NOTHING extra except allowing her to get married next year. THIS. IS. BULLSHIT. Make sure your vendors put it in your contract that you are not required to pay the following year’s prices if you need to postpone, its not your fault you can’t have your wedding when you wanted to, and its definitely not fair to have to pay extra for a date you were forced to change your date to.

I hope you found this post super helpful and that it gives you the confidence to plan your wedding like a boss. If there is anything that came out of the unfortunate circumstances I faced this year, its that I can now pass along a wealth of knowledge to you. I also want to mention that you should do your research when sourcing vendors, and boycott using anyone who has been shitty about postponing dates. Talk to your friends and family about who they recommend, and if you’re in the GTA you can always DM me for vendors I am using.

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