Many couples and their parents (those footing the wedding bill), don’t understand why they have to pay wedding vendors the full amount of the contract before the wedding. Paying wedding vendors in full before the wedding became a necessary practice because of several reasons.
It’s sad to say, but many wedding vendors have been burned from a bride and groom leaving their final bill unpaid. The couple may have been planning all along to skip paying the vendor. Or, they may have been planning to pay, but the reality of their budget hit hard and so they decide not to pay. Once we are burned by this, we tend to be very cautious from then on and require payment in full, well in advance of the wedding day.
In addition, most of your vendors will do the majority of their work and therefore the majority of the expenses before the wedding day. The florist, for example, will have to order the flowers needed for your weddng, at least two to four weeks in advance. Even though you only see their work on the wedding day, they have been working for weeks and have to pay for the materials and labor to get it all done. This also holds true for the caterer. Lots of food, planning, labor, etc. has to happen in advance of the actual date. As a wedding planner, when I am hired for “day of” services, the actual work I do on the wedding day is half of the total work I do for a couple. The vendor recommendations, advice, and paperwork required to keep the day on a schedule, all take place during the planning period.
Some of your wedding vendors may be open to discuss an alternate payment option for you. Be sure you discuss this with them in advance before you sign their contract. A photographer, for example, may be likely to be flexible with you. You may be able to ask for a post-wedding final payment, pending delivery of your images. Be sure your photographer knows you do not doubt their professionalism. A good photographer takes pride in their work and belittling their business sense will work against you.
One of my responsibilities as a wedding planner is to recommend trustworthy vendors who I know from my own experience will “deliver the goods”. I have met and worked with many, many vendors before finding a core group of professionals that I trust and rely on to deliver top notch services within your budget. The research has already been done for you! The key is to make sure your wedding planner has a great reputation and their team of vendors will, too!
Carla Pryor – http://www.stsimonselopements.com