I've been a little quiet lately about the actual wedding planning because, well, not much has happened. Before planning the smaller details, I'm trying to get the big three money pits taken care of : 1. the venue (check!) 2. the food 3. the photographer. I felt like I had a good feel for the caterer that I wanted to go with so I started on my photographer hunt. Unfortunately, that hunt had to come to a halt when I realized the caterer just wasn't going to work out.
(actual caterer not pictured)
I still can't believe that they blew it. I mean, I practically told them that I wanted to hire them to cater my wedding! Here's what happened:
Several months ago, when I was speaking with the venue manager, he mentioned a caterer that I just had to call. He said that he had always been amazed by the affordable brunch buffets that she had put together at the venue in the past. Solid recommendation: check! Experience at my venue doing my type of food: check! I had really high hopes that she would be the one.
Fast forward to late October- I filled out her online contact form and waited to hear back from her. I was happy to receive a phone call within a week and spoke with her about my needs/ wants for the day. She was so nice, had a million great ideas, and promised to get back to me with a proposal the next week. She also knew that I was looking at her as my top candidate (perhaps it was a mistake to tell her that?).
The next week came and went and there I was without a phone call or an email. Like a teenage girl with a crush on a popular upperclassman, I gave her the benefit of the doubt (maybe she was busy with holiday clients? maybe she lost my email?) then waited another couple of weeks before calling to follow up. This time I spoke with an associate who, again, wrote down my information and promised that I would receive a call the next business day. Well, that call never came. Sadly, the caterer broke one of my rules for hiring vendors and is now pre-fired from my wedding.
Do I really have rules for everything? Yep.
My rules for hiring a wedding vendor:
1. Must not hide any unreasonable fees within the fine print. I get that there will be fees for additional labor and upgraded services, but there's no reason to charge an arm and a leg for setting up a guest table or cutting a cake (I'm looking at you, wedding venue by the lake).
2. Must follow through on all promises. It's fine if you're in a busy season, but just don't promise to call me if you can't.
3. Must show interest in my business. If I call or email them asking for more information on their services, I'd expect some form of a response eventually. It's not my job to harass a business into wanting to take money from me.
4. Must act like a professional. I was amazed by the number of perfect five-star reviews that the photographers in my area have received on some major wedding sites... until I found out that many vendors will protest a negative review with the sites until they are taken down or worse, they'll call the customer a liar for writing certain things. "Professionals" with these types of sneaky business practices are o-u-t!
5. And of course, must "fit..." within budget, vision, etc.
Pathetically, I'm still half hoping that the caterer will call back with some great excuse, but realistically, I know that she broke both rules #2 and #3 so it's time to move on.
Do you have any rules for hiring vendors?