I was asked a really good question by a client the other day, they said “Kev , how do I find a trustworthy wedding vendor?
Like any good relationship with your future spouse, your relationship with your wedding photographer or any wedding vendor, is based on trust.
You need to trust them, that they understand what you want and will be able to bring it to life your vision – even if you can’t really explain what you need!
You need to trust that they are on your side, and that they are doing what is best for you. Wedding planning is a real journey, a test of patience and whole lot of decision making. Some people say it requires the same skills and as much effort as a full time job!
If you can’t trust them, your wedding is not going to be filled with happiness and love. It’ll be filled with stress and anxiety, and even anger if something goes wrong and you blame them for it.
So let’s get into the reasons why credibility and trust is everything when it comes to weddings, and some of my best tips on how to find a trustworthy wedding vendor.
*** Warning*** this is a long blog post, but if you read all of it I’m sure you’ll find it pretty handy!
1. Look out for their reviews
When was the last time you looked at someone’s review before deciding to buy something? The statistics show that 88% of people check reviews before making any buying decision.
I’m not sure what the other 12% are doing, but they certainly should be checking out reviews before booking anything!
Planning a wedding isn’t the same as buying a piece of chocolate. There’s a lot more weight on the decision being the right one. If you get a bad chocolate, it’s not a big deal you can just get another one (although for some people it may be really hard to swallow!)
Yes I know, bad dad joke.
But if you get a bad wedding photographer, for example it can really make your wedding day really stressful, and the consequences of getting the wrong one is pretty awful.
Where can you find credible reviews of wedding vendors?
Do a Google Reviews search
A really good way to find a trustworthy wedding vendor is to do a simple google search on your wedding vendor. I did a google search “Zest Mosman reviews”. It happens to be one of my favourite Sydney wedding reception venues.
So you can see, they’ve got 156 reviews at 4.7 Stars. Looks pretty good to me!
Make sure you read them, and see if they reply to the responses they get and if they had any complaints, how did they deal with it? A good company will turn around a bad review and do their best to fix the situation.
Look at a third party source
Use a 3rd party endorsement to promote customer-recommendations. When a recommendation comes from someone outside of your circle it is unbiased and confidence inspiring. If someone took the time to write a great review, it means they really enjoyed their product or service and you should expect the same too.
2. How quickly do they get back to your enquiry?
Imagine this scenario.
You did a google search for a “Sydney wedding photographer”. Next you decide to contact one of them. Work looks really good, you love their photos on their website. You sent them an email at 10am this morning. 2 days later. No response. Still no response the next day.
You decide to email them again and two days later you still don’t have a reply. You then pick up the phone to call them, they don’t answer the phone and return your call.
Does this raise a red flag to you? I think so.
The next day you contact another wedding photographer.
You send an email at 10am. At 11am, you receive a reply back! They provide you with a really personalised response that highlights they have photographed at your chosen wedding venue, they think it’s awesome for sunset photos in the afternoon. They tell you they know a few secret spots for getting great portraits with your fiancé.
They also provide you with a great price guide which really shows you their approach on the day, what to expect and shows who they are as people.
Next they send you a photo gallery of their previous work at the wedding venue and requests to meet with you so they can discuss things in more detail.
Does this response gives you the impression they they really love what they do and looking out for your best interests? YES!! Can you trust this person? Most likely.
They say first impressions last , but wow, what a great first impression. You’re excited to meet this person and talk endlessly about how much you can’t wait to get married.
If any of the following red flags crop up during the initial process, seriously consider not hiring the vendor. Not responding to your emails in a timely manner, a bad attitude, and defensiveness are all big clues you should avoid them no matter how good they seem to be.
3. Can you see consistency in their work?
Before booking any of your wedding vendors, you should be 100% clear in their working style, approach to the wedding day, personality, and quality of work.
If you have any concerns about their professionalism, DO NOT BOOK THEM!! You should only be hiring people you completely trust and that’s especially true with any wedding vendor.
Check out their previous work, talk to them on the phone or in person, make sure you understand their vision and their process… and make sure it lines up with what you envision for your wedding day.
4. Do they make you feel completely comfortable and at ease?
This point is really critical and you have to get this one right. They MUST make you feel completely comfortable and at ease. You’re going to be spending a lot of time with your vendors during the planning process—and on the day of your wedding—so you want to really love them!”
The right relationship—like you’re romantic one—will develop naturally, she says. You’ll feel at ease when you’re with them,” especially since they clearly “know what they are talking about and what they are doing.
They’ll share your interests, vision and dreams for you on your wedding day and will work so hard to make it happen for you.
It should be a professional yet friendly working relationship. Not a spiteful not working relationship.
5. Seek out word of mouth or recommendations
If you had any friends who have been recently married, or engaged, ask them for recommendations.
At the very best, they’ve had first had experience on how they treat their clients and if they wholeheartedly would recommend them for you. They would also warn you of any vendors that you should avoid like COVID!
Another great source of trusted referrals are other vendors such as wedding reception venues, celebrants or wedding planners or stylists. They would have seen first hand those vendors who work well with them and if they are great to deal with.
What goes around comes around and good news leaves a lasting impression.
You can never get enough recommendations! If your chosen wedding vendor is on someone’s supplier list then even better!
6. Do they have your best interests at heart?
When you meet with your chosen vendor, ask them some questions about their vision for your wedding day. Questions like “What vision do you have for our wedding day?”, or “how would you best describe your style and approach to your e.g. Floral design?”.
With their answer you could get a sense on what they are about, what they and think is important to you. If it’s opposite of what you’re thinking or not on the same page, then perhaps look at others who share the same values as you.
7. Trust your gut feeling
Trusting your gut instinct. If you’ve really hit it off with a vendor, mark them as a strong candidate and book in that meeting to speak to them. Act quick because they won’t be available for long.
But if you don’t, listen to that feeling—and take them off your list right away.
Try not to do “analysis paralysis” whereby having too much options and choice you don’t make a decision! Limit your search to one to three options, and if they don’t work out, look for another two more.
Ask yourself “do I really trust my wedding team to take care of me and do their job?” If the answer is yes, that’s brilliant!
But if you answer no, it’s time to part ways and keep looking for vendors you can trust. You’ll be very glad you did because peace of mind on the wedding day is priceless.
8. Honesty is the best policy
I truly believe in honesty, transperancy and being very upfront in their offerings. If someone is trying to hide something, then what else will they hide from you in the future?
If you get a sense that the wedding vendor is trying to hide something such as pricing, what’s included or dodging questions like Scomo then don’t give them the satisfaction of taking your hard earned money.
Instead, look for someone who is very honest and helpful, friendly and professional and answers all of your questions with integrity.
Trust is built from the very beginning of your relationship with someone. This is very true when looking for your wedding team to take you forward into what is the most exciting journey of your lifetime so far.
Make sure you get this right. It’s your one and only chance.
Remember, trust your instinct. Trust is everything. You’ve got this!!!
I’ve got a really great article about making your wedding day more “you”
Don’t worry, Im here to help! If you’re looking for an Sydney wedding photographer or any help on how to find a trustworthy wedding vendor reach out and I’ll be glad to help 🙂