The last thing a client needs is a vendor that demonstrates behavior that throws up red flags, especially after you retained them. Here are some behaviors that you may want to keep a close eye on.
The Vendor is Hard to Contact: If the vendor you're looking to book, or have already booked is hard to get a hold of --this should raise some concern. During busy season, it may take them a little bit longer to get back to you than you're used to, but if they have not reached out within 48 hours (not counting busy season weekends)--I'd be concerned. Keep in mind most event professionals are on events from Friday through Sunday. If you send an e-mail on Friday, it is reasonable not to hear back until Monday. However, most professionals will get back to you sooner, or find downtime during an event (if possible) to reach out to you or just send you a quick text that your message was received and they will get back to you at a specific time when they are not on an event. These are the vendors you want. No client should have to chase down a client.
The Vendor Does Not Embrace Your Vision: Fun fact...it is YOUR event; not theirs. Yes, they may offer professional advice or opinions, but they should allow YOU to make the decision yourself. The worst thing that can happen is your wedding or event is nothing like you envisioned because Vendor said it wouldn't work. Anything is possible within reason with careful execution planning. My saying goes like this, "If the client wants it, they get it". Truth be told, it boils down to this, event professionals are in the hospitality business. We take care of the client and their guests. Period. I have seen in this industry some vendors have an attitude believing the client works for them! No way! They work for YOU.
The Vendor Does Not Give You Solid Pricing: How can one make plans to stay within budget if a vendor does not offer solid, understandable pricing? You do not want to get sticker shocked by the final invoice wayyyyy more than you thought. This comes into play a lot with nickle and dime packages. Pay attention to the base package and their inclusions, if what you want is not offered, but offered via a la carte --be sure to get that cost. What may seem like a reasonable package may very well turn out to be a highly expensive one. Get an itemized list of what is INCLUDED on your contract; and don't sign it unless you have it.
Date Change: COVID is here. It happened, and it disrupted our industry like no other. If a vendor does not have a reasonable rebooking policy in their contract, I would consider negotiating one with them or looking to hire another vendor. Many clients lost lots of money during COVID because their venue or vendor would not allow them to reschedule within reason.
Firing a vendor.... yes, you can do it. If after some time, you and the vendor do not 'gel' or seem to butt heads or there is a lack of communication, it is OK to fire the vendor so as long as you are OK with losing your deposit; it may very well be worth it in the long run! A word of advice though, be sure to line up another vendor before terminating your current one.
If you are one of our clients, and you run into any issues with vendors, please let us know asap. We can help iron out any issues you may be having with the vendor and/or contract. We can help negotiate terms and get those itemized list of services listed on the contract before you sign.