Photo: Julia Wade Photography
So you've booked your wedding vendors and are starting to plan out the details of your big day — but what happens if you don't quite get the vibe or results you were expecting? It's important to know upfront that not every vendor will be perfect for your vision, and there may come a time when looking into alternatives might prove beneficial. Before panicking, take some deep breaths and consider these next steps from our experts, if you realize that you and your vendor may not be a good match.
“First, don’t be ashamed of your feelings towards the vendor — you have a right to get what you paid for! Before taking any drastic measures, allow yourself time to think and take emotion out of it — calling off a wedding pro can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to ruin your entire wedding experience. Also, talk to your partner about the situation. This can help you devise a plan of action and get on the same page. You both need to feel comfortable with the decision that is made." —Jacqueline Vizcaino, Tinted Events Design & Planning
“There will be emotions involved; know this! Even the most business-minded intentions and relations will have emotions attached. You are passionate about your day. They are passionate about their craft/service. Understand you both may need to navigate the emotional aspect. Still, in the end, it is a professional transaction, and it would be wise to remember that when walking through these scenarios." —Jen Sulak, Weirdo Weddings
“Being a great fit is the desired outcome, but stepping back and finding a way through it can still yield the execution you need on your day. Ask questions, seek compromise and solutions, and explore a shift in the process if possible. If a pair isn't the right fit, it's rarely a one-sided mishap and something both parties need to reflect on and work through their parts in it. A wedding pro will learn more about their ideal client, and a couple will learn more about interviewing for their other pros.” - Amber Anderson, CEO of Refine for Wedding Planners
“When communicating what you need to change to feel more satisfied with their work, be sure to be kind, understanding, and non-judgmental of the work they’ve shown you thus far, especially in an instance where you need to terminate the contract altogether. Because you and this vendor didn't work out, that doesn’t mean they won't be the right fit for someone else, so be careful before you trash them online or leave a nasty review that can’t be taken back." —Julianne Smith, The Garter Girl
“If you are really unhappy and want to cancel, it is often not about how far away your wedding date is but more about how prime your date is. For example, if you are getting married on a Sunday afternoon in the winter, a month before you want to change, you will have an easier finding other choices than a Saturday in June six months in advance." —Steven Feinberg, Bunn DJ Company - San Diego
“I don't recommend hiring a new vendor until you have parted ways with your initial partner. You are still legally bound to your initial booking contract, so you will want to be sure you cancel first. Additionally, wedding pros work together a lot and share what events they are working on and excited about, so you would hate for someone to share a bad experience with you as a couple, making it hard for another wedding pro to want to work with you.” —Samantha Leenheer, Samantha Joy Events
“If you'd like to sever your professional relationship, read through your contract first. Many vendors have a clause or two about canceling and being responsible for the remaining balance after a certain point. Abide by the contract you signed, don't force them to take you to court. This will cost you way more grief than either of you want." —Kimberly Sisti, Sisti & Co.
“In some cases, the fault falls solely on the vendor, but in many cases, it’s a two-way issue. And there is probably something you can do to make the relationship work better. For example, adjusting your expectations or communication might result in a better response from the vendor and thus create a much better situation. This alone could fix the issue. But, it also can be good to reach out to the vendor and express your concern and desire to make it work. Then you can see what you can collectively do to make it better. By reaching out, you may also understand the vendor’s situation better. Because you have no idea what's going on in their lives, they might be dealing with something that is inadvertently affecting their work. And a little understanding can go a long way.” —Jamie Chang, Mango Muse Events
We know navigating changes during this exciting – yet stressful – wedding planning process can feel overwhelming at times. Ultimately, you'll be so glad you took the extra steps to ensure you have the right team to support you every step of the way.