Like most couples, you have put in a lot of time planning every last detail of your wedding in anticipation for a perfect day. Considering all your efforts plus the cost of a Washington DC area wedding, you should be protected because, no matter how carefully you plan, there’s always the potential for something to go awry. Fortunately, local wedding planner Kawania of Howerton+Wooten Events is here to talk wedding day protection and shares the steps that you need to take to be covered! Take it away, Kawania…

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Photo Credit: Love Life Images from Carolyn + John’s wedding

Every now and then, I come across a story about a couple losing their hard-earned money to an unscrupulous wedding vendor.  The couple pays the vendor (in cash) for their services –then, the vendor disappears without further notice.

Fortunately, the DC-area is home to countless professionals who will take excellent care of your wedding. (See: Comprehensive list of DC area wedding vendors.) But, every now and then, you may come across a vendor who doesn’t have your best interest at heart. So, how can you protect yourself? Here are six steps you can take to protect you, your bank account and your wedding day:

Take your wedding agreements seriously.

Don’t sign your wedding agreements without carefully reading them first.  And, make sure that you understand what the clauses say. If you don’t understand something in the agreement, ask for an explanation. If you don’t feel comfortable with the explanation that you are given, ask a trusted source (preferably someone who understands law) for their advice. And, make sure that everything you discussed verbally is noted in the agreement.  Please note: I am not an attorney. The advice above is based on my experience as a professional event planner.

Get yourself some wedding planning insurance.

Here are two common misconceptions: “I don’t need to buy wedding planning insurance because I have home owner’s insurance” or “I don’t need to buy wedding insurance because my wedding vendors have it.”  Neither statement is true. Your wedding vendors’ insurance covers their services, not you. And, your homeowners’ insurance may cover some personal items, but I doubt it covers liability. Do your research. If you ever find that you need wedding planning insurance, you will be so glad that you have it.

Pay for your wedding planning expenses with your credit card.

Every now and then, a wedding vendor may offer you a discount for paying in advance with a check or cash. To protect your purchases, consider forgoing the discount and pay with your credit card instead. If something goes awry, your credit card company may be able to assist you with recouping your money. If you are concerned about credit card fees, do your best to pay your credit card company for all of the charges you made each month.

Carry out your own background check of wedding vendors.

Perform an Internet search of your wedding vendors. Are their owners and/or staff members on social media? If so, check out their photos, posts, and/or tweets. If you find their posts or tweets (or pictures) to be offensive or inappropriate, they are probably not a good fit for you (and your wedding). And, there is nothing wrong with asking around. What do other brides and/or other wedding vendors say about them? The wedding industry is small. You will more than likely find the feedback you need.

Pay attention to what they say about other couples.

Wedding vendors take care of their clients during a very personal event. If they don’t respect their client or their confidentiality, chances are they won’t respect much more about you. Consider it a red flag if your potential wedding vendor “trashes” couples on social media or even during your wedding consultation.

Trust your instincts.

It doesn’t matter what the reason is, if you don’t feel comfortable hiring a wedding vendor, don’t do it. We are all blessed with an intuition. So, listen to it!

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This is SO important to know to ensure a fabulous day! Thank you so much for sharing this, Kawania! If you are looking for a great, local wedding planner, be sure to check out Howerton + Wooten Events.

From fashion and beauty to planning and budget, we’ve got it all covered, so take a look around the blog and read more tips and advice from local wedding pros in the DC area!

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