Welcome! We are so excited to help with any part of your planning/ coordinating process. We know how it can be an exciting but also stressful time for you. We hope to serve you in a way that feels relaxed and fun!
We love weddings! They’re pretty much our favorite things 😉 We love smooth wedding days, dreams coming true, and all good memories…
We are an honest group around here, so even though talking about the things that could go wrong isn’t our favorite thing, we do it for your sake.
There are many vendors and many different things you should watch for, but today we will talk about two of the big ones. Buckle up and pull out your notebooks!
Reviews~ Here’s the thing about reviews. They’re usually left by good intentioned people. If you find a few bad reviews that don’t seem to fit the venue itself or the staff, you can usually tell that someone missed their coffee that morning and felt like being rude. But for the MOST part, reviews are extremely helpful because they hold the answer to the question you want to know. Is it worth it?
Read reviews on their site, read reviews from Google, look up reviews from other sites that are just for reviews (but don’t get lost in the review rabbit hole!), as with all good research, pull from multiple sources. Are the “bad” reviews all about one thing? Is a policy that won’t affect your wedding? Is it something that isn’t relevant to your plans? Look at the good reviews. The staff is a major factor at a venue. How did they treat the wedding party and guests, were they as helpful as you will need them to be?
Here’s the flag. If you are finding consistent bad reviews about mistreatment, dirtiness, preparedness, etc. then we are saying a big no. You don’t want to book somewhere that has disappointed many people on what’s supposed to be the happiest day of their life.
Presentation~ Let’s say you read a few reviews about poor professionalism in staff, but you don’t want to give up on your dream venue just yet. Go ahead and schedule the walk through. This is the time where they will be on their best behavior. They want to schmooze you into choosing them. You are the prize at the end of the walk through for them, so if they aren’t treating you well, there’s rudeness, profanity, anything that doesn’t sit quite right with you then run. If they aren’t going to treat you like the almost married couple you are when they first meet you, things can only go downhill from there.
Staff presentation isn’t the only kind we are looking at. When you’re on-site you get to see the venue up close. Does it look cared for? Is there anything ugly/uncared for that stands out and would be an eyesore for your big day? Is it dirty? If they didn’t clean it to get you to book with them, then you can’t expect higher treatment for your wedding. Does. It. Smell? We don’t do manure, sewage, rot, mold, or anything that smells nasty when we’re thinking sunshine and roses walking down the aisle. Address bad smells the moment you smell them. They may blow you off and you can turn around and go home or they might be taking care of something that will be a non issue by your wedding date. Dirt and smells like those are not the same as if they said something along the lines of, “sorry about the mess, we’re remodeling in that room.” Or, “sorry it smells, we’re doing some painting.” It’s good to give them the benefit of the doubt, but don’t sign the contract without some answers!
The Back Up Plan~ This is not required in all situations. Mainly if you’re planning an outdoor wedding, but in some instances you will want to know about the back up plan.
They should never give answers like “I think we have enough tables and chairs,” or, “I think kitchen staff can work that day.” We always want a definitive answer. Ask, “What if it rains?”, “What happens if snow covers the road?”, “What happens if you have a chef get sick?”
Do they have a backup for the important things? If not, that is not great option.
Now, do all of these red flags in a venue mean it’s a deal breaker? Not necessarily. Many couples have used the staff rudeness to get a free overnight stay or an extra perk added on. You may be able to come up with backup plans, there may be an explanation for smells or dirt that won’t affect your wedding. But do your research, ask questions, and you should be able to feel comfortable booking with them, looking somewhere else, or negotiating a great deal on your own behalf!
2. The DJ
A DJ can be just as easy to hire as they can be to pass on.
A Contract~ If you’re not using Aunt Tilly’s cousin’s sister’s daughter-in-law’s husband to be your DJ then they should be showing their trust factor by having a contract. Even a basic contract says ‘I’m accountable to my word to perform, and you’re accountable to your word to pay’. We like accountability. If there is no contract, they may be newer so suggest one of your own. You can whip up a 10 minute contract in a google doc. pretty easily. You may even help them become a better DJ by showing them the importance of their own contract in their future business ventures.
Reviews…Again~ A newer DJ may also not have many (if any) reviews. Ask for a recent mix or presentation of skill. They may also have some online showcases or past work that you can look at.
However, if they are an experienced DJ with a lot of work under their belt then the reviews are your best friend. No reviews for someone experienced means they weren’t worth the time to leave a review, bad reviews speak for themselves.
Deposit Vs. Expectations~ A good DJ or an experienced DJ will require a deposit 9 times out of 10 so read the contract. If their prices and deposit are big then the experience they provide should match the number on the check you write. Read everything and ask questions.
If they don’t require a deposit this can be a red flag because it lacks accountability for them. A lack of services for payment is also a red flag- period.
Hopefully this helps you keep an extra eye out as you are searching for the right venue and/or DJ. We encourage the benefit of the doubt until you go to sign the dotted line, so sign wisely!