- Avoid paying cash for products and services. Credit cards offer a dispute process that may help protect consumers.
- Check a company's record with the Better Business Bureau and review any complaint records.
- Insist that the company identify the individual who will be photographing your wedding. It is common for photographers to book more than one wedding on a date and send someone else to shoot the wedding. Make the identity of the photographer part of the contract.
- Check at least three references for weddings that took place within the past three months. Up-to-date references can offer critical insight into a vendor's recent job performance.
- Always review any contract carefully before you sign it. Do not make rushed decisions.
- Get multiple quotes from different vendors before you sign a contract. Talking to multiple businesses will give you more options and a better understanding of the services available.
- Do not pre-pay in full. Hold back 25 percent of the total cost until you have the products in hand. This will create a powerful incentive for service providers like photographers and videographers to complete the contract. In some instances, a photographer who has been paid in full will shoot the wedding and take months to deliver the products.
- Make sure the contract contains due dates for each task. For example, the pre-bridal photograph should be taken by a specified date, the proof should be ready by a specified date and the photograph should be ready within seven days after the consumer makes a selection.
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