Years ago, I watched a news story on the Today Show about a couple who made their final payment to their wedding venue ten days prior to their wedding day. And, 11 minutes after they made their final payment (in cash), the venue informed the couple that they needed to close their doors indefinitely and they could no longer host their wedding. In fact, 50 weddings were left homeless by this Las Vegas venue’s closing.

I wish I could say that this was a unique situation, but it wasn’t.  I hear stories about the abrupt closing of venue doors and vendor businesses on an annual basis.  So, how can a couple protect themselves and their wedding from a situation similar to this? Here are five (5) quick steps you can take to protect yourself as you plan for your own wedding day –

1. Pay for services with your credit card. Use your credit card for your wedding planning services. If something goes awry with the vendor or venue, your credit card company should be able to help you recoup your money.

2. Get wedding planning insurance.  Here’s a common misconception – “I don’t need wedding planning insurance because my wedding vendors have it.”  This is not true. Your wedding vendors’ insurance covers their services. It is not in place to protect you.  This $500 (average pricing) investment covers the craziest of wedding planning situations.  And, let me tell you thing — If you need it, you will be so glad that you have it.

3. Thoroughly read your vendor and venue contracts before you sign them. Are you protected if the weather is bad? What happens if your vendor has a family emergency on your wedding day? Make sure this information is noted in the contract. Read the fine print and make sure that everything you verbally agreed upon is in writing before you sign on the dotted line.

4. Ask the specific questions. Don’t be afraid to ask the uncomfortable questions, such as what type of We have heard them all before. And, be sure to ask them before you sign the agreement.

5. Perform your own background check. Google them.  Consider asking other wedding vendors about them and ask about any red flags that you came across.  Read their reviews. Do you see a pattern?  If you do, find someone else to hire.  And, ask other brides for their feedback of this particular vendor. Finally, check their references.

Bonus —

6. Trust your gut. If that little voice in your head says, “hmmm, wait a minute,” then you should wait a minute. Our creator blessed us with that little voice to protect and guide us.  So, use it!  It will never let you down.

Love & Soul Always, Kay