Over two years ago, I delivered some tips about how you can better improve your odds at hiring trustworthy wedding pros for your big day and that blog post is still 100% on point today. But today, I want to dive in just a tad deeper and discuss ways in which you can actually predict your vendor experience you would have if you were to hire any given wedding or event professional.

The best part is that you don’t even have to be telepathic or rush out and buy a crystal ball to predict your vendor experience. (Truthfully though, where can I buy one?) You can totally predict the experience you would have with a vendor if you were to hire them simply by doing some very basic investigatory work. The clues are all there. You just have to look beyond the pretty pictures and slightly below the surface to see.

how to vet your wedding professionals

Predict Your Vendor Experience

Can you pick up the phone and call?

  • Is a phone number listed on the website, Instagram profile, Facebook page, etc?
  • Do you have to “schedule” a phone call?
  • Is your call answered?
  • Are you greeted professionally?
  • If the call is not answered, is the voicemail box full?
  • Is your phone call returned within a reasonable amount of time… say at least by the same time the next business day (preferably much sooner)?
  • Can you also text the number listed?

Guys, this is the age of the Gen Z’ers and everybody—including us—wants their personal space. But the truth of the matter is that we are running businesses. If I can’t pick up the phone and answer it when you show interest in including me on your special day, what message does that deliver? I have a personal policy to always answer the phone unless I’m with a client, with family, sleeping, or in the ladies’ room. Period. It’s that simple for me. Beyond those four things, you are my next priority. And in the event I can’t take your call, I return it the minute I am not with a client, with family, sleeping, or in the ladies’ room. My only rule is that you have to actually leave a voicemail. I’m not about to accidentally return a call to the guy checking on my car warranty.

If your voicemail or text goes unreturned… clue. Obnoxious, in your face, clue.

predicting vendor experience

Is there a contact form or an email address?

  • Can you easily find a link to fill out a contact form or send an email?
  • Does the form ask all the pertinent questions without asking for too much information?
  • Is there a comment box for you to leave any information you feel is relevant that the form did not ask for?
  • Do you receive an automated reply to confirm your form was sent?
  • Lastly, do you receive a personal response within a reasonable amount of time?

You should be able to very easily find a way to contact every wedding vendor via some digital method—either a contact form or the old school way of just clicking on an email link. And this shouldn’t matter what platform you’re on—except for maybe Twitter, Pinterest, SnapChat. You should either have to click over to a web address and then access the form or email link or just ask for the best contact method.

vetting wedding pros

If you’re filling out of form, I think there should be some sort of balance between getting enough information from you without asking you to write your entire life history for the last 11 generations. You should always receive a confirmation screen and/or email that your form was successfully sent. It’s always so creepy to me when I hit “submit” and nothing happens. I never know if I communicated with someone or not until three days later when I finally receive a response. By then, I may have forgotten what I wanted.

And again, this time I’m going to scream it, YOU SHOULD BE ANSWERED WITHIN A DAY. There are times when wedding professionals might be on vacation or working a destination wedding somewhere far away (you should definitely get an out-of-office reply in that case) or away from their desk for an entire 16-hour day, but if you’re not responded to within 24 hours… clue. Big fat hunk of a clue.

How are public conversations responded to?

  • Do Instagram and Facebook comments go ignored?
  • Are bad reviews argued and debated with or apologized for?
  • Are good reviews appreciated and properly thanked?
  • How does the vendor interact with other vendors?

All of a vendor’s public behavior is usually available for you to fully inspect. How a vendor behaves online is a very good indication of how they will engage with you. It will not only give you great insight into their professionalism, but it will also give you a clear indication of their personality, their work ethic, and their reputation and how well they are respected by peers in the industry.

When you see digital tracks that a vendor has misbehaved online… gigantic, in your face, clue.

predicting vendor experience

So there you are. Three easy peasy ways to tell the future experience you will have with any wedding or event professional.

Don’t overlook any of these clues and then wonder why you received bad service, slow service, or no service at all.

Let’s “hangout!” I wanna hear about your love story!

Schedule a virtual or in-person discovery meetup!
For more options, visit my “Let’s Connect” page.

About Ata-Girl

I am a San Antonio-based wedding photographer and I cater to outdoor-loving couples who prefer to have all the realness captured on their wedding days. I am the wedding photographer for the outdoor adventurers, the romantics, the laid back, the snugglers, and those who wish to capture all their realness.

I am absolutely in love with capturing the kinds of weddings where there are more hugs than handshakes, the dance floor rumbles all night long, and chairs are pretty much rendered useless after dinner. Whiskey bottles are passed around, most of the wedding party has been best-best friends since kindergarten, Grams is likely to lose her shoes and your partner is much more emotional than you are. These kinds of weddings are my jam!

You can always call or text, but if you really want to get to know me, schedule a meetup!

I started Ata-Girl Photography Co., LLC in 2010. I firmly believe that the unique set of circumstances I have faced in life has prepared me to take a personal and genuine interest in my photography clients. I enjoy documenting the important milestones and captivating moments in people’s lives. I love being a part of people’s journeys and consider myself privileged to document their legacies.

If you enjoyed this blog post and would like to get your hands on 20 FREE interactive wedding planning tools that every couple needs, please take a moment to access them here.

I am a published author (purchase my book here), a podcast host (listen here) (watch here) and a WPPI-C certified professional, full-time wedding photographer. I specialize in a 10-day image delivery, same-day prints, same-day slideshows, Italian handcrafted wedding albums and I have a mobile meeting space.

When I’m not behind my camera, you can find me hiking, cycling, backpacking, camping, enjoying water sports, listening to music (Elvis and Prince), hunting for arrowheads, reading audiobooks, occasionally eating a few glazed donuts (my only weakness to sweets) and then re-starting my keto diet about every 10 days. The most important things in life are for me to see my two daughters happy and to create a family history my grandparents and grandson would be proud of.

The post, Predicting Your Vendor Experience, first appeared on Ata-Girl Photography Co.’s website and blog. Please feel free to comment here, or share this post with your friends via Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. Please email me if you have any questions about this article or want to share a neat idea for a future blog post with me.