Have you ever met with a wedding vendor and just felt something was off? Maybe they were too friendly or kept changing the subject. Or, did they tell you they only accept CashApp or Venmo? These are all red flags and you’re right to follow your instinct.

It’s like that phrase “fake it ’til you make it”. Everyone does it, right? Wrong! Don’t hire fake vendors for your wedding. This is the team you’re hiring to bring your wedding vision to life. It’s true that everyone has to start somewhere. However, it’s important that your key vendors have the skills, team, and leadership to make it happen. Here are some easy ways to avoid scams and make sure you hire the best team to create your wedding magic.

Read reviews to spot fake vendors

Reviews and the internet go together like peanut butter and jelly. Fake vendor reviews lack the nuances of real reviews. Look for details and check the dates the reviews were written. Frequently they sound like they’re written by the same person or repeat the same phrases. Somethimes word for word! Most newlyweds write reviews within a month of their wedding. They either hop on the internet the very next day after the wedding or, like we do, when their wedding vendors send a thank you note and request feedback. Others wait until they return from the honeymoon. Fake vendors will usually have a lot of reviews all on the same day or clustered over a few consecutive days.

They talk about more about themself than what they’ve done

Having a passion for their respective vendor category is great. Knowing the best angles for your wedding photos, making a great tasting cake that also looks beautiful, or managing your vendor team and timeline are all skills that are learned over time. Fake vendors will talk about their passion, how much they love their job, etc. without ever mentioning what they’ve done before. These are the fake vendors you should stay away from.

Ask how their company is structured

Now, I understand this may sound like a very strange question. Especially when you’re excited to talk about all the beautiful things you will have at your wedding. However, there are people interacting with engaged couples on social media who do not actually own a wedding business. Anyone who tells you they can help you save money by not charging sales tax is a fake vendor. Firstly, businesses do not charge tax. We collect tax on goods and services as a requirement of doing business. Failing to collect tax is a giant red flag. A professional wedding vendor will also have business insurance in case something goes wrong.

Look for industry experience

Many wedding vendors start out working for a more experienced company before starting out on their own. Those are not fake vendors, they are new vendors with relevant industry experience. Therefore, professional vendors will happily tell you where they worked before as well as reference it on their website to build credibility. They want you to know you’ll be in good hands even though they just started their company. Other companies have a large team and your may not ever see the person you’re working with. Your contact is the project manager and the team follows that person’s direction at your wedding. It all comes down to what type of relationship fits your personality.

Cash apps are a red flag

Real vendors accept payment methods such as credit cards, check, Paypal, and sometimes bank transfer. Anyone requesting cash, cashier’s checks, or money orders or payment apps like CashApp, Venmo, Zelle, and similar is likely not doing business legally. You may not even receive the goods and services you pay for.

In conclusion, the fact is this- there’s a very low barrier for entry to become a wedding vendor. Anyone with a charismatic personality can fake it and take off with your hard earned money. The reality is, in twenty years you won’t remember how nice your florist was or how much the baker made you laugh. What you will have are memories and photos of yourself, your friends and family celebrating. Asking the right questions can help you avoid scams and select the perfect team of professionals for you special day.

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Check out the beautiful floral designs we've created for our awesome brides!

Vendor dream team and featured image photo credits:

Photographer - Monica Reyes Photography

Florist - Flor Amor

Venue - Vuka Bouldin Creek

Video - New Beginnings Films

Fashion - Belle Saison Bridal, David's Bridal

Beauty - Eleve Cosmetics, Casie Leigh

Photobooth - The Photo Bus ATX

Live music - Musical Discovery Austin

Entertainment - iDJEvents

Bar - Drink Slingers

Desserts - Sugar Shaker Bakery, Cake Thieves Bakery

Rentals - Monarch Event Rentals