We do our homework on a vendor. We read reviews. We read every word of every contract and correspondence and we communicate clearly. We love the work of the people and companies we have chosen to help facilitate our special day. So what happens when one of these vendors disappoints? How do we handle it? How do we get through the day? How do we seek recourse?
Before It Happens
Be sure to save everything. Get all agreements and changes documented. Use email, contract amendments if one was signed and get signatures where possible. Be sure to look into wedding insurance and what will be covered and read all contracts carefully to be sure you are entitled to getting your money back if something goes wrong.
When It Happens
Most importantly keep your cool. If it is a mistake that can be fixed get someone besides the bride or groom on top of it. If it cannot be fixed make sure the vendor is notified immediately anyway so bad reviews and complaints to come are not a total surprise. If the vendor is a total no show, weigh your options. If it was the DJ or band get someone to load the important songs on an iPod and use the venues sound system. If it was the florist send someone to the grocery and a craft store to tie together make shift bouquets. Some craft stores with floral centers have samples for sale or can quickly throw a few silk bouquets together. A day of coordinator can be very helpful when things go wrong and often have contacts for a last minute fix.
In The Days After
Talk to the vendors before taking any action. Figure out what went wrong and what they are willing to do about it. If they can come to some agreement no further action may be necessary. Depending on your contract you may only be entitled to a certain amount. Be sure to mention how the vendor handles issues in your reviews and update it with final conclusions.
If the issues are small like colors and styles of things many people will not even know besides those intimately involved in planning. There is usually not much to be done. It is important to keep that in perspective and have a good time anyway. The day of the wedding is not the time to worry about getting money back.