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Featured: Preventing the wedding horror story with wedding insurance

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Today I had the fun task of searching for car insurance. That’s right we have had the Picanto almost a year! I’ve spoken before in other posts about budgeting and some of you who know me, know I’m a bit of a nerd about finances. I like nothing better than the buzz of having saved money on something but what has that got to do with weddings? Well we all know every car needs car insurance but does every wedding needs wedding insurance?

This week I want to talk about something that you might overlook but could end up costing you greatly if you do. yup you guessed it Wedding Insurance.

Now I’m not going to suggest you use any company in particular. There are lots and lots of them and they will all cater to different needs. For example if you are having something outside then you might need to include public liability insurance, but if you are having your wedding in a hotel then you probably won’t need this, but even with that in mind I hope you too think its a really really smart idea to take out insurance even if it sounds like the most boring unromantic topic ever!

Loss of confidence in established vendors

I want you to cast your mind back to 2007. It was the year in which Ray Winston for some reason decided it was ok to portray Beowulf as if he was from the east end of London with the immortal line “I’m ‘ere to kill your monstaaaar” anyway I digress. I want you in your 2007 mind try to remember the last time you heard of a large hotel or florist or bakery or even established photographer going into Administration? Can’t think of any? No me neither. Then suddenly it was like they were all only hanging on by a thread as 2008 got into gear the banks started wanting their money back and they dropped like flies leaving wedding horror story after wedding horror story things like “my hotel went into Administration and cancelled my wedding 2 weeks before my date”

Now this is a horrible thing to happen and I know it did happen to people so here are a few tips I have for combating such a disaster

GET A CONTRACT and read it!

Now I can’t stress this enough, if you google “my (insert wedding vendor of choice here) didn’t show up on my day”. At least half of the hits will read the bride and groom had no contract in place with the vendor. Even more will be that they had no receipt for any retainer/deposit they had paid. I can’t believe that this still goes on! That people are willing to trust complete strangers with part of their wedding, without getting any paperwork to say they will actually show up on the day and do the work they have promised. It makes me want to have a lie down in a dark room just thinking about it! Stop it people!

Bewear of the Friendor!

Friend Vendors feature highly in those Google searches too. Picture this…. Your work mate Jenny (who should after all apply to be on the Great British bake off) has offered to make your wedding cake for you, for just the cost of the ingredients too! What a total legend right? The cake can be really expensive so cheers Jen here is £100, go knock yourself out in the baking aisle in Tesco. But it turns out Jen needs new pans to make YOUR cake because you want a square cake and she only has round pans so could she please have another £70 coz after all the best pans cost money and you know you want the best for your day. Thing is, she hasn’t used pans like that before so she needs to make a few test cakes could she please get another £20 for cheap practice ingredients? Oh and you really want models of you and groom and your hamster Jonathan on the cake could she get a £10 off you for Plasticine to practice? Now having said all this Jen does do a fab job but the “For the cost of ingredients cake” actually cost £200 and your relationship is now a bit sour with Jen too. After you feel that if she wasn’t really prepared to make the cake then she shouldn’t have offered and also did you just foot the bill for her to set up a cake making business on the side? the thing is though you had nothing in writing to say what the “ingredients” that you were paying for actually consisted of and its potentially ruined your friendship too all for a bit of paper.

Ask the dreaded question – How busy are you?

Do you think there is a likelihood they will go into administration? Although it is unlikely any business will actually tell you. You need to ask them about in a more roundabout way like, do you have many bookings for next year? If you get the feeling then when initially enquiring about your date you could say something like what is your availability like in June? “Oh you have every Friday and Saturday free?” At the height of the season? When you are calling in February of the same year? Alarm Bells! Why are they so quiet? Most vendors will have quiet times throughout the year and they aren’t always the same each year, One year we were able to take 2 weeks off in August, a rare and much enjoyed treat. Just happened that we were flat out the first and last week but nothing on in the middle 2 so decided to treat ourselves to a holiday.

Not booking too far in advance.

This is one of the biggest changes I have seen in the wedding industry since 2007. Back then everyone booked their wedding 2 even 3 of 4 years in advance of their wedding dates. More recently people are booking much, much closer to their date. from our point of view, this of course scares the accountants to death. They think you have no work booked eek. The old adage does still apply though about wanting popular places and popular dates though. You need to book early so keep that in mind or you could well be disappointed. If you not looking for a Saturday at the very height of the season or you are willing to be flexible with your date to match your vendors availability, leaving it until a few months before to book everything might not be a bad idea. You might even get a good deal if you fill a cancellation date.

Get receipts and keep them safe!

For every single thing you pay for your wedding get a receipt. Even down to the paper used print out your invite lists and keep them safe and all together. Think of your wedding like a mini side business, if the worse comes to the worst then you will need to prove what you paid for, just like businesses have to justify their expenses.

And Finally.. GET WEDDING INSURANCE!

Wedding insurance although might not save your day from disaster at least you won’t be out of pocket as a result of the very worst does happen. Like I said at the beginning there are lots and lots and lots of different wedding insurers out there and its best that you do some research before you jump in. find out exactly how much you will be out of pocket if the worst was to happen and you had to cancel. Then get appropriate insurance, there is no point paying for 50K worth of insurance if your whole wedding comes in under 10K. The insurance companies are far too savvy to pay out any more than they need to so will want to see receipts for payments made. Also check what you actually need to cover, don’t need public liability? don’t pay for it.

About GRAHAM

Graham Crichton is an award winning professional wedding & portrait photographer based in Belfast, Northern Ireland. With 10 years of experience and having photographed hundreds of weddings he has photographed weddings all over Ireland, the UK and abroad.

About HANNAH

Hannah Crichton is the principal photographic assistant, blogger and studio manager (and other half of Graham Crichton Photography). Hannah and Graham recently married themselves in Ynysybwl, Wales, where Hannah is originally from. Hannah loves “everything wedding"!

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