False advertising SUCKS. I attempted to read The Silent Wife. About half-way through the boring third-person narrative sludge, I started skimming, then went online to find out how it ends. And the ending …. sucked too. This isn’t a book review, so I won’t go into details about The Silent Wife. Just trust me when I say that the hype and reviews are lies.

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Why did I stick with it for over 150 pages? Because there’s a quote on the back of the book that says it’s better than Gone Girl, and on the front it says it’s “this summer’s Gone Girl”! I was sad to discover that it is, in fact, NOTHING like Gone Girl, and nowhere near as good.

So why does false advertising suck? Not only is it a waste of time and a waste of money, but it can ruin something very important. There is a “photographer” who advertises on Craigslist in our area who only posts stolen images, along with a very cheap price tag to shoot your wedding. Then there are photographers who have written themselves false glowing reviews on Yelp. Imagine if you hired one of those photographers to capture your day? Chances are you’d be seriously disappointed. There are many ways a wedding vendor (not just a photographer) can falsely gain your trust, then seriously disappoint you with sub-par product.

Here are a few tips to keep you from falling prey to wedding vendor’s false advertising:

1) Ask to see MORE than their basic portfolio.

Whether it’s a wedding photographer, caterer, baker, bridal salon, makeup artist, or florist, you’re going to start narrowing them down based on their portfolio. Before setting up a consultation, ask for more photos. With photographers, ask to see several wedding blogs that show the photographer’s progression throughout the day. With florists, bakers, makeup artists, etc, ask for more photos than just what’s on their web site, at least ten weddings.

2) Ask for references.

If your perspective wedding vendors are professional and legit, they should have no problem handing over three references. Ask them for the names and phone numbers of three brides they’ve worked with. Make sure you ask the brides about quality of work, punctuality, professionalism, and personality traits.

3) Ask for business licenses and insurance.

If a vendor doesn’t have a business license, don’t hire them. If a photographer doesn’t have a business license AND insurance, don’t hire them. Yes, a business license shows the vendor is serious and professional, but it also shows they are legal. I’ve heard nightmare horror stories about brides who let people who aren’t licensed shoot their wedding, and when the photos are horrible, there’s no recourse. If the photographer has insurance, they’re not going to jack up your wedding photos, because they’ve thought long and hard about what WOULD happen if there was a problem. They’ve covered their butts. And if there IS a problem with your photos, you can take action and be paid from their insurance.

Those are some quick ways to pre-screen wedding vendors. Wednesday I’ll be blogging details on how to choose a wedding photographer.

Ciao!

More gorgeousness!