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Bridal nightmares happen to the best of us. You dream you're walking down the aisle in your prom dress, the groom is MIA, or your reception is in the local supermarket instead of the venue you've booked. And while most nightmares are easy to laugh off once you've woken up, sometimes nightmares can become reality. One of those situations that will hopefully never happen to you? A no-show wedding vendor. Our experts weigh in on what you should do if someone you've hired doesn't show up on your wedding day.
First things first, don't panic. While a vendor who doesn't show up for your wedding day is definitely not something you want to have happen, missing a single vendor won't cause a major crisis, even if it's your planner. Start by figuring out what will be missing or changed. Will you have tables without flowers on them, no music at the ceremony, or a plated dinner with no cake to cut into? It's not ideal, but your wedding can go on. See if your venue can help you hook an iPod up to speakers, and assign a groomsman to make a killer Spotify playlist. Send an aunt to the local grocery store on her way to the ceremony to pick up a cake — you may not be able to serve everyone, but you'll have something to cut into! No planner to be seen? Task your maid of honor with keeping everyone on schedule, or ask your caterer or florist if they have someone who can step in to help out. You'll have to put a little extra faith in the vendors who are there, but it will all come together.
After the fact, begin by carefully reviewing the contract you've signed. Were things like the date, time, and location clearly communicated? Did your contract outline an Act of God clause (which covers things like natural disasters) or specific ways that legal disputes should be addressed? Familiarize yourself with all of the information before you contact your vendor. Some contracts even specify that the client receives a full refund if the vendor fails to appear, so you might have saved yourself a headache.
See more: How to Break Up with a Wedding Vendor
When contacting your vendor, be direct but not aggressive. Don't be afraid to involve a lawyer if you are having trouble contacting the vendor in question, or if they aren't working with you to reach a solution.
No matter the situation and no matter the vendor, be sure to have a contract drawn up for any and all services you'll be paying for, whether a family friend will be photographing the event or you're hiring the top caterer in the county. You'll be better protected, and in a better position to seek recourse should anything happen. And consider investing in wedding insurance, which will protect you from anything from natural disasters to a vendor going bankrupt.