What Should You Do If a Wedding Vendor Ghosts You?
It's a very unlikely situation, but keep these tips in mind if it happens to you.
Picture this scenario: Six months into wedding planning, your florist suddenly goes silent. You have the original proposal, a signed contract (we hope!), and email exchanges detailing the plans you two have worked on thus far. You can see she's still active on social media, but for some mysterious reason she's stopped replying specifically to you on all communication channels. Now what? Do you knock down her door and demand she show a little respect? That doesn't seem like the best reaction. Instead, you take pause, reassess, and come up with a new plan.
In the incredibly rare occasion that a vendor ghosts you and stops responding to texts, phone calls, emails, and knocks on the office door, it's most likely time to work on a Plan B. Here are a few things you need to know first.
Revisit to your contract.
If you have a signed and countersigned contract from your vendor—and you should if you've paid any deposits to them!—you need to reference it because it'll be your first plan of attack for sorting out this situation. If you've paid a deposit or any installments on your total bill, you may be entitled to a refund depending on the terms of the contract. If you feel you've given your AWOL vendor ample to time (at least two to three weeks if your wedding is more than a month away) to respond to multiple forms of contact (including phone calls), it's time to send an email (you want this in writing in case legal action is taken) citing the multiple attempts to contact with a lack of response, and let the vendor know this working relationship is one you'd like to dissolve. You can reference wording from the vendor's own contract here with regards to cancellation of services and let them know you're happy to walk away from this with a refund of your deposit.
In many cases, something like this is happening for a reason. It may be that your vendor's dealing with a gravely ill family member, a mental breakdown, or some other tragedy that should be covered within the terms of their contract. In this case, you may be able to get your deposit back along with an apology. If no money has been exchanged and you have no contract in place, the best thing you can do is cut loose as soon as possible. Email your vendor (again, you want this in writing!) and let them know you will no longer be needing their services, which in any case are not up to par, and that you will be moving forward with another provider.
Let it go.
The legal process of recovering that deposit could get messy and you don't want to let this time-consuming process take over your wedding planning. Do your best to walk away from the situation and focus on what's ahead because now you need to get into problem solving mode and come up with a quick solution that still allows you to have everything you'd discussed with your original vendor.
Warp speed research.
When something like this happens, you'll be pleasantly surprised by the reactions and willingness of other vendors to step in and help. By now, there's probably at least one vendor you've really bonded with through the planning process, like a venue representative or catering manager. Head straight to them for a recommendation of a reliable substitute vendor with a similar style and price point. This is hands-down the fastest way to find someone you can work with instead. You might also go back to a couple of the vendors you'd originally vetted and see if any of them are still available for your wedding.
Stay on track.
Depending how far along you were in the process with Vendor A, keep things moving in that same direction instead of revisiting and reconsidering every detail. You've already made so many decisions, it'd be inefficient to backtrack and make them all over again. Your new vendor will be grateful that you're so specific about what you want and can work quickly to get you back in shape so your wedding experience isn't marred by the shaking, frustrating experience of having a vendor ghost you.