Checking References: Ensuring that you get what you’re paying for

A word to the wise: If you want to make sure your caterer is reliable, that the limo shows up on time, or that you actually receive your wedding album, it’s a good idea to choose reputable vendors and check references.

This is the hard lesson learned by Lindsay Zora who hired someone to do her engagement portrait, wedding photography, and album. After paying him $1,200, he took the portraits but never showed up at the wedding. Turns out, the Better Business Bureau has received at least eight complaints against the very same studio, and it’s always the same thing: No wedding album.

“You just need to check references or ask for references when you can. If I could do it over again, that would definitely be what I’d ask for,” says Zora, a bride who unfortunately learned this lesson the hard way.

Wedding Channel has some good advice on checking references for a videographer. These tips can be applied to other service providers as well. If your videographer can’t provide wedding references, they say, keep looking for someone who can. “Your wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime event that should be captured by someone who is experienced, talented, and comes recommended by other couples. If you’re in the least bit anxious about calling or emailing a reference, don’t be. Usually, newlyweds can’t talk enough about their weddings, and will gladly clue you in on their experiences.” For more information and a list of questions to get you started, visit

eHow has advice on interveiwing a wedding planner. All Time Favorites has tips on picking a DJ. Bridal Guide can teach you how to be contract savvy. A little preparation can go a long way toward helping you enjoy your big day!