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Updated: Oct 27, 2023

It's that time of year for excitement, suspense, tricks, treats, and of course, ghosts. But when it comes to your vendors the weeks and days before your wedding, the last thing you want, is to be haunted by the phenomenon known as "ghosting." Unfortunately, ghosting has made its unwelcome return, and it's a topic we want to talk about today.

In recent weeks, we've received several emails and noticed posts on wedding websites from distressed couples who've experienced bartenders taking forever to respond to emails and worse yet, disappearing without a trace or suddenly canceling their services, leaving them in a desperate search for replacements. It truly saddens us that we're unable to assist these couples, as our schedule is already fully booked.

So, what leads to these unexpected changes? For some, it's the evolution of life itself.

Individual bartenders who once relished working weekends for extra cash may now have families or simply seek more leisure on their weekends. Their day jobs may become increasingly demanding, making it challenging to juggle both roles, prioritizing the job that pays the bills and provides insurance over their weekend side hustle.

In other cases, it's a matter of being a one-person operation or having a limited staff. When these individuals fall ill or encounter a family emergency, they lack a backup, leaving them no choice but to cancel their commitments.

For some individuals, their struggles often stem from their limited experience in the realm of business and bar management. In the beginning, they tend to set their prices extremely low, believing that this approach will attract more clients. However, after a year of hosting events, they come to the realization that they are falling short of their financial targets. Consequently, some of them find themselves in a situation where they must take on more projects than they can effectively manage in order to cover their expenses. This, in turn, stretches them too thin, as they lack the necessary backup staff to support them. They soon discover that they can only be in one place at a time. Some, failing to meet their crucial business expenses, they eventually accumulate financial losses, which forces them to make the difficult decision to shut down their business.

So, how can you avoid finding yourself in such a situation? When selecting a bartending service, especially if price is your top concern, consider all aspects. Keep in mind the timeless adage:

"Fast, Cheap, and Good – you can only have two."

Find out if bartending is their full-time profession or a side gig. In the event of a conflict between their full-time job and your wedding, which will take precedence? Ask if they have a back up plan or a team to jump in and take the reigns if something should happen to them?

Don't forget to conduct a thorough side-by-side comparison of packages. While one company's package might appear cheaper, it could be due to the omission of certain features or services that you may need to provide or purchase separately. Keep this in mind, and also remember that your time is valuable – so consider the time investment involved in managing or obtaining those additional elements. Time is money!

Here are a few other issues to be mindful of:

Be cautious of companies offering significant discounts for upfront payments. Such discounts may indicate a need for an immediate influx of funds to sustain their operations, raising concerns about their long-term stability. It's essential to consider whether they'll still be in business when your wedding day arrives.

Avoid companies that don't provide a contract. Always insist on signing a contract when hiring any company's services. Ensure that the contract includes explicit terms for default scenarios and outlines your rights in case the company fails to meet its obligations.

Life happens and some companies look to sell their business because they can no longer do it. So as a responsible business owner, they sell there businesses which includes their contract they already have booked with an agreement that the new owners are to honor those contracts. Unfortunately, some new owners back out of contracts with clients who initially booked services under the previous management. It's crucial to have a conversation with both the original management and the new owners to confirm that existing contracts will be honored, and to understand your rights in the event that the new owners default on their commitments.

To safeguard your special day, consider all aspects when choosing a bartending service or ANY VENDOR, balancing the trade-offs of fast, cheap, and good, and assessing their reliability and backup plans. Always opt for well-structured contracts, be cautious of upfront payment discounts, and be prepared for potential complications when businesses change hands. By taking these precautions, you can ensure a smooth and stress-free journey to your dream wedding.

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