All too often I have a conversation with a client’s vendors regarding the payment of the final balance. For most vendors (including myself), the final balance is due anywhere from 2 weeks before to the day of the wedding. Sometimes, clients will just wait until the day of the wedding to distribute the final payments which can sometimes cause some problems (minor problems, but still).
photo by swoon over it.
One thing that I hear couples mention is “If I pay them before the wedding day, what if they don’t show up?” First of all, if you even have to ask that as a serious question, there are some major trust issues between you and your vendor and that’s not good. Second, just as you are contractually obligated to pay them, they are contractually obligated to show up and do their job. But again, there needs to be some type of trust involved or else why did you hire them?
That being said, I recommend paying all possible vendors a week (or sooner) before the wedding day. This will put everyone at ease and won’t lead anyone to chase after you (or your coordinator) the day of the wedding looking for payment.
Keep in mind, catering companies and tips are a different story. I don’t recommend tipping anyone until their work is (at least: almost) finished. And caterers/venues will sometimes wait until the end of the night to give you a final total, which is understandable in some cases.
And if you need some help keeping track of your payments, here is a simple download for Excel for you to use and enjoy.