The Check Is In The Mail


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Dear Readers:

Most of us know that sometimes it is, and sometimes it isn’t. I have touched on this touchy subject before, but I would like to do so again since so many of you have asked me what to do in this situation.

On one hand, we are asking our clients to take a leap of faith and to trust that we are going to do a great job. On the other, as vendors, we cannot risk not being paid for doing most of the work in advance of the wedding. My least favorite scenario is collecting the check on the night of the event. I remember a situation when I once followed the father of the bride all night in the hopes of getting my final payment. Truth be told, it was uncomfortable and not unlike playing hide-and-seek all night. When I finally did manage to get the check, I deposited it and…it bounced.

I vowed never to go through that again.

I have since requested that my clients pay in full two weeks prior to an event which gives adequate time for the check to clear. Most of my clients are OK with this, but there are some who make a fuss about it. I had one client who refused to comply with my request even though I did my best to explain that, by the time we execute the event, we have invested our time and resources. He was not having it and told me, “When I go to a restaurant, I pay after my meal, not before it.” I explained that all businesses are different and gave the example of airlines who require payment prior to departure.

Today, let’s try and put ourselves into the shoes of our clients. If you were a bride or a groom, would you object to paying in full before the wedding? What if something goes wrong? Vendors, how do you handle clients who refuse to pay up-front?



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