Post # 1
I finally found a place to handle our day-of-coordination as well as flowers that won’t cost an arm and a leg simply because they are located in the county so we won’t have to pay for lodging. The company has great reviews online but they want a $300 deposit on coordination and $300 deposit on flowers, then I will meet with the head honcho and set up a “working contract”. Have any of you worked with vendors like this? Does it sound legit? Both my venue and photographer had me sign a contract and pay the down payment at the same time, so this has me feeling a little uncomfortable.
Post # 2
I would never, ever, ever give money to any vendor without a signed contract. You’re just asking for trouble, and could end up being out $600 if it doesn’t work out.
This doesn’t sound like a legitimate business practice to me.
Post # 3
I would ask what the terms are for the deposit. Not knowing what the market is like in your area, it is entirely possible that they do this to weed out people who are not serious. I know of venues that do this, it is simply because their planners are too busy to meet with every one who is interested, they have a junior staff member give a tour and provide info, then after the deposit is in and the venue knows that they are serious the senior staff can meet with the couple, and put together a contract.
I see no issue with this, but the company should either have written terms for the deposit that allow for full refund should a contract not be written despite you providing a good faith effort, or they should pe willing to put something simmilar in writing via email.
I would call them and tell them you aren’t comfortable making a deposit without a contract. They should be able to offer a solution, either something in writing that states your refund terms, or providing you with a contract when the deposit is paid, even if the details are listed as TBD. If they can’t provide either then you will have to decide how much weight you put into the online reviews.