I remember a day when guys would ask the father of their loved one for her hand in marriage. I remember the day when a wedding was planned a year or more in advance. I remember a day when the word “traditional” was the normal type of wedding, held at a church with a reception to follow. Most of all, I remember when the bridal professionals didn’t have to mark down their prices to get the job.

In this era of weddings, we have so much more new technology and new ways of doing things. Now I’m not saying that the new way is a bad way, but I’m not saying it’s great either. See, I remember when I was getting married 17 years ago, I made a list of what my vendor needs were, what my style and colors were, and started calling and making visits to these vendors. I told them what my needs were and what I expected from them. In return, they told me their rates and we signed on the dotted line. The wedding day went smoothly and everyone was happy with no complaints.

Today it’s much different. I understand fully that everyone has a budget, heck if you don’t have a budget, than good for you! But before you decide your “budget”, you should consider your list of wants & needs first. You can not have a champagne wedding on a beer budget! Make your list, make your phone calls and consultations, and based from the info you receive, then form a budget and determine what you can live without and what you must have! Put a “value” on everything!

Perfect example of what I’m referring to. My daughter’s school was having their prom this past year and asked for my help on the committee because the year before the kids had a horrible time! I attended the first meeting, listened to their complaints & concerns, and realized the issue right away! The kids did not like the DJ and the “old time” music he played. They did not like the photo booth because of the lack of privacy (open concept) and lack of props. So I asked the budget and they only had $500 for a DJ and $250 for photo booth. I knew right there that the problem with their good time was the budget! What they did in the previous year was call around and email every company without even looking at their websites or any reviews, and asked “how much”? Then when they found the lowest rate, they asked the vendor to make it lower so the DJ and photo booth owners would get the job. Now don’t get me wrong, everyone deserves to get the job, but not everyone can produce what you expect for a result.

So with learning this info, I suggested I reach out to some tried & true vendors that I have personally worked with, find out first who was available on the prom date, then got a quote. I got a rate from 3 DJs and 3 photo booths. Let’s keep it simple folks- too many choices makes it more difficult. Then out of those 3, looked at the websites, social media, and reviews. Whose seemed the best fit. Who was going to please the audience? Once the decision was made on each, we determined the cost needed, then we “budgeted” from there! We did fundraisers to get the extra money needed. Now in the case of a wedding, if you need more money, there are plenty of money resource options out there, mostly- you can move your wedding date out a year to do this thing most people do called “save” for it! The Prom came and went, and the kids said it was the best time they ever had with no complaints!!

Now that the example was made, my point is this. You can’t low ball your vendors. Their rates are their rates for a reason. I’m not saying you shouldn’t shop around, but I am saying this, “you get what you pay for”! If you want high end quality service, then expect to pay more for it and you will not be disappointed!
Now some may say it’s this generation of people getting married, but I think it’s this era of people as a whole that display this behavior.
It’s been driven into our heads to pay less, cut coupons, save money, DIY everything…. but let’s face it, not when it comes to your wedding, your special day. You want it to be flawless, unforgettable, special & perfect. You want everyone to be happy that came, and you want fabulous memories to talk about and share in the future with your kids & grandkids.

The moral of this story is to remind you that the people you are hiring to do a job for you, do this job for a living! They need to make money too, they need to thrive & pay bills just like the rest of us. Guess what? They are going to do a kick-ass job for you like they did for the people before you for the past years of business, and they have proven it, hence “why” they charge the rates they do! They are freakin awesome!

So if you only have a “budget” of a certain amount, be flexible with it! If you need to spend another $5000 over budget as a whole with all your vendors, than you should stop going to Starbucks everyday and getting your $7 Venti Latte, and save that money if you have any value in your wedding! You must see “value” in your wedding vendors! You will get what you pay for! The best place to shop for your wedding vendors is our Local Resources page.