Brides and their families are always looking for a way to save some money on the wedding. And in today’s economy, there is nothing wrong with that. I tried to save money everytime I’m making a purchase weather it’s for the business or for my own personal use. Just recently I had to replace a monopod that got broken a few weeks back. I could have gone online and picked out the first one I came across and been done or I could have picked out the one with well known brand name (well known in the world of video and photos that is). Now, the first one that came up on my search was a unknown brand with a monopod for $29. That’s not bad, it was light weight and seemed like it was a good deal but I wasn’t sure it would hold up to what I needed it for.
The second option was from a well known brand. It was rugged, tough and would do everything I wanted it to do and then some. The major drawback was the $549 price tag. I could not justify the cost for the business, not to mention for my wife. $549 is a lot of money to spend for a simple monopod, but it is the best out there. The company that makes it is well known for it’s quality and ease of use of it’s equipment. The value was there but the cost just made it impossible to justify. I ended up not getting either of those monopod’s but one that just as good with quality, did excatly what I wanted it to do and the cost was more inline with what I could afford.
Brides and their families do the same thing every time they meet with a wedding vendor, weather it’s the photographer, the caterer or even the florist. They all want to find the best items or vendors for the wedding but at the best possible price. But, sometimes shopping for just price can end up costing you more.
A few weeks ago I was talking with a fellow wedding professional and we were sharing stories of wedding days. Most of us do that a lot, it’s kinda fun, but every now and then, you hear a story that breaks you heart, like this one. Seems the bride was looking for a DJ(wedding entertainer as they like to be called now), but she wanted to find one who wouldn’t cost a lot as her budget was petty much spent. So, she went to Craigslist. She found one she liked and after a nice phone conservation, the bride wanted to book the DJ. He wanted the entire amount up front and when the bride asked about a contract, he said not to worry, his word was his contract.
Everything was great until the day of the wedding. As the bride was getting ready and preparing for the ceremony, she got a call from her DJ. Seems the DJ got a chance at a better job that day and since they didn’t have a signed contract, he was taking the other job. He wished her well and hoped things worked out well for her. When she asked about the money she paid him, he told her he would return it to her early the next week. As far as I know, she still hasn’t gotten her money back and I don’t think she ever will.
I hear about things like this all the time. You would be amazed about how many weddings are thrown for a loop because the Bargain Vendor either: A. Didn’t Show Up. B. Has Gone out of Business or, as in this case, C. Found a better gig to work. I’ve heard and seen these stories play out almost every wedding season and believe me, it’s not fun to watch the dream wedding the bride and her family have worked on for months just suddenly fall apart because the photographer didn’t show and no one can find them.
I have said it more times then I can count; DON’T GET WEDDING VENDORS FROM CRAIGSLIST!!! Here’s why: To advertise on Craigslist is free. You don’t have to put anything into it, just the 5 or 10 minutes it took you to write the ad. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve used Craigslist to get things like tickets or furniture and the like. Today, as I was writing this, I went to pick up a beautiful Armoire for our new studio. A true professional is going to pay to do more traditional advertising. They are NOT going to use Craigslist. Professional vendors are going to be able to answer your questions AND, they are going to be able to put you in touch with brides they have worked with in the past. Ask your self this, would you use Craigslist to find a doctor, a lawyer, or how about a tax specialist? Of course not, but brides everyday go to places like Craigslist to find their wedding professionals and then wonder why they didn’t show or did such a poor job on their wedding day.
The most important thing to remember is the decision is yours to make. Write down the things that are important to you. Some brides put the biggest value on the flowers, others put it on the reception venue or food. Still others put it in the memories and capturing the day with either photos or video or both. When you make that decision, you can start looking at places to make cuts in areas that are not that important to you. If photo and video are the most important thing to you, then you can cut in areas like flowers or decor. But, please know what your getting before you sign any contract, NEVER pay the entire amount up front, most vendors only request an initial investment when you sign the contract and the balance is due sometime just before the wedding day or on wedding day.