One of my biggest responsibilities as a wedding planner is managing vendors. I have couples that seek my guidance in choosing their vendors; others have already hired them. Either way, my experience with vendors in this area often comes into play when helping a couple to plan their wedding.
The balance of hiring vendors and managing the budget can be a delicate task. Yes, your wedding budget is very important, and should always be considered as you go about planning your wedding. But here’s something else to consider: Do you really get what you pay for? In other words, is cheaper always better?
My opinion: you absolutely get what you pay for, and cheaper is not always better. That’s not to say that good vendors can’t be affordable. I just mean that, whether you’re planning your wedding in two years or two months, it is important to take your time and work with your planner to choose the right vendors.
When choosing professionals like your photographer, caterer, or DJ, there are several factors I advise you to take under consideration, besides their price. Do they return your phone calls and emails in a timely manner? Are they on time for scheduled meetings? Do they listen to your thoughts and opinions, as well as offer their own? Do they offer all of the options you want for your wedding/reception? Do they have all of the necessary supplies that are needed? Do they seem to be on the same page as you when it comes to contributing to your special day? It is definitely possible to find amazing vendors at an affordable cost; I have the pleasure of working with them every day! But don’t make the mistake of hiring someone just because they are the cheapest option. I see this issue arise sometimes when brides are trying to hire a family member or friend that will charge less than a professional vendor. Family/friend “hook-ups” can be great, but only if the vendor has proven professional experience when it comes to weddings. Peace-of-mind is priceless these days. You don’t want to worry about whether or not a vendor will honor a contract, meet with you as scheduled, and be professional and reliable on wedding day.
I encourage couples to set priorities at the start of their planning process. Decide what elements of the ceremony and reception are most important to you, and then devote the larger portion of your budget to those things. As a planner, I can be sure to manage the budget to allow you to pick the best vendors for YOU; while making sure that other less-important elements are still accounted for, but not taking a priority financially.
Taking the time to properly research your vendors – and keep an open mind when it comes to cost – will ensure that you hire people that will work hard to make your day everything that you have dreamed of.