While all brides and grooms should have a firm budget in mind for their wedding that they are comfortable with and that they can work within effectively, it’s also important to consider this question when planning your wedding: Who are my wedding vendors?
Bride and Groom’s Hudson Valley Wedding First Dance Set to Music by DJ Bri Swatek at The Garrison Courtesy of Dan Stockfield Photography
It sounds like a simple question, but the truth–as always–can be a bit more complicated. In fact, this question actually answers a second question which all brides and grooms do consider at some point: Why are all of these wedding vendors’ prices so different?
Here’s the truth: full-time, professional wedding vendors set prices that are a reflection of the time, effort, quality, and service that they will provide for your once-in-a-lifetime event.
First, are your wedding vendors full-time wedding professionals? If they are, chances are you’re going to have a vendor who is responsive to your emails and calls, and treats your wedding as the most important event on their calendar that day. If your vendor is not a full-time wedding professional, it’s good to find out if a) they’re a wedding vendor first with a related sideline second to bring in a little extra income outside of the wedding season, or b) it’s the opposite: being a wedding vendor is really a part-time job for them and they have another career that takes up the majority of their time and energy. Imagine doing your own job as a part-time, weekend sideline–would you be able to do it effectively?
Second, who is actually coming to work at your wedding? If you signed a contract with a company that has several staff members, who is the actual person who will be working at your wedding? Make certain you know *who* your vendor is going to be on your big day.
Hudson Valley Wedding DJ Bri Swatek with Bride and Groom at Villa Borghese Courtesy of Kristine Palmer Photography
There are many great companies in the Hudson Valley that offer multiple DJs, photographers, etc. for you to choose from for your event. They offer the opportunity for you to see samples of their work and meet with your personal vendor before the big day. However, there are also a number of services in the tri-state area that offer “too good to be true” prices for “someone” to come work at your wedding.
I’ve said this many times in my career as a DJ, MC, and event host: the words “surprise” and “wedding” rarely go together well. You should know exactly who your wedding vendors are and you should have the opportunity to be totally comfortable with them well in advance of the big day. Anything less than that feeling of complete confidence is not worth it.
Here’s an example from a bride named Lauren who confesses that she “made a mistake” and “took the cheap photographer route,” only to regret it after her wedding:
Lauren’s Wedding Story: “I Took the Cheap Photographer Route”
You can hear it in Lauren’s voice as she tells her story: she regrets her decision to not hire a wedding professional.
In addition, consider what professional Hudson Valley wedding photographer Autumn Thomes has to say on why
“Hiring Professional Hudson Valley and CT Wedding Vendors Matters!”
Clearly, Autumn has had the privilege of working with some great Hudson Valley wedding vendors, but she has also seen some vendor horror stories that could really ruin your big day.
Madison, Wisconsin photographers Primavera Studios further highlight the importance of paying for the time and effort that goes into quality wedding photography when they answer the question,
Why Does Good Wedding Photography Cost What It Does?
Most of this article could really apply to any of the Hudson Valley wedding vendors you are considering for your big day.
Taking her own personal “horror stories and success stories” as a bride “into account,” Jill Tooley at Best Hudson Valley Wedding Ever offers “seven red flags to watch for when you’re interviewing/researching wedding vendors”:
7 Signs It May Be Time to Find a New Wedding Vendor
Moral of the story: “It’s your wedding, not anyone else’s.”
Don’t ever be afraid to ask your wedding vendors any of the following questions:
- Are you a full-time wedding professional?
- How many years of experience do you have in the wedding business?
- Why did you decide to become a wedding vendor?
- What do you enjoy most about being a wedding professional?
- How many weddings do you work per year?
- How many weddings do you (or does your company) work in one day?
- Do you ever “subcontract” your work out to other wedding vendors?
- If we hire your company, who will be working at our wedding?
- Are you registered as a legitimate business? (DBA, Inc., or LLC)
- Are you a member of a professional association?
- Are you insured for liability?
- Do you use professional equipment?
- Do you provide backup equipment at my wedding?
- What’s *your* backup plan?
- What happens if I cancel the wedding or need to change the date of the wedding?
- When will you arrive on my wedding day?
- Will you be suitably dressed for our wedding?
- Will you be willing listen to me, and follow my plans for my wedding?
- What are your pricing packages, options, and services offered?
- What specifically is in included in your pricing, and what is “extra,” an “add-on,” or a “fee?”
- How much is your deposit, how do payments work, and what methods of payment do you accept?
- Do you provide a written contract?
- Can I have references and contact information from previous customers?
- Can I have references and contact information from other wedding professionals?
The American Disc Jockey Association provides questions like these, as well as things to look for in your vendors’ potential answers, online at http://adja.org. While the ADJA article is mainly focused on hiring a DJ, these questions could easily be applied to most of the wedding vendors you are looking to hire for your big day.
Once you begin looking at true professionals as vendors for your wedding, you will find that while there are always differences in packages, options, and approaches to your big day, the price range for quality service is actually fairly consistent in the Hudson Valley. As always, you get what you pay for!
For more suggestions on how to interview and hire your wedding DJ or any of the most important vendors for your upcoming Hudson Valley wedding, please visit:
Wedding DJ Prices
Wedding DJ Reviews
Need help looking for professional wedding vendors to make your big day the best it can be? Start with the list of true wedding professionals located on this blog: Your Unique Hudson Valley Wedding, including recommended
- Venues and Locations,
- Photo Booth vendors,
- and much, much more!
Congratulations on your upcoming wedding!
DJ Bri Swatek, Spinning with Style
Your DJ for Your Unique Style
in the Hudson Valley of New York