How to Hire Vendors for Your Unique Hudson Valley Wedding

While all couples 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?

Hudson Valley Wedding First Dance at Villa Borghese with DJ Bri Swatek Courtesy of Owl's Eye Studios

Hudson Valley Wedding First Dance at Villa Borghese with DJ Bri Swatek Courtesy of Owl’s Eye Studios

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 couples 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 Cake Cutting at Patriot Hills Set to Music and Uplighting by DJ Bri Swatek Courtesy of Custom by Nicole

Hudson Valley Wedding Cake Cutting at Patriot Hills Set to Music and Uplighting by DJ Bri Swatek Courtesy of Custom by Nicole

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.

Hudson Valley Wedding First Dance at the Villa Borghese Set to Music by DJ Bri Swatek Courtesy of Majestic Studios

Hudson Valley Wedding First Dance at the Villa Borghese Set to Music by DJ Bri Swatek Courtesy of Majestic Studios

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.

At I Found The Place, Stacie Tamaki asks the question

How Much Should Your Wedding DJ Cost?
and encourages couples to raise their expectations when it comes to a wedding DJ’s level of professional service at your once-in-a-lifetime event.

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.”

Hudson Valley Wedding DJ Bri Swatek at Christo's Courtesy of Cheryl Bolton-Reuter Photography

Hudson Valley Wedding DJ Bri Swatek at Christo’s Courtesy of Cheryl Bolton-Reuter Photography

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?
– 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. 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.

Hudson Valley Wedding Dance Party at Le Chambord Set to Music by DJ Bri Swatek Courtesy of Elissa I Davidson Photography

Hudson Valley Wedding Dance Party at Le Chambord Set to Music by DJ Bri Swatek Courtesy of Elissa I Davidson Photography

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!

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,
– Caterers,
– Photographers,
– Videographers,
– Florists,
– Photo Booth vendors,
– and much, much more!

Congratulations on your upcoming wedding!

Bri

__________

DJ Bri Swatek, Spinning with Style
Your DJ for Your Unique Style
in the Hudson Valley of New York

Email: briswatek@gmail.com
Phone: 845.235.0080
Online: www.djbriswatek.com

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The Links at Union Vale’s Mini Wedding Expo and Mock Wedding: Not Your Ordinary Hudson Valley Bridal Show

Planning your upcoming Hudson Valley wedding and looking for a fun event to help you explore your options and ideas for the big day?  Look no further than The Links at Union Vale’s Mini Wedding Expo and Mock Wedding on Saturday, November 13, 2010. 

According to Teri Stellato, Club Manager and Food and Beverage Director at The Links at Union Vale, “is NOT your ordinary Bridal Expo,” but “rather an innovative way for you to experience The Links.  Have you wished you could do a “trial run” of your reception to be certain you have chosen the perfect place? Well, this event has been created for couples who are searching for the perfect wedding reception.  Ideally located in southern Dutchess County just minutes from the Taconic State Parkway, The Links is hosting a Mock Wedding and Mini Bridal Expo to give you the opportunity to see what your wedding could be like.”

Teri continues, “Cocktail hour begins at 5 pm with stationary and passed hors d’oeuvres (cash bar). Then transition into our elegant ballroom where you will enjoy a 3-course served meal, sampling items from our wedding packages.  For your entertainment, enjoy the sound of Spinning with Style and Enriquez Entertainment. Then meet several of our recommended wedding professionals in a relaxed setting.”

“Amazing special offers will be available only at this event. Dramatic savings will be offered for selected dates if you book at this event.  Space is limited to just 50 couples and is completely FREE.  Reservations are a must! Please Call 845-223-1002 or email.”

Register now for this unique Hudson Valley wedding event:

http://www.thelinksatunionvale.com/golf/proto/thelinksatunionvale/wedding_specials/wedding_specials.htm

Congratulations on your upcoming wedding,

Bri

________________________________________________________ 

DJ Bri Swatek, Spinning with Style
Your Professional Disc Jockey and MC Service
in the Hudson Valley of New York 

Email:   briswatek@aol.com
Phone:   845.235.0080
Online:   www.djbriswatek.com

How to Plan Your Hudson Valley Wedding in Little or No Time at All!

Thanks to the folks at Bridal Guide for posting this great article about planning a wedding in just a few short months:

Bridal Guide:  Planning Your Wedding In Three Months Or Less
http://www.bridalguide.com/wedding-planning/article.cfm?aID=278

As the owner of DJ Bri Swatek, Spinning with Style, many of the brides and grooms I have met at recent Hudson Valley Bridal shows have mentioned to me that they are looking at some of the great incentives offered by Hudson Valley wedding venues and vendors for in-year weddings.  Many Hudson Valley wedding professionals still have great dates available this year. 

Just because you might be thinking of getting engaged and get married in the same year doesn’t mean you can’t have the wedding of your dreams!  The keys are to stay organized (using a timeline or schedule like the one in Bridal Guide article above) and to hire true Hudson Valley wedding professionals who can make your dreams a reality. 

Congratulations,

Bri

________________________________________________________

DJ Bri Swatek, Spinning with Style
Your Professional Disc Jockey and MC Service
in the Hudson Valley of New York

Email:   briswatek@aol.com
Phone:   845.235.0080
Online:   www.djbriswatek.com