In this blog series we are going dive in and examine how to get the most affordable wedding professionals that meet your needs:
“Interviewing potential vendors is like going on an awkward first date — you both hope there’s chemistry, but it can be confusing to know exactly what to say.”
Let me break it down for you step-by-step
1. DO YOUR RESEARCH
Wedding blogs are a great place to start:
Look through your favorite blogs and click thru as many vendors within the sites. Don’t be fooled by the number of reviews that a vendor may have listed, in all honesty, if the number is overly high from the average; ” Well judge for your self ” if it sounds too good to be true …then, you guessed it, it probably is.
The more people you look at the more likely you are to find someone whose work you love and that suits your budget.
Speaking of pricing, it will fluctuate massively depending on the photographer’s, cinematographers and DJ entertainment location, experience and what kind of coverage they offer, but as a rough guide, in the New Jersey for a wedding photographer with decent experience, you’ll likely be looking at around the $2,300 – $8,500 mark. Same goes for a film-maker. but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should be aiming to spend lower or higher.
2. SHORT COVERAGE & OFF-PEAK MONTHS
Some photographers and filmmakers will offer shorter coverage for a lower price. They might not always do this on-peak, high season months (i.e. a May to October) because, quite frankly, shooting a short wedding for less money on a day that they’d be able to book full coverage isn’t a very smart business decision. But if you’re getting married on a weekday, or in the winter, you might be able to negotiate this option. Most places give discounted rates from November to early April and we are also seeing a massive trend of weddings taking place on Thursdays in order to within the Brides and Grooms budget. If you are looking to save money on the board you can start with the venues, they are ALWAYS more expensive to hire over the weekend.
1 Year Anniversary Video
3. CUT CORNERS ELSEWHERE
Things that you don’t do:
1. Hiring a friend/family member instead of a professional.
2. No professional hair and makeup artist.
3. Using a caterer with no wedding experience.
4. Skimping on your cocktail hour.
Things that you may consider saving money on:
1. Use more greenery than flowers.
2. Swap out costly flowers—did you know peonies can be five times more expensive than roses?
3. Stick to just one or two kinds of flowers.
4. Buy flowers that are in season.
5. Use more greenery than flowers.
6. Order a small one- or two-tier cake and then supplement it with a larger sheet cake (hidden in the kitchen).
7. Keep the add-ons simple.
8. Use fresh flowers, not sugar ones.
9. Skip exotic fillings like guava and mango
Stationery & Favors
10. Get single-page invites to save on postage.
11. Give out one favor per couple.
12. Make your Photo Booth the Favor.
13. Have favors double as escort cards.
14. Email your save-the-dates or you can use online paper list posts
15. Make your own menu cards, escort cards, and wedding favor packaging.
4. ENTER COMPETITIONS
If the photos are important to you, think about where else you can cut corners to be able to afford your dream photographer. We know that as long as you feel fabulous and you have a great photographer, your wedding photos will turn out awesome. Some photographers run promotions such as a free engagement session to get to know you and prepare you for your big day.
Every three months we run special contests, so be sure to keep an eye out.
Sign in for your chance to win:
5. IF IT SOUNDS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE… THEN, YOU GUESSED IT, IT PROBABLY IS
Think about it this way: if you find a photographer who’s charging $800 to shoot a wedding, they’d have to be shooting at least 50 of them a year to make just $40,000 (from which they have to pay for all their equipment, insurance, tax and actually live off). In fact, the likelihood is they’re probably shooting more like 100+ weddings a year.
Now, if a photographer is shooting 100 weddings in a year – that’s at least two a week – how much care and attention do you think they’re going to physically be able to give to all those clients? The first thing to suffer will be their customer service. They won’t have much time to reply to your emails or take your phone calls.
The Knot Review Board
They’re also probably going to be pretty highly strung and frazzled because they’ll be doing everything themselves, they’ll have no extra money to outsource anything. And finally, how much time are they going to actually have to edit your wedding photos? If they’re shooting an average of, say, 600 photos per wedding (a conservative estimate) and they’re doing two weddings a week that’s 1200 photographs they need to edit every seven days…! Yes, during the busy summer months most photographers will probably be shooting multiple weddings a week, but they won’t be doing this every single week of the year.
There is a reason why most of the wedding photographers and filmmakers we know shoot no more than 20-40 weddings a year because the old assumption that they only work ‘one day a week’ just isn’t true.
6. ALL DJS DO THE SAME THING, SO THE PRICE SHOULD BE THE SAME
With so many disc jockeys to choose from, how do you choose the one that’s right for you? There are differences in price, services offered, personalities etc.
Like anything else in the world, you have varying levels of experience, personalities, and the types of equipment used and how well the DJ can use it. Not all DJs are created equal just like not every bride is the same. But because you and your guests are individuals and every person’s ideal reception is different, so are the choices in wedding entertainment professionals. The most important factor to keep in mind is the company you are looking to hire a full-time entertainment establishment. That factor is so important because that simply means it’s equally as important to the DJ that your wedding is a success because their lively hood depends on it.
What makes a DJ and the DJs services unique?
- First, decide whether you want a wedding like everyone else or something unique. Today’s era everyone calls themselves event group and boutique; start by looking for companies that are unique and not a commodity. Are they selling a unique service or are they just selling DJs?
- Second, ask yourself how important is your entertainment. If the price is more important than your entertainment then you can find a DJ anywhere. But if your entertainment is high on the priority list, look for that company that has entertainment value. For example: Are they just music and lights or are they much more than that? Can they direct, coordinate and emcee, or are they just an announcer? So many more companies are charging more money and you are getting less. Meaning they sell themselves as your DJ and your MC. An MC sets the scene for a very personal reception he or she is an important person for tying everything together so the day or night runs smoothly.
- Third, would you rather have just music or are you looking for more? Remember, your event can be as unique as you want it to be. After all, great entertainment for memories of a lifetime are truly priceless
- Do a thorough research place a few of your favorite vendors on a list.
- Off – Peak months, November to early April and weekday weddings can help you save money especially if you are on a tight budget.
- Don’t cut corners and the important cellmates that can make for break your wedding experiences, such as photographers, DJs, and even cinematographers.
- Look into certain alternatives where you can benefit by cutting corners: cake, flowers, and stationery items.
- Online digital online paper list posts are another alternative to innovations and save the dates.
- Sign up for all Free offering from the vendors you would like to have for your wedding, the more you enter the better chance you have to win:
Many will enter one will win:
- If it sounds too good to be true; don’t be fooled by the number of abundant reviews that a vendor may have listed, in all honesty, if the number is overly high from the average; it probably isn’t true at all. Prices that are way below the norm means you are not going to get the actual experience you are planning for.
- Finding a DJ and an MC who fits your event perfectly is important. Not only are they a very memorable part of your event, but they will be responsible for keeping the crowd entertained and engaged.
- Pair all the products and services mentioned above and your happiness is guaranteed.
- Create a wedding that is distinctly you.
What are you doing to make sure your wedding represents you in these changing times?