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Quality Service & Reasonable Rates Benefit Wedding Vendors and Clients Alike

March 11, 2009

Recent conversations with, and observations of other wedding vendors have led me to the conclusion that I made the right decision long ago when determining to keep my pricing moderate and performance as high as possible.

Most discussions with wedding vendors have begun with their asking me nervously, “So, are you keeping your calendar full these days?” and the simple answer is yes.  The follow-up is typically “I’m not, what’s your secret?” and my response is always the same:  it’s no secret at all.  In fact, solid business practices have been around for millennia.  Of course I realize that everyone is struggling to make ends meet right now, and that’s just a practical reality with the cycles of commerce and economy.  I’m writing about the fringe vendors with extremes in pricing and performance who are going out of business at an alarming rate.  I’ll use two (names withheld!) to illustrate my point.

It wasn’t long ago that I was admonished by a wedding photographer for having my video and dj rates set too low, according to her.  She had started out at a fair price, but after receiving an award decided she was worth much more and doubled her prices.  Then came another substantial rate hike during the boom times.  Keep in mind her quality and service had not improved, only her perception of it.  In fact, her imperial attitude, enormous ego and unwillingness to cooperate with anyone at all left a couple of brides in tears on their wedding day, and left me with a mess to clean up after she left, anxious to spend time elsewhere.  Furthermore, these poor brides unwittingly paid double or triple for the same photography service because they had the misfortune of being married during good economic times.

 “What is wrong with you?”, this photographer opined to me.  Her lecture continued with the mistaken notion that like her, I should take advantage of the good times and make more money with less effort.  After the economic meltdown hit, the last few (short!) talks I had with her involved listening to her complain about how hard it is to find clients, and concerned various ways I could help her out by “teaming up” so I could help her absorb business expenses…AS IF!!!

The other is a budget DJ with a low price and even lower level of service.  This company survives by quantity, not quality.  I recall the owner (who hires inexperienced DJs to do the jobs for him) telling me that if 8 of 10 events go right, that’s fine with him and he can still make money.  What about the 2 out of 10 that don’t?  A search on the website http://www.ripoffreport.com with almost 70 complaints provides one part of the answer.  Other sites such as complaintsboard.com, my3cents, insiderpages, etc. begin to complete the picture.  The sad truth is that some companies just don’t care if you happen to be one of their dissatisfied customers because they feel they can just find more with aggressive marketing techniques.

Unfortunately as times toughen, many unscrupulous and shady characters  would rather prey on some people’s willingness to find a cheap cost without due diligence, than provide an honest and reliable effort for a fair price.  Conversely, some well intentioned folks will depend on a high investment as assurance they will receive quality service.  I still believe that moderation in all things is good, and in the digital age, a minimum amount of online effort goes a long way to discovering the true intent of the wedding vendors you are considering.  I hope you are able to do well with yours!

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