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Choosing the Right Wedding Vendors in a Difficult Economy

April 13, 2009

Now more than ever, it is important to get the most for your money.  But a limited budget shouldn’t stop you from achieving your dream wedding, if you make the correct choices in several key areas.

It’s often been said that it only takes three people to pull off a wedding- the bride, the groom, and the minister.  If you want guests and memories, you’ll need a few more.  The venue, photographer and videographer, and DJ are the critical choices you’ll make, and if you choose wisely you’ll have an enjoyable and memorable wedding experience.

The most important factor is this: AVOID THE EXTREMES!  A good purchasing strategy is to find the five most likely candidates, then eliminate the least expensive and the most expensive, and give a closer look to the three that remain.  Chances are very good that the cheapest is the least experienced and qualified, and on the other end you’re likely to be overspending for no reason.  Let’s examine these items in detail.

The Venue-

In an attempt to save money, many folks are opting to have their event hosted at a private facility such as a home.  If you’re fortunate enough to know someone willing to do this for you, it’s off to the races!  Just keep in mind that a lot of considerations will pop up along the way.  Parking, restrooms, neighbors, zoning and noise ordinances, garbage collection and disposal, and catering and beverage concerns (plates, napkins, glasses and silverware, servers, bartender, liquor license, etc.) are just a few of the many difficulties you’ll encounter.  Add to that the legal implications of liability based on property damage and injury, and the very real possibility of a lawsuit from the serving of alcohol, and this becomes overwhelming very quickly.  That’s why it is better to go with a reasonably priced professional wedding and reception facility with experience in all of these matters.  You’ll save money in the long run and retain your sanity.

The biggest non-secret in the wedding industry?  Book your event on any day other than Saturday.  This single decision will result in significant savings overall, as most vendors are willing to offer discount pricing on the “off-day” event.

The Photographer and Videographer-

This is the 21st Century, and photos are no longer enough.  A wise decision here will give you and your family lasting memories of your special day, and there is no part of your wedding where it is more important not to overspend.  If you are considering an egotistical photographer who is charging so much that you can’t afford video, then you need to shop around more.  A skilled photographer with moderate pricing and an enjoyable personality will be more pleasant to work with, and allow room in your budget for a videographer.

Why is it important to have both?  Because photos alone will not convey the depth of emotion found in a falling tear or the crackle of a voice.  A well produced wedding video will bring the day immediately back to mind in full sound and color, show many moments that were missed in the commotion, and provide a way to share the entire occasion with out of town people unable to attend, even friends and relatives that you don’t have yet.

The DJ-

A good wedding dj does so much more than just play music.  They are the uniting aspect who brings all of the components together and provides the rest of what you need for a successful affair.  Microphones and sound systems to hear the audio (both music and spoken word), dance lighting for energy and excitement, and event planning and coordination are all elements which they bring, plus a commanding presence to keep things together and moving along as you and your guests progress through the dynamics of the evening.

As with the other main vendors, price should be A consideration, but not the ONLY consideration.  Personality and experience are vital, and it is possible to find the best wedding service providers offering the best value if you avoid the least and most expensive ones.  Passion, care, and a good work ethic are rarely found at the ends of the pricing spectrum.

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