“Seeking a great wedding photographer who can shoot my wedding, from getting ready to the end of my reception, who is not so expensive.” “In need of a cheap live painter for my wedding. “Looking for hair and makeup for my wedding that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.”
These are real posts I found recently on several social media wedding group pages. Do these posters really expect great wedding pros to jump at the chance to work for someone who doesn’t want to pay them what they are worth? Facebook groups and pages are great spaces to connect with vendors and other couples who will recommend their preferred vendors, but messaging like this is not the way to get great vendors to work your event.
Most vendors would run like crazy if they saw posts like these, and most of these kinds of posts rarely have replies from actual vendors. In the world of weddings, “cheap” is a four letter word. If you are going to use these social pages to get referrals, make sure you post exactly what you need, and for heaven’s sake, be polite. A simple, “Searching for a great wedding photographer for 10/18 in my city.”
We get it. Weddings can be expensive. As planning progresses, expenses start to add up and budgets become tight. Eventually most couples are faced with the choice of going over budget or cutting some things they would like to have at their event. All wedding pros understand that you are on a budget, and there are some things you need to consider when looking for and dealing with wedding pros.
- DO NOT tell a wedding professional that she is “too expensive.” A good wedding vendor knows her worth and what the market will support. Her services may be more than you can afford, but she is not “too expensive.” If that professional is working in the industry, then there are a lot of couples who can pay her price. The vendor is not “too expensive.” She is just NOT IN YOUR BUDGET.
- Don’t assume that you can’t afford a really in-demand wedding pro. If you are simply in love with a particular vendor, take time to reach out to them. Be up-front about your budget, and ask politely if they have smaller packages or services that would work for you. Some wedding pros have budget programs that they don’t really advertise. It certainly doesn’t hurt to ask.
- Be flexible with your wants and even your date. If you have your heart set on a certain venue that is out of your financial reach, ask about alternate days. A Sunday brunch wedding is charming, and a Wednesday or Thursday evening cocktail hour event can be elegant and fun. Weekdays are usually less expensive than a Friday or Saturday booking. If you are getting married in a slow period, you may be able to negotiate a better price as well. Wedding season starts in early spring, mid-March, and runs through June. July-August are slow months, with the fall season kicking in after labor Day and slowing down a bit for the holidays. You’ll never get a discount if your wedding is in October, the busiest wedding month of the year, but a photographer may be willing to work with you in July, when he only has one or two bookings.
- Make sure you prioritize those things you love over those you simply want for your event. Spend your budget on those things that really matter to you. Are your friend and family members big foodies? Then focus your budget towards an amazing food experience. Create beautiful tablescapes, and get the best caterer you can afford. Are you and your friends party animals? Then keep your food and decor simple and splurge on that open bar and awesome band or DJ who will keep the party pumping all night. Your crew will love late night burgers and pizza more than a seated dinner anyway. In love with a floral design that is way out of your budget? Select one element that can be recreated or use the color and idea as inspiration rather than trying to recreate the entire look.
- Think about you and your fiancee’s personalities and incorporate little details that reflect you as a couple. You can add a lot of style to your event by layering small, inexpensive details that tell the story of who you are. Build your wedding around the things that are important to you. Forget about doing things cheaply, and look for the best quality you can afford without busting your budget. It is more important to have a wedding that is meaningful than one that is Pinterest perfect.