Vendors are just as important as the Venue itself. I cannot stress to you the importance of doing your homework, at least for once in your life. Once you book a venue, they usually have a list of vendors they work with that give discounts for using them, so that’s a good place to start your research.
Let’s start with photographers. This is so, so, so important. When you go to a bridal expo, you’re seeing the best of the best of what a photographer has to offer. Keep in mind they cherry-picked each image they’re presenting to you because they want your money. By now, you know weddings are a money making business, and to most places, that’s it. You might find a photographer who does cool photos and you might really want to book them right there on the spot, but you need to have some self control. Go home, research them, and look up reviews before you commit. Just because they had a really cool photo doesn’t mean they’re a great photographer, it simply means they caught a good shot and they’re promoting it to catch your interest.
I promise you there is a significant chance that you will regret not looking into and researching your photographer before you book them!
Also, SKIP THE PHOTO ALBUM! Shutterfly and Snapfish create beautiful albums for pennies on the dollar compared to what a photographer is going to charge you. For my engagement photos, Snapfish was having a buy one get two free sale so I made an album for me and one for my mom and future mother-in-law for $50-total! One album alone from a photographer would be an easy $300, if not more. Save yourself the money and choose a cool layout from one of these sites, you can even get one for both sets of parents, and with all the money you’ll save you can take us to dinner as a thank you!
DJs! Also super important. If your DJ doesn’t get people excited to be there and excited to dance, people are going to have a bad time. You want a reputable company, and this is not the area of your wedding to find a bargain, I promise. Again, you want to check reviews on each DJ company because everyone always has something to say. Make sure you don’t see complaints about the DJ hassling people to get on the dance floor. There’s a huge different between encouraging your guests to dance and have fun and hassling and harassing them to get on the dance floor. No one wants to be forced to do anything they don’t want to do so that’s a big thing to look out for.
Photo booths! This is where my blog partner and I disagree. I’m having one, she’s not. We both have good reasons for our choice. I want one because they’re fun and those of us who don’t enjoy dancing will have something to do (at my own wedding I will be dancing but, normally I’m not a huge fan). My partner is not having one because it can be a distraction from the reception, which is true because people tend to line up and wait their turn.
Regardless of your feelings, you’re right. However, if you decide to have a photo booth, there are a few things to look for. First, as always, look up their reviews! Second, are the prints unlimited or are they getting one per person? Do they make you your own book of photos to keep so you can laugh at how ridiculous everyone is? These are important things to know and to ask! I originally booked a photo booth that was $1200 because it had bells and whistles and unlimited prints, and I was insane. I cancelled them because I found another photo booth with great reviews that offered everything from the first photo booth PLUS my own book full of everyone’s photos for $375! Talk about a savings!
Limos… this is a nightmare. If you book a limo for 1 hour, prices are reasonable. You say wedding transport and you’re now paying $1,000 for the same service even if it’s only 30 minutes. And there’s really no way to get around this besides not using a Limo at all. You can work them down a little if you also get a transport bus, which is a good idea if you have a lot of guests staying at the local hotel, but there isn’t much wiggle room, unfortunately. Just make sure you shop around because Limo companies are all competing with each other. And make sure whoever you choose has clean, safe, and on-time reviews, and you’re usually good.
Videography! I personally think this is a must have, but many people don’t agree with me. People think it’s unnecessary because they’ll have photos, and that’s OK! My feelings towards it are, yes you’ll have photos, but it’s important to me to have video of my loved ones who are older or who I know might not be around when I have kids so that I can show my children who they were. You get a nice smile in a photo but you get personality in a video so that’s something to keep in mind.
So, those are our vendor tips! If you have any questions, please email us! We’d love to hear from you!
Much love and good luck ladies and gents,