Choosing a Vendor

“Associate yourself with people of good quality, for it is better to be alone than to be in bad company.”
– Booker T. Washington

Day 490: In my first blog post, I described how I had virtually picked out all of my vendors through theknot.com until my plan abruptly collapsed beneath my feet when they raised their prices. As soon as I got over the shock of my ideal videographer upping her price by $1,000, I scoured the internet for an affordable videographer who was as good or better.

As Americans, we vote with our dollars. The wedding industry has created a trivial need for an elaborate, outrageously expensive wedding and couples are letting it happen by accepting to pay these ridiculous prices. It’s our job as the newly engaged to defy these high costs by taking our business to a more affordable vendor.

Affordability isn’t the only important thing to consider when choosing a vendor. Find someone you absolutely love and trust with your big day.

Joe and I have been meeting with several vendors and have had different experiences with each of them. So far, we’ve only put money down on vendors that we absolutely feel comfortable and ourselves with.

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Take our videographer for example. I reached out to Jess after hunting through an exorbitant number of wedding videos. Her package was priced at $2,500 and that includes 8 hours of shooting, a wedding highlight video and the full ceremony – all edited. She wrote back to me in a positive, friendly email saying she’d love to meet with us, however, her prices would be increasing to $2,900 in a few weeks. She would honor that price as long as we could put the deposit down in the next few weeks.

If there’s only one thing to take away from this blog, it’s this: do not rush into anything. Do not choose a vendor who makes you feel rushed into making a decision or doesn’t let you see a band or venue before putting money down.  Take your time.

I told Jess we didn’t even have a date set and would not commit to a videographer without for sure knowing if she was available on my wedding day.

Jess said she understood and to take my time; she would honor the price regardless.

When we first met Jess, it was in her cozy little office. She was instantly welcoming and kind, making an effort to connect with us on a personal level. We sat on a big squishy couch and watched a few highlight wedding videos on her large screen, high definition television. She went over her business plan and reiterated that we should come up with specific shots or video opportunities that we would like her to capture on your wedding day.

She was extremely professional and easy-going. When we left her office, we knew she was someone we wanted to capture the most important moments of our big day.

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The next week, Joe and I met with a photographer who I had loved from my beginning planning stages. Alena stood out to me because although her photos were beautiful and crystal clear, her package price was affordable starting with unlimited hours of shooting at $2,500. When I recently reached out to her, her prices had gone up to $2,900. Joe and I looked through a few photographer websites and he made the decision that Alena was the best and even though her prices went up, we should meet with her.

Emailing her to meet with us was different than emailing Jess. Alena had very generic responses and sent me a pre-written email that was exactly the same as the email she sent to me six months prior. I figured she had a lot of inquiries and ignored the lack of warmth toward potential customers.

Joe and I met with Alena at a Panera Bread down the street and she was a tiny, pretty woman with a sweet smile. She was very nice but she came off quiet and reserved. Alena showed us her photo books and Joe and I tried to comment on some pictures throughout the album. I tried to get a friendly conversation going but it was very hard to connect with her. Joe had stopped speaking so I felt like I was talking to a brick wall while we flipped through four wedding albums.

Joe and I told Alena thanks and that we would be in touch and left after we had seen all her photos and went over her package details and pricing. Joe immediately told me talking to her was like pulling teeth and he did not feel a connection with her at all. Her pictures are gorgeous and she was a nice enough woman, but we definitely felt awkward with her.

That is something you need to consider when meeting and choosing a photographer or videographer. You want to look relaxed and happy in photos and you can only do that by actually being relaxed and happy.

That said, Joe and I are still on the hunt for photographers.

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