Yes the list is long and the clock is ticking away as you plan your event. Let’s take a deep breath and pull out a piece of paper and pen. Now that you have your venue in place, its time to sit down with your fiancé and make a list of vendors in order of priority. This will undoubtedly help you with your budget. Really talk about each vendor in depth. How will the DJ/live band, photographer, flowers/décor, videographer, officiant, cake and wardrobe affect the outcome of your special day and it is a different answer for each couple but by asking that question, you will be able to consciously put your vendors in order of priority.
The second suggestion before signing any contracts is to do your homework on value and price of each vendor. What I mean by this is call all your vendors and ask them what they will provide, what the cost is, but most importantly ask yourself if you feel comfortable with this vendor. You will be doing a lot of interviews! Don’t rely on what is advised on the web because these are average prices across the US and not specific to any area. For example an average price for a DJ across the US is around $700 but in Los Angeles the starting price for a professional wedding DJ is around $1200. So make the call.
I know it sounds a little crazy but get all your numbers first for every vendor and create an excel spread sheet (which most of my brides work on while preparing for their event) so you can make really good decisions and hopefully stay within your budget. This is the best reason to plan a year in advance. You will have all your vendors hired way ahead of time and most likely, you will hire the vendors who you really want because they are available and stay in budget.
For most wedding celebrations the next obvious vendor on your priority list is actually one of two. They are your wedding reception entertainment and photographer. Your wedding DJ or live band will be in charge of creating some great memories and your photographer will be in charge of capturing those memories for you to have for a lifetime. They are 80% of importance yet most couples only spend 10 to 15% each of their overall budget on these vendors. Again, ask yourself the question, “How will the wedding DJ or live band and photographer affect the outcome of my important day”?
As I mentioned in my last blog, I am going to give you a list of my favorite vendors in each category. Well the obvious choice for your wedding reception dj or live band would be Cheers Entertainment or I’m a Girl DJ. They are hands down the best of the best!
As for photographers I have three. They are in no particular order and each one has their very own style. You will see in their work which one is the best fit for you!
Written by Lisa Capitanelli Kasberg