Tips for Brides & Grooms: Protecting Yourself in Today’s Uncertain Economy

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According to The Wedding Report, wedding spending has declined significantly since 2007 – almost by 30% (averaged) overall. The vast majority of wedding vendors can attest to the a downsizing of wedding budgets, as well as a drop off in bookings (new clients). Consultants and Coordinators in particular have seen postponements and cancellations spike in recent months.

Everyone is feeling the pinch; while engaged couples are trying to save, Photographers, DJs, Consultants and Venues are trying to survive. Competition for new bookings is fierce, thus creating a buyer’s market which gives couples shopping for wedding vendors and services more purchasing power. But how can you spot a “true bargain”? I’d like to offer a few tips to help you make a sound investment:

1. Perform a Status Check – Do your homework to determine if the vendor’s company is healthy. A healthy company is “current”, meaning they have an up-to-date presence, including a website featuring pictures of current staff, projects and client testimonails. A company that is healthy is typically involved in Professional Associations, and may be known as a leader in their industry. Healthy companies are growing (even now) and are gearing up for a great 2009-2010 wedding season. Look for current blog posts, quick responses to emails and phone calls, and positive recommendations from others (friends, vendors, etc.).
2009 Wedding Client, Portofino Bay
Look for evidence of
a well established business
with a proven track record.

2004 Wedding Client, Maison & Jardin

2. Beware of the high pressure sales pitch: The best vendors are eager for your business but not desperate.

3. Beware of Part-Timers: A part-timer (sometimes known as a ‘moonlighter’ or ‘weekend warrior’) may be able to offer a very competitive price, but do they have the equipment and experience to deliver the quality of product or service you are looking for? What is their stake in the success of your event and are they driven to ensure your complete satisfaction? Does the Vendor’s Contract protect both parties?

4. Beware of Start-Ups: The poor economy has spawned a huge number of start-up businesses; people who have lost jobs or need extra income are becoming entrepreneurs. On one hand, it’s beneficial to the market to have more affordable options, but who is the person behind the start-up? Do they have any experience with weddings? Will they grow tired of this new business venture in 6 or 9 months and leave you in the lurch? Is it worth the risk to hire someone with no track record?

5. Beware of “Free”: “Free” is a hook; it’s a term that often denotes an extra added value. Conversely, free also has no refund value, so like it or not, you’re stuck with it. (ex: “That free album you gave me was poor quality.” “The free candle centerpieces only lasted halfway through the reception.” …Get the picture?)

For additional pointers on what to look for when hiring a professional wedding planner and coordinator, please visit A Flair for Affairs website.

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About The Author


Planner | Designer | Speaker I've been planning for as long as I can remember! When I was younger, I planned birthday parties for my siblings and surprise anniversary parties for my parents. I spent many years in the Hospitality industry and also studied Interior Design. I couldn’t have guessed that my creative and organizational talents would lead me to a career in event planning...seriously! "To love what you do and feel that it matters - how could anything be more fun?" - Katherine Graham

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  1. Kelly, Your SW Florida Destination Wedding Planner #

    Great.Awesome.Amazing tips.

  2. Bradford #

    There is a LOT of good information in that post for Brides/Grooms. One thing I believe they need to look out for is poor customer service/personalities. In the photography and wedding planner business, this is extremely important. We spend almost the entire day right alongside the couple, so they should make sure we are people that make them happy, rather than stress them out on their big day!

    Great post Elisa!


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