Post # 1
I just started looking at vendors for photography and DJs and I’m already lost.
We have a relatively “tight” budget, so I thought that would narrow the list down by a lot, but this has not been the case, mostly because no one gives their pricing out on their website.
I’ve emailed probably 10 or 12 places and of course now my inbox is overflowing. I know most of the comparing is going to be with the prices and packages, but UGH! It’s just stressing me out!!!
How do I know who I can trust and who is just bluffing? I try reading online reviews but that just makes it worse — half of the reviews are terrible, and half are amazing.
Is there a way I can get vendors to give me a “ballpark” figure before meeting with them? I just started a new job so I don’t have ANY time off and my fiance works nights, so weekends are the only times that work for us, and there is NO WAY we can only work on wedding stuff 1 day a week. It’d never get done. (we are also fixing up a house so … yeah, no “extra” time to waste).
For photography, how many hours do you really need? Some places offer 4, some places offer 10!!! And do you really need 2 photographers? Should we do an engagement session? What if we do an engagement session and aren’t happy with it?
I’m paranoid about the DJ. I have a lot of “usual” dance/wedding songs that I CANNOT STAND so I’m probably going to be picky. Can I control, like, 90% of the playlist? And how do I know if he’s going to be a good emcee? He could SAY he’s a good emcee, but what if my wedding day comes and he’s terrible or corny or weird?
I know I’m thinking about this WAY too much but … I’m totally overwhelmed and freaking out. And usually I’m an organized person when it comes to this type of stuff.
Post # 3
Talk to your friends who have gotten married, and their friends who have gotten married … tap into the networks of anyone you know who has recently been through wedding planning in your area.
Set yourself free from the feeling that you have to look at every option. You don’t need to vet all the DJs or photographers in your area and price range, you just need to find one DJ and one photographer that will work for you. Set yourself free, too, from the pressure that you have to have the very best X and the be-all-end-all Y. It’s much easier and less stressful to you to settle on a “good enough” DJ, photographer, bakery, etc.
Wedding planning can be as stressful as you allow it to be. The key is to accept that some of the stress is beyond your control, but some of it is “discretionary,” so to speak, and you can limit it by deciding, “We’re going to focus on finding a good [X] rather than the best [X], and be happy with that.”
Post # 4
I agree with the pp. With a tigh budget, I settled for good enough photographer. I just need decent pics, nothing super fancy or artistic. I got a professional who will give me decent shots and a CD full of extras I can print off msyelf. Plus I get him all day.
As for the research. I totally understand. It took me long time to find my vendors. But I didn’t meet with everyone. I couldn’t. Luckily, most vendors either sent me their price packages by mail or told me over the phone. That way I could decide who I wanted to ‘talk’ with some more or meet with.
I am in talks with a DJ right now. I will be in charge of the music list and I want to know how animated he is, as far as interacting and making the party live. I am trying not to be too controlling though… as long as he does his job (a good one) I’ll be happy.
Post # 5
what helped me was that I focused on one type of vendor at a time. For instance, I spent a couple of weeks just looking at photogs and then choose one. I then spent a couple of weeks looking at just videographers. Then I spent two weeks just looking at florists. You get the point. Once you talk to a dozen people and got a dozen or so quotes and looked at a dozen or so portfolios you get an idea of what a good price/package for a photography/videographer/dj is in your area. Good luck!