Last year, one of my blog posts really created a buzz....much more so than any other. It's been read and shared thousands of times, and I've been asked about it by countless wedding vendors and potential brides over the past several months. What post caused all that fuss? It's called "Why Choosing a Cheap Makeup Artist is a Mistake", and it's a pretty long post delving into what it really means when beauty providers offer super cheap prices. (Hint....it ain't good.) Clearly, it's a conversation that isn't in the mainstream and it's a message that brides really need, and want to hear! From Instagram to YouTube and bridal magazines, brides are barraged with messages of "How to Save on Your Wedding!", "Budget Bride tips!" and on and on. I've heard seriously crazy tips of ways to save and I can tell you as a wedding vendor, tips like that could truly ruin your wedding.
Just ask anyone who's planned a wedding or been in a wedding, and you'll hear real-life stories of couples who went cheap and regretted it, like:
- The couple who chose a photographer who quoted $900 when everyone else quoted $4K, They never got a single photo.... and it's been two years.
- The couple who hired the cheapest DJ they could find, and he literally showed up with two speakers and his Ipod.
- The bride who had to scramble and hire another makeup artist last minute because the girl she hired at half price rates called her 3 weeks out and said "she forgot she was going to be on vacation", or the bride who hired a random and cheap "friend of a friend" to do makeup and she showed up an hour late...with no makeup! She actually asked the mother of the bride to run down to CVS and pick up makeup. (This one gives me heart palpitations!!)
So...let's talk about cold, hard cash! I want to give you the insider scoop on what cheap means, and 4 tips to avoid making huge mistakes when hiring your wedding vendors....
Quick note about my credentials on this topic? I've been specializing in bridal beauty for over 20 years, have worked with nearly 1000 brides, I sit on the board of a local wedding vendor organization, and I'm a featured speaker at Wedding MBA held annually in Las Vegas, where I speak on pricing, and other industry related topics. I spend a LOT of time with brides and other wedding vendors, and I live and breathe the world of weddings! I hear it all...including the horror stories of the non-legit vendors that have infiltrated our industry. (Insert frustrated eye-roll here) Ok....now on to the tips!
1. HIRE A PLANNER! An experienced planner not only make the wedding planning process infinitely easier, but more importantly, they can actually save you money. Planners have extensive lists of local vendors that they trust 100%, people they actually know and have worked with time and time again. They know what appropriate pricing is in your area, and they can help find reputable vendors that are perfect for you. Slick websites and reviews can be fudged....a planner knows actual vendors and who can truly be trusted to show up and knock it out of the park for you. They can also help you choose elements of your wedding designed to help you stay within your budget and give you advice to get more bang for your buck! They have many options with different levels of assistance...all the way from full service to just assisting the month of your wedding, and it's less expensive than you think. A great planner will become your new BFF, trust me! Anytime a wedding day is frenzied and stressed, I guarantee it's because the bride skipped hiring a planner. Get one, they are 100% worth it.
3. REMEMBER THAT CHEAP IS A RED FLAG. When considering which wedding vendors to hire, good isn't cheap and cheap isn't good. Why? Let's break it down.....
Think about what you get paid to do what YOU do for a living....as nurse, accountant, customer service rep, whatever. You're paid that salary based on many factors....your experience, your talent in your field, the time you spend working each week and what your particular profession pays. Why doesn't your boss just pay you half of that? (Visualize this...If they cut salaries in half, think of who at your company would stick around and actually agree to that. Hint...it's not the most talented and valuable employees.) Companies know that in order to get talented people who are good at what they do, they must pay them fair rates appropriate for the job and that person's particular skill level. Rates set by wedding professionals (who are business owners, by the way) are set based on the same factors....experience, level of talent and expertise, time spend doing what they do, and the current market rate for their particular set of goods or services....but also add the cost of doing business as an owner (materials, insurance, marketing, overhead, etc.). Just like you wouldn't work for half of what you're worth, a legit vendor who runs their business seriously isn't able to either. Why would they?
4. INSTEAD OF PRICE ONLY, CHOOSE BASED ON WHAT MATTERS. Narrow down your choices to 2-3 reputable and appropriately priced options in each category, and then choose based on customer service, portfolio, style/aesthetic, how well you connect and vibe with the vendor, great reviews, personal referrals, and recommendations from other vendors. Choosing based on these factors will ensure that you love each and every vendor, and you'll be thrilled with all of the services that they provide!
|HMU - Lip Service Makeup|
Image: Tyler and Lindsey
Being a wedding vendor is really fun, I wouldn't trade it for anything! I honestly LOVE working with brides and their families, and I know my peers do too...there's something really special about being a part of each couple's new life together. Yes, wedding days can be stressful, but legit vendors use our years of experience (having lived through hundreds of wedding days!) to problem solve and ensure that we do everything we can to ensure your day is perfect. We love to help you plan, create, celebrate, laugh and even wipe away a happy tear if needed. If you're engaged or might be in the future, I hope this insider perspective is enlightening and helpful in approaching your wedding planning....why not avoid mistakes if you can? Choose wisely and assemble a team that you'll love having around you on your big day.
BONUS: Check out this super helpful calculator, courtesy of Wedding Paper Divas! Plug in your overall budget and then review the suggested amounts for each category. It's not a definitive guide, but it can be a great place to start to ensure that you're starting with a realistic budget.
Questions? Comments? Post below and join the conversation!
Copyright Jennifer Trotter - Lip Service Makeup - 2016