Hiring Professionals Pays Off
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if weddings just planned themselves and automatically included everything you ever wanted? You’d simply say “yes” to that designer gown you covet, the 300-person guest list, the six-course dinner with endless champagne, the hot band you just saw on YouTube and all the other deliciously pricey items on your wish list. That pesky word “budget” would not even be in your vocabulary.
Professionals: Worth Their Weight In Gold
When you hire a wedding professional you’re not just paying for their experience, you’re benefiting from their experience. The extra services and advice they provide are invaluable. A good coordinator, for example, can actually help you have a more knockout wedding than you thought possible. She knows creative ways to make your money go further and, as coordinator Joyce Scardina Becker of Events of Distinction says, “I can help you avoid costly mistakes.” Maxine Andrews of Instead of You concurs: “I help my clients spend their money effectively and wisely.” Her assistance runs the gamut, from matching you with vendors that fit your personality and budget to suggesting something as simple as not putting flowers at the end of every pew. “You don’t need flowers everywhere,” she explains, “It’s the tasteful placement that leads to the sense of amazement.”
Speaking of flowers, a reputable florist can steer you to in-season, locally grown varieties to maximize your floral dollar, and she’ll also have some other tricks in her bag. Jessica Switala of Fleurs de France made one bride happy with this suggestion: putting a vase for her bouquet on the couple’s sweetheart table. “It was a great idea because it saved us money,” swore the bride. “We didn’t have to have a centerpiece there—and I could just grab it quickly for pictures.”
And when it comes to pictures, seasoned wedding photographers do so much more than just take photos. They’re skilled at making you and your guests feel comfortable—which creates natural-looking images—and they do much of their work unobtrusively, never interfering with the flow of the event. Plus many are adept at enhancing prints and putting together a stunning, magazine-style album. Professionals can also shoot in a variety of styles. Let’s say you want a documentary, photojournalistic style. Guess what? Turns out it’s not easy to achieve. You really do need someone with a trained eye who knows how to be in the right place at the right time, with the right equipment and technical savvy. Uncle Bob might have a camera with lots of bells and whistles, but can he handle difficult lighting conditions—bright sun, a dim church, candlelight? You want a photographer who is able to deliver beautiful photos in any environment. As one bride said, “Once it’s all over all you have left is your ring and your pictures. So if you don’t go with a quality photographer, you don’t have anything to look back on.”
You might think having a friend be your DJ is a reasonable option—after all, they’ve mixed for a club and they know the music you love. But being a DJ isn’t just about playing your favorite CDs. A professional DJ will learn what’s on your “must not play” list as well. He’ll serve a crucial role in moving your party along the timeline, and most importantly he’ll know how to read the crowd and quickly alter the music to suit the moment. Coordinator Marcia Coleman-Joyner of A Joyous Occasion says, “The DJ can make or break your party. A lot of DJs who are only used to playing in clubs don’t know how fragile a wedding is. I tell my brides, ‘Don’t skimp on the DJ!’ He has the microphone—he has the power.”
A case can just as easily be made for hiring a professional videographer, caterer, cake maker or any other wedding vendor. And while you may have budget constraints that prevent you from hiring a pro for every wedding service under the sun, think carefully about the big picture. What is most important to you? If it’s the freedom to be a guest at your own wedding, then seriously consider working with a coordinator. If it’s gorgeous photos, then hire a professional photographer. Fabulous food? Then go with an experienced caterer. You’re not going to get a do-over, so decide which services you absolutely can’t live without and make sure you have someone you trust taking care of them. Peace of mind truly is priceless.