Hi friends! Alright, so last week’s Thursday Tips was short, sweet, and to-the-point. (If you missed it, hop on over and catch up.) In a nutshell, we talked about the average price for wedding photography. Because really- how on EARTH are all of you supposed to know what things cost for a wedding?! I mean, it’s not like you’ve ever planned a wedding before!
Well, I was in that exact same position when I was planning my wedding. I had never planned a wedding before. I was the first person out of all my friends to get married. And I couldn’t find anything that told me what things should actually cost for a wedding! I know some of you out there are either newly engaged or are starting to plan right about now, and you are BOUND to be in the same situation I was in. Because let’s face it- one of the very first things that you want to know is what things are going to cost- right? Which leads me to today’s topic- how exactly do you find out vendor pricing?
It’s so funny to me, because in 2008 (when I was planning), email wasn’t quite the sole means of communication for people like it is today. I mean, the iPhone wasn’t even in existence yet! <gasp> (Funny, yet kind of sad, right?!) What’s even more funny is that the other day, I had the realization that I was *afraid* to inquire with wedding vendors. So there I was, completely clueless about weddings and what things were supposed to cost, and yet I wasn’t able to find out anything because I was afraid to inquire. I suppose part of my thinking was that if I couldn’t find pricing on their website, I wouldn’t be able to afford them. Which is totally NOT TRUE! I’m pretty sure that if I had just sucked it up and called or emailed people, I would’ve probably had a much better wedding. But yeah… so clearly, information wasn’t quite as readily available then as it now.
Luckily, we now live in a world FULL of information and communication. Most every vendor will have a contact form that’s easy to fill out and submit. Some vendors have their pricing on their websites. Some don’t. [And that really doesn’t mean anything- trust me, it’s a big huge, ongoing debate in the wedding industry.] But no matter what method you use to find out pricing, it’s SO EASY to do- all you have to do is ASK! I mean really- with all of the methods of communication that we have at our fingertips now, you have NO excuse! ;)
Photo by ELV pro, Samantha Lauren Photographie
So if you’re looking for info from vendors, here is what I recommend doing:
1. Make a list of your potential vendors. These are vendors that you have already researched. You’ve already stalked their website, read their about pages, and fallen in love with their work. [If they have their pricing on their site, you can stop here if you’re just concerned about pricing. If you want more INFO from them, continue.] They clearly have the potential of you booking them. Thus, potential vendors.
3. TELL them if you are solely looking for pricing information and researching your options! They’re going to be okay with it- but you also want to be sure to get back to them- no matter what. Whether you want to schedule a consult or not, please please please let them know! There’s nothing worse than getting excited about a potential bride and then never hearing from them. Trust me- I know.
[Extra tip: a great way to get an accurate representation of pricing is to ask vendors what their brides spend with them on AVERAGE. Not their starting amounts. This will give you a good enough idea of their pricing. SHAMELESS PLUG: All of the vendors in Every Last Vendor are categorized by what their brides’ total wedding budgets normally are, so you can know if they’ll work with your budget or not!]
4. BE NICE and remember that wedding vendors are people too! Goodness gracious, I can’t tell you how many rude emails I used to get from brides. One liner emails and mass emails to every vendor in a 50-mile radius = rude. It’s so weird- as a bride, sometimes it’s easy to think of wedding vendors differently. I don’t know what it is, but hey, I did it too! It’s really helpful to remember that yes, wedding vendors do what they do because they love it, but it’s also their livelihoods. So before you judge or question pricing, remember that, and maybe even put yourself in their shoes- how would you like it if someone told you that they thought you should make less money? I’m sure none of you would do any of that, but I’m just saying… it’s always nice to have the reminder, right? :)
Photo by ELV pro, Dear Wesleyann
[Please do know that YES, pricing varies for every single TYPE of vendor, and then it varies even more depending on options, what you get, etc etc. So no matter what, it’s impossible to compare “apples to apples”- because not every “apple” is exactly the same.]
While you might not be able to compare each and every vendor against one another, you can certainly educate yourself on their pricing- even if you’re not quite ready to book yet. Because an informed decision is better than… an uninformed decision. (HA- you thought I was going to do something fun there didn’t you? So did I…) Here’s the big huge thing. If you’re just looking for information, then you need to convey that. TELL them that you’re looking into your options. Don’t be shady about it or beat around the bush. Just TELL them… but don’t forget to also get back to them! Finding out vendor pricing really isn’t a big deal… pricing and information are two things that make the wedding world go ’round! :)
So brides, how are you approaching finding out vendor pricing? Are you intimidated like I was? Or do you find it easy to get information?
And vendors, if you have any tips for brides that looking for information, please feel free to add them in the comments! :)