Calculator, pen and paper with text reading "wedding tax".

Is There A Wedding Tax?

How to Avoid the Wedding Tax

Contrary to what you might read in magazines or other blog publications dedicated to weddings, most wedding vendors aren’t out to get all of your money or take advantage of you. You may have heard of something called the wedding tax. We believe this is more often a lack of consumer education than a real occurrence. The idea that you pay more for the same exact goods or services just because it’s for a wedding is something we haven’t really seen. With that said, we do tend to hang around a more reputable crowd of wedding suppliers. This occurrence keeps coming up over and over. Therefore, we decided to give you some additional context that might explain why this seems to be happening. It may also help so that you can avoid being taken advantage of.

Time

Gold coins and alarm clock on opposite ends of a scaleFor all things to be fair, whatever product and service you are looking to have at your wedding would have to take no more time on the part of the vendor than it would if it was for any event type. This includes meetings, level of detail or time spent at the actual wedding. For example, if you are hiring a wedding photographer and you are unsure about why their wedding package is a few thousand and portrait sessions are $150 an hour, it’s because there’s a lot more time with one type vs. another.

Wedding photography in and of itself is a long day. They are usually with someone from the start of make-up until the last dance. Usually that’s just the tip of the iceberg too. This is because editing and retouching (let alone the volume of prints) is a much longer process due to the large number of photos shot. So if you think you are faced with a wedding tax, try to determine if one of the most valuable commodities (time) is equal in what you are comparing. It’s usually this invisible difference that results in a price change.

Packages

Price tag with question mark on it.One of the other ways that couples might see a wedding tax when there isn’t one is through packages. When it comes to buying or renting goods and services for events outside of weddings, it’s pretty common to see a la carte pricing which separates everything out. More often for weddings you’ll see package pricing. This isn’t to deceive but to simplify. The chances that wedding clients haven’t purchased what a wedding vendor offers is really high. Therefore,  supplier companies do their best to make it less overwhelming by putting together popular options into a A,B, and C choice. Now, in our experience, these packages aren’t written in stone and that’s where the savings can happen (as we discussed in a blog post about budgeting).

If you want to avoid what may appear like higher pricing due to organizations offering packages, you’ll need to do your homework. This way you will have a better understanding of what’s out there, what you want, and what you don’t need. With that information, you’ll be in a position to go a la carte and only pay for what you will get the most value from.

Specialists are a Premium

best entertainment company in ohioAnother way that higher pricing for weddings might seem like a wedding tax is when you compare the prices of wedding specialists vs. other service providers who aren’t totally committed to weddings. Now this is not an indictment on vendors who work on corporate, non-profit, and other social events. This is a question of the differences between working on and with wedding clients as well as supply and demand.

Weddings come with unique circumstances, when compared to other events, that impact cost. For instance, there are more planning meetings with wedding clients than some other event categories. This is because other event types of people who make these event supplier choices all the time so they are faster at it. The fact that weddings are events that happen for clients annually is another difference between them and corporate events. With corporate events, a wedding vendor might give someone a break on pricing in order to get the relationship going. This helps give them a foot in the door in order to work on more of their events in the future. More marketing is needed for weddings which is also costly. This is based on the fact that new clients have to be found each year.

Apples to Apples

Picture of applesThe explanations we gave above are based on the idea that you’re shopping the same company for their different offerings. If you are between one potential vendor and another and one focuses on weddings they seem more expensive. There’s another reason for that though, and it’s not the wedding tax. The wedding specialists who charge more also probably have a much better reputation and a longer one. Trustworthy and reliable team members are hard to come by. By compensating them appropriately they can rely on them year after year.

These types of wedding businesses know that there are no do-overs with weddings. You have one day to get everything right. This means back-up equipment in case something happens, entertainers on stand-by, and proper training. Proper training is crucial because it ensures the team will maintain and grow the well-earned reputation the company has. These businesses are in-demand for all the reasons above and that factors into their cost. While it might not be a line item, mitigating risk is one of the most important investments you can make when choosing who will be on your wedding team.

To Summarize

We are wedding specialists who pride ourselves in decades of experience. We honestly don’t believe the wedding tax is a real thing in any significant volume. There’s a chance smaller part-time organizations newer to the industry might raise their prices for wedding clients. However, their standard prices are probably already pretty low. Those of us invested in what we do  believe in the value of what we offer. We are also very transparent with how we price. Feel free to talk to us about what we charge and why. We’re an open book and not afraid to have that talk at any time. It is our goal to make sure that our wedding clients are educated in the nuances of pricing. This way they can get what they expect.

Calendars and calculators symbolize wedding budget tips

Wedding Budget Tips for Planning a Reception in Cleveland

Weddings Should Always Be Positive

Many people believe that wedding planning has to be stressful. However, we would like to debunk that myth right here and now. We completely understand why there is a recipe for stress. First, you’re making a lot of purchases you’ve never made before. Secondly, there’s a great deal of family pressure from all angles on things you’ve never considered before. And last but not least, you likely have a vision for what your perfect day will look like and want to do everything in your power to make it a reality. We feel for you, we really do! And this is why we want to share some really helpful and important wedding budget tips with you.

We’ve been in the wedding business for decades and we see the same stressed out looks time after time. With that said, we believe part of our job while working with you is to also offer our professional perspective on all aspects of your wedding. The majority of your wedding experience is spent planning the big day so that’s often where you need the most help. Most of the stress we’ve seen related to planning is based on your budget. Since we know that’s a very real concern for anyone planning a wedding in our hometown of Cleveland, here are our wedding budget tips to help you out.

Set An Actual Budget

Woman at desk with calculator, determining wedding budget.

Planning your wedding doesn’t have to be stressful. Take a breath and use SSE’s wedding budget tips to guide you along the way.

There’s a joke that’s been going on as long as any of us have been in the industry when it comes to weddings and budgets. It goes something like this…a wedding vendor will ask the couple, “What’s your budget?” and will get the reply, “We don’t really have one.”. The wedding professional, knowing they need an actual number in order to help their would-be client then says, “Great! Let me show you what we did last year for this client for around one million dollars.” (While these types of weddings don’t happen everyday in Cleveland, they do take place.) The couple then says, “Woah! We don’t have a million dollars to spend on our wedding reception!”. Then the wedding pro responds, “Oh, I see. Well, let’s look at what we’ve done for one hundred thousand dollars….”. This goes on until they actually find a reasonable threshold.

The moral of that story is, couples do have budgets. In fact, everyone has a budget for everything. The reason that budgets are seemingly a taboo subject is that this is your dream day. There should be no restrictions on a dream. Except, it’s not really a dream once you get to these meetings – you’re in reality now. The reality is, you don’t want to go into debt for a wedding reception. We don’t want you to go into one either. Therefore, the first of our wedding budget tips is you should ask the tough questions up front with everyone who gets a say in your wedding. By doing this first, you can come with your prepared budget when you meet with professionals. True creatives can and will give you at least a version of your dream within your budget. Come test out our creativity and give us boundaries!

Negotiate

Two people reviewing a budget graphI bet you’re surprised to see a wedding professional telling you to negotiate when meeting with vendors. The reality is, most of us are small businesses. This means the person you are talking with is more of an empowered deal maker than a difficult sales person. The disclaimer we’ll put right out there is that the more in-demand the wedding professional is, the less they have to gain from negotiating. Someone will pay their prices for what they are offering if you don’t so they aren’t likely to budge. That’s why we suggest a different tactic if your goal is to work with true professionals.

Most of the pricing you’ll see are package pricing. Anyone who believes in the value of what they offer won’t give you a discount because you ask for it. However, they will break the package apart so it makes sense for everyone. This is one of our main wedding budget tips – ask for a custom package based around your budget. Just because someone has packages doesn’t mean they only sell those. Most of the time packages exist for simplicity because clients don’t know what they want. If you do your homework, are willing to compromise, and can find a creative vendor, you stand a good chance of getting the spirit of what you want for far less money.

Communicate With Your Team

Young couple meeting with parents.Wedding budget-related stress often happens when different parties all want specific things and there’s only so much money to go around. These issues can be avoided a number of ways. High on our list of wedding budget tips is to not shy away from communicating. The old-school “bride’s parents pay for everything” tradition is becoming less common. Sharing the financial responsibilities has become the norm. Consider giving people who contribute a stake in the decision making so everything is fair. Remember, this is a party not their position in your life, it doesn’t have to be personal. Making lists of what’s important to everyone (like the guest list) and the necessities will ground the planning in reality. Ultimately, the people in your life are worth more than any element of a reception. Remind yourself of that fact as well as all involved. This will help alleviate much of the stress.

Wedding Budget Tips To Remember

Make a list from what’s most important to least and make compromises on the bottom half in order to get what’s on the top half. If a specific caterer is what matters more than anything, maybe look at a day of the week with a lower room rental minimum in order to get them. Consider that lighting covers more of the room than decor if you have a very specific vision of the ambiance that you want. If your heart is set on a specific wedding entertainer, negotiate on the length of time they are willing to give. It’s worth asking! All in all, we believe that you should do everything in your power to eliminate stress while planning your wedding and should have the least amount possible once it’s over. Of all the wedding planning tips we have this is the most important one: make the whole experience fun!

Cleveland wedding lighting tips given by pictured SSE owner, Jay R.

Vlog – Wedding Lighting Tips

For this vlog, we interviewed Selective Sound Entertainment Founder, Jay R Rich. This time we asked him for wedding lighting tips that could help Cleveland couples sort out their expectations from reality. In this video that’s just over 5 minutes long, there are actually 18 wedding lighting tips. His insights touch upon the initial search for wedding lighting, terminology, and what lighting can impact during a reception.

So many questions…These wedding lighting tips will make things easier for you

One of the biggest takeaways is how to explain what you are looking for in lighting to a professional. Unlike catering, you’ve likely never ordered wedding design before. Therefore, chances are  you may not get what you actually want. First, you have to understand that a professional lighting designer has spent years interpreting the requests of their clients. The lighting designer is prepared to ask the right questions to get to an understanding. Things you need to determine beforehand are budget, what areas of the room and activities are most important to you, and how you want your guests to feel during the reception. Coming to a meeting with these things already figured out is one of Jay R’s best wedding lighting tips.

There are questions you should be asking as well to get the most from the planning process. Pinterest Boards are great for helping you decide the colors you plan to be using in your wedding. If you have one make sure to share that with your lighting designer. Speaking of decor, talk to the lighting professional about options before you sign contracts for decor. Lighting has a powerful effect on the overall look of a room that can often eclipse that of decor. This makes it a really budget-friendly decision. Not that it’s lighting or decor – lighting can also enhance the decor decisions you do make which means you should be coordinating your ideas before you commit.

This Vlog is full of really straight forward wedding planning tips like these that will ensure you make the best possible decisions.

Some of the highlights:

  • Where to start your lighting planning
  • Areas of a room impacted by lighting the most
  • Getting the most lighting impact for your budget
  • How lighting can help you save money
  • How the right lighting choices can impact guests’ emotions
  • and more!

Watch the above video (or click here) to learn Jay R’s most valuable wedding lighting tips so you can make the best choices for your big day.

 

Wedding DJ and Band questions. Magnifying glass over top of words "frequently asked questions".

50 Answers To Your Wedding DJ and Band Questions

Wedding DJ and Band Questions answered by Selective Sound Entertainment

You Have Questions – We Have Answers!

The website Brides.com has a lot of resources for couples looking to make better wedding planning decisions. Like most of the national publications dedicated to weddings, they also have a number of lists featuring pre-prepared questionnaires such as these wedding DJ and band questions. These are great because they can help you learn more about the vendors you could potentially hire. Over the years, we’ve had a number of first meetings with potential clients who have read off such wedding DJ and band questions. It doesn’t make for the most organic conversation but we’re fine with whatever makes you the most comfortable. As wedding specialists with over two decades of experience, there are never questions that stump us in these lists. Therefore, we welcome the conversations that can come from asking us any wedding DJ and band questions they want.

Here are our answers to this questionnaire in regards to wedding DJ and band questions.

The Basics

First things first, you’ve got to figure out the basics … like, is the DJ or band even available on your desired date. The answers to the following wedding DJ and band questions will help you get a sense of how experienced the candidates are.

Q1. Is my wedding date available?

A1. We are a smaller company that has only 5-6 of the most highly experienced wedding DJ’s. We do sell out quick.

Q2. How long have you been doing this professionally?

A2. Not only has SSE been in the wedding business for 32 years but our youngest wedding DJ on the team has 12 yrs experience.

Q3. How many weddings have you played?

A3. As a company, we have done over 7k weddings

Q4. How long have you been performing together (if you’re interviewing a band)?

A4. Our party band has been together for 6 years

Q5. How many weddings do you do in an average weekend?

A5. Some weekends its 1-2, some its 6, it all depends on availability.

*Why you need to know this: If the band or DJ is playing ’round the clock all weekend, their performance might suffer. Therefore, if they are running on empty, you might want to rethink about booking them.

Q6. Do you perform at more than one event in a day?

A6. One wedding per day

Q7. Will you be the DJ/bandleader personally playing at our wedding? Which band members should we expect?

A7. We only have one party band so the members are almost always the same unless they are sick or out of town. You will get to meet with and work with your actual DJ beforehand.

*Why you need to know this: Bands usually have a roster of performers, and might alternate who’s playing based on their availability. If you’re choosing a band based solely on the fact that you love one musician or singer in particular, make sure they’re the performer who will actually be playing your wedding.

Q8. Have you done events at my wedding venue?

A8. Due to being in business for 32 years, chances are we have done events at your venue.

Q9. What sets you apart from your competition?

A9. Talent and experience by far. Knowing how to run weddings and give guidance to help keep things running smoothly and knowing when to play the right music at the right time to pack your dance floor.

Q10. Can you describe your style?

A10. Classy, Tasteful and extremely fun.

Q11. Are there any other services that you provide, such as lighting design or a photo booth?

A11. We have a full lighting division as well as an array of special effects. We also offer Videography and live music.

Q12. Can you provide me with recent couples that I can contact for references?

A12. Certainly! However, what’s easier is checking out the KNOT.com, Wedding Wire, Facebook as well as Google for recent reviews from REAL couples.

The Music

You probably already know a little about the wedding band or DJ since you were interested enough to interview them. Learn more about them and their style so there are no surprises on the big day.

Q13. Do you have a CD of your music or a video from a prior wedding where you performed?

A13. Sure, we could pull playlists, but every wedding is so unique to each couples style, so it surely will all be customized.

Q14. Can you help me choose the music for my processional, recessional, father-daughter dance, etc.?

A14. Absolutely.. in addition to your MC/DJ or band leader helping you, you will also have access to one of the most innovative online wedding planners in the country. You can listen to each track as well as see the lyrics, with the touch of a button.

*Why you need to know this: If you’re having trouble choosing music for a first dance song or father-daughter dance, etc., a DJ or wedding band undoubtedly know a thing or two about choosing the right music. They can definitely be a helpful resource!

Q15. How extensive is your music library or song list? What genres can you cover?

A15. Anything from the 30’s to today. Our party band specializes in 80’s to today, but play montages of 50’s, Motown and 70’s.

Q16. Do you have a go-to list of wedding songs you play or perform for weddings?

A16. We have our “core” go to list, but every wedding is so different, it may differ on the styles of each couple we meet with.

*Why you need to know this: You should certainly ask ahead of time if your DJ/band has a list of songs they recommend playing throughout the wedding. If they leave that list up to you, be sure to provide them with the songs you want to get down to on the dance floor before your wedding swings around.

Q17. How do you keep your music collection up-to-date?

A17. We subscribe and pay for a DJ only music club to be sure that we have CLEAN and edited MP3 tracks monthly.

Q18. If the DJ or one of the band members scheduled for my event is unable to perform for some reason, do you have a backup replacement ready to go?

A18. Indeed! We have DJ’s and staff on-call at a moments notice.

Q19. Do you take any breaks? How many and when?

A19. Our band does indeed take 15-20 minute breaks, depending on how long they are playing for. No need for any breaks for your DJ.

Q20. What music will be provided during the breaks?

A20. If our party band is playing, we would be playing a mix of fun music or formality music that is discussed beforehand.

Q21. How many band members will perform that day?

A21. Our party band can consist of up to 7 members

Q22. Do you act as the emcee and make all of the announcements?

A22. Without a doubt! We do all of the tasteful announcements. Our party band also includes a MC/DJ. Not only do things run smoother but your guests won’t get bored. Therefore, it will be easier to get your guests up and dancing.

Q23. How would you define your emcee style?

A22. Classy, tasteful well informed announcements.

Q24. What do you do to motivate the crowd if nobody is dancing?

A24. In our 32 years of existence, we have learned a great deal from other DJ’s and bands around the country. Due to this, we have definitely developed tasteful ways to get the crowd involved.

Q25. Do you take requests from our guests?

A25. Absolutely. We also filter them.

Q26. Can we submit a “Do Not Play” list?

A26. Sure can. Not only will we talk about this in our meeting before your wedding, but you will have access to the online planner to submit these.

*Why you need to know this: You never know what your guests are going to end up requesting. Therefore, having a do-not-play list ensures you’re not going to hear anything you and your new hubby hate.

Pricing and Payment

The price tag is one of the biggest factors in choosing what wedding DJ or band to choose, but it’s not as simple as just asking for a price. You need to find out exactly what that price includes because you definitely don’t want to discover any surprise fees after you’ve signed a contract.

Q27. What’s your rate?

A27. We have rates that start as low as $1299.00 and they go up to $1999.99 for the DJ packages. Our party band package includes the band, MC/DJ, dance floor lighting, dedicated sound technician and sound system starts at $4900.00.

*Why you need to know this: When talking about rates, make sure to find out not only if the rate changes based on the day (or even time of day) but exactly how many hours that rate buys you. If the rate is in the ballpark (even if it’s over budget), great! If it turns out that DJ or wedding band is the one, you might be able to negotiate a discount, or increase your budget to be able to use that DJ or band.

Q28. Does that rate include setup and breakdown between ceremony and reception locations? What, if anything, isn’t included?

A28. Yes, everything is included with no extra charges. However, if your event is more than one hour away, it may require a travel fee.

Q29. How much would you charge for overtime?

A29. $75.00 per 1/2 hour for your DJ. Band overtime is $500.00 per set which is 45 minutes.

Q30. Are there any additional fees that could accrue that I am not taking into account, like travel expenses or charges for special musical requests?

A30. No additional fees as well as no hidden costs.

Q31. When will I receive a written contract?

A31. We would email an e-sign contract as soon as you wanted to review one. We do recommend sooner than later as we do fill up quickly.

Q32. How much of a deposit do you require and when is it due? Do you offer a payment plan?

A32. Deposit/Retainer fees all depend on which package you go with. It could be as cheap as $500.00 or as much as $2500.00.

*Why you need to know this: See if you can pay them before (or after) the wedding. Trying to pay wedding vendors on the day of your wedding is complete chaos.  Due to this, we suggest you always pay beforehand.

Q33. What is your refund/cancellation policy?

A33. The Deposit/retainer fee is non refundable due to already taking that date off the calendar. If you cancel within 120 days before your wedding reception, you would not be responsible for the balance.

Q34. How far in advance do I need to book you for my wedding?

A34. We recommend one year out or more.

Q35. What information do you need from me before the wedding day?

A35. We will reach out to you to discuss the timeline, names, music, etc..

Q36. Are you insured?

A36. Without a doubt! Fully insured with a 3 million dollar policy

*Why you need to know this: Ideally, your wedding DJ or band will carry liability insurance. It covers any damage that can occur to the performers themselves as well as the equipment. Many venues require DJ’s and bands to carry liability insurance, so it’s important to know upfront if they have it.

Logistics

Now for the less exciting but still critical details, like power supply and scheduling.

Q37. Can you provide wireless mics for the wedding ceremony?

A37. Absoultely (additional fees for additional equipment)

Q38. Does any of your equipment require special electrical outlets that I need to inform my wedding site about?

A38. Nope.

Q39. Do you bring backup equipment?

A39. Absolutely. We also have staff oncall at our warehouse to bring us out any special equipment if needed at a moments notice.

Q40. What kind of space or stage do you require for the DJ or band? If my site doesn’t provide what you need, will you make arrangements for the stage or am I responsible for renting it?

A40. Our band requires a 12×10 area at the least while our DJ’s require at least a 6×6 area.

Q41. Do you set up a sign or banner with your equipment?

A41. NO… not at all.

Q42. How much time will you need for setup, sound check and breakdown on the day of the event?

A42. We arrive 2 hours before the event begins.

Q43. What time will you arrive at the site and when you will you depart?

A43. We will arrive 2 hours before the event and leave approximately 1 hour after (at the most). It all depends on how much equipment is secured for your event.

*Why you need to know this: You want to get a confirmed arrival time from them before your wedding, and it should be early enough that the performers have plenty of time to get set up. Also find out when they plan to leave. If you want to have them stick around for the after-party, negotiate this into your contract before the night comes.

Q44. Will we meet again before the wedding?

A44. This is a must and will usually take place 4-5 weeks before your wedding reception day.

Q45. When is our deadline for submitting our music requests and event details?

A45. 10 days prior to the wedding reception.

Q46. What will you wear to our wedding?

A46. Black suit/formalwear

Q47. Do you (and each band member, if you’re booking a band) require a meal?

A47. While we do not require a meal it is certainly always appreciated.

*Why you need to know this: It’s something you need to add on to your budget! This can be a significant cost, especially if you’re booking a ten-piece band.

Q48. What is your policy on alcohol or smoking during the wedding?

A48. We do indeed drink at weddings… coffee, tea, water and soda. We save any alchohol consumption on our own time. Also, all of our DJ’s and band members are non-smokers.

Q49. Is there anything we should know about your services that we haven’t talked about?

A49. We are one of the most experienced wedding only DJ companies in N.E. Ohio.

*Why you need to know this: At this point, you’ve probably covered everything, but it never hurts to make sure. Cover all your bases and see if there’s anything that’s been left out from the wedding DJ or band’s point of view.

Q50. Do you have any questions for us?

A50. When you meet with us we have a number of specific questions we ask in order to understand your specific sensibilities, budget, and expectations.

*Why you need to know this: Now that you know everything you wanted to know, find out if there’s any extra info the wedding DJ or band needs.

Now that we have answered all of your Selective Sound wedding DJ and band questions you should have a good understanding of what to expect. Even so, we encourage you to browse our site and blogs to get a better feel of what we’re all about. Remember to also look at the other sites to check out past couples’ reviews. If you do have more wedding DJ and band questions for us, feel free to contact us.

Caption regarding wedding planning tips by Jay R from Selective Sound Entertainment

Expert Wedding Planning Tips So You Don’t Regret Your Wedding In Cleveland

Wedding Planning Tips from Cleveland Wedding Expert Jay R Rich

Selective Sound Entertainment (SSE)’s founder, Jeremy Rich, has been helping couples with their dream days for over two decades. While each couple has different tastes, goals, and visions, many experience the exact same pitfalls in their planning experience. The reason for this is varied. Typically, this is due to the enormous amount of pressure and lack of experience in planning their own wedding. A driving force behind this blog is to educate couples in order to avoid these issues regardless if they end up working with our company or not. We want to work for the couples who we are a good fit for. Our goal is to make sure everyone can benefit from the experience. The wedding planning tips we share enable couples to have a much better experience leading up to their ceremony and reception.

We sat down with Jay R in order to document as much wisdom as possible to share with you. As you will hear on the video, Jay R is very passionate about wedding DJ entertainment, lighting design, videography, photo booths as well as live wedding music. However, he spent most of his time discussing how couples end up with up so much stress. This is mostly due to planning and communication issues. Many of these issue can be avoided but it requires everyone involved getting as organized as possible. The following is a compilation of a few of the biggest wedding planning tips Jay R discussed in the interview.

Choosing a Vendor on Price Alone

Wedding planning tips from Jay R are to research, look for value not price and meet your vendor in person.

Meet with the vendor you have in mind before you sign a contract.

The difference between offering value and being the least expensive can be vast. Low price offerings don’t automatically mean an inferior product or service. However, there are usually reasons why a vendor is so much less than their competitors, especially with wedding DJ’s. Wedding entertainment has no barrier to entry. To be a professional DJ doesn’t come with any tests or certifications. In fact, many do it for fun on the weekends while mostly focusing on their day job. While that’s admirable, there’s a level of professionalism and honing of your craft that you never reach unless you put in the time and are “all in”.

Another limitation with working for people with low prices because of a low overhead is a lack of back-up systems. With Selective Sound, we invest money in training our team members before they ever lead an event. We also have warehouse staff, on-call entertainers, and technicians available as runners. If something happens to your entertainer on the way to your wedding or if a piece of technology breaks down, we are always prepared.

Well-paid professionals are also one of the reasons we have maintained a long history in Cleveland as trustworthy professionals. We keep the people happy who are in the position to make or break an event. This is because they are talented and reliable. We’ve seen a lot of the lowest bidding entertainers come and go. This is because they didn’t have a sustainable business and couldn’t maintain their credibility. There’s no do-over for a wedding reception. Therefore, you need to make sure you ask all the right questions when you are choosing who will help make your day the way you want it.

Budget – Be Open and Honest

Wedding planning tips from Jay include setting your budget and priorities early on.

Open communication is the key to success!

We’ve written before about the importance of setting your budget early before you start the hunt for vendors. This may be one of the most crucial of wedding planning tips. Jay R believes this is a critical point on the road to success for families celebrating a wedding. Make sure everyone with a vested stake in the wedding gets their say and lays out what they are willing to contribute. This form of open communication and organization should follow through to your conversations with those you are willing to hire as well.

While your research online may have turned up pricing and packages for the vendors you want, it’s always worth having a conversation with them. This way you can see if there is something they can offer that would meet your goals while staying in your budget. You’d be surprised by how much creativity and budgets are connected. A true professional isn’t going to change their pricing because they were asked to go lower. However, they can offer you alternative solutions that have less hard costs, such as labor and less products.

All of this is to say that the biggest regrets couples have had seems to center around compromises they made for the sake of their budget. This, unfortunately, resulted in selecting vendors that didn’t perform. The best way to get around this is to talk about budgets early, often and with everyone while asking your preferred vendors to be creative.

Meet Face to Face

Millennials and Generation Z are the most skilled researchers of any generations. That’s because they’re adapt at seeking out online information in order to make better buying decisions. That said, we still advise you to meet with the vendors you are considering face to face. Some wedding pros look better online than they do in reality. This is due to slick marketing. Others could look ideal but when you meet with them you immediately don’t connect.

We think online research is extremely important to decision making for weddings in Cleveland. According to Jay R, listings like The Knot and Wedding Wire work because they are peer reviews. Research can get you 80% of what you need to make a decision so we agree that reviews, videos, testimonials etc. are useful to pick your top few choices. After that, make at least three appointments with the most important vendor types (venue, catering, DJ/entertainment, photographers) in order to have an in-person talk to see if you click. It might seem like a redundant step but it can make a huge difference.

For More Wedding Planning Tips – Watch The Video

Here’s the video of Jay R being interviewed about decisions couples regret making. We don’t want to scare anyone with negativity but it’s important to us that you learn these lessons the easy way before your big day.