I got a call the other day from my cousin who is getting married next year. She first wanted to make sure I could attend the wedding, since it is out of town. Her next question was, “You are a Wedding DJ, so how do I pick the right DJ for my wedding?” That’s easy right? It would be me! (haha) But since she wants me to be able to attend and enjoy the wedding, I needed to offer her some advice on how to choose, especially since she is getting married in an area where I don’t have a lot of contacts or people to recommend to her.
Best answer: Ask the other vendors you have already booked for their advice. They know who is great and who is just okay. Banquet managers are a big help because they see everything that happens during a wedding. Ask their opinions, then do some research on your own to make sure you are confident in them before you book. Never select a vendor that you don’t trust. You can also ask the vendors you have already picked who they get along with and who they in the past have worked with well together. This way, there are fewer surprises and everything will flow nicely during your wedding.
When hiring your vendors, price is also something to consider, but it shouldn’t be the only factor. It is important to have a realistic budget and stick to it, but be a little flexible with your budget in the beginning. Find out what similar vendors in the area typically cost before setting your budget so that you don’t budget yourself too low in an area, then suddenly find out that if you want a quality service, you don’t have enough and are left with a sub-standard vendor because you ran out of money.
Most companies charge a certain price because of the quality of work they put into your individual wedding, so the demand is there for their product or service. Think of it this way: If most florists are offering a similar flower arrangement for around the same price and then you suddenly find one who is very significantly cheaper, I would bet it's because it isn’t the same quality even though it may look the same on the outside. What if the flowers are cheaper because they aren’t the same quality and they started wilting 30 minutes into the reception? You would be pretty upset, right?
Lastly, Don’t wait too long to book! In smaller towns like Altoona and State College, the prime wedding dates book up quickly. You may not even know what dates are prime until you try booking a vendor and their schedule fills up while you were deciding. (Remember - a phone call inquiry doesn’t always secure your date!) In State College, a prime date could be any weekend day that the temperature is nice or what fits around the football schedule. It is always okay to call around and get information but that shouldn’t be the stopping point. Narrow out the vendors you are serious about and either set up a phone or person-to-person meeting to help you make a final decision. If you wait, they may be booked the next time you call.
Never be afraid to ask advice form your other vendors, friends, and even the vendors’ former clients. Read reviews. Do your research to determine the quality of their work. Meet them in person and trust your gut. Do they listen to you? Do they help you with your questions and offer help in recommending other vendors? If you have specific needs or requests, present them up front and that can help narrow the field quickly. Selecting the right vendors can be nerve-wracking, but a few simple guidelines and a little bit of trust can go a long way to making sure you make the best decision for your wedding.
Eric Stoner of Nittany Entertainment knows weddings. His goal is to make your wedding fun. Also, stress-free by providing planning tools, vendor-coordination, and much more, but the main goal is fun. Nittany Entertainment provides quality DJ Entertainment and MC Services, as well as Photobooth, Uplighting Services and more. Bookings are closing quickly, so contact them today!
Contact: Eric Stoner