…and the two things you MUST have!
It seems to be the thing to do lately to have wedding professionals share their thoughts on what people absolutely should have or places where they feel couples waste money. Having spent the past 5 years of my life filming weddings, I have a ton of wedding experience and thought maybe I should share some of that experience with you. So here are my top 3 things not to waste money on (and the two you should absolutely splurge for).
#1. Anything one of your vendors says you MUST (or NEVER) have.
Look, wedding vendors DO have wedding experience. And yes, there are certain pieces of advice that we all give out to our clients to help them have the best day possible (particularly regarding our services or areas of expertise)…but don’t let another wedding vendor talk you into spending time or money on something you don’t really care about…or OUT of spending time or money on something you DO really care about.
A classic example of this is the first look. For years, many photographers told their clients they really just HAD to do it, they would regret it if they didn’t, and they likely wouldn’t have time for photos after the ceremony. For some couples, this was great. For others….it was just….awkward.
My second example is a total heart on my sleeve example: last month a wedding photographer published a blog admonishing couples to not waste money on video….which was picked up by Style Me Pretty and the Huffington Post. According to her, 99% of videographers are difficult to work with.
Look, if you don’t want a video, don’t get a video. Good videos are a decent chunk of your wedding budget. But if you DO want it, don’t let someone who has had a bad experience talk you out of it. This is part of the reason we reach out to photographers (and every other vendor we have to work closely with) a couple of weeks before each wedding – so we can come up with a plan that works for everyone and assuage any anxiety about past bad experiences with other vendors. And of course, if it’s something you care about, book a quality vendor, because of course the professional you hire in one area is going to struggle if you hire a hack in another.
Again, your vendor’s advice IS valuable, particularly if you are asking for recommendations for specific vendors. In this sense, their advice is priceless. But if any vendor tells you “Don’t get this service, there are NO good vendors in that field, they are all terrible to work with,” you might question if the problem is really ALL the vendors in a specific field….or one vendor who has had a bad experience and used it to generalize. Second to their skill level, you want vendors that can work well together as a team, even if they’ve had bad experiences in the past, even if they’ve never worked together before.
#2 Anything your mom (or your almost mother-in-law) says you MUST have.
Oooo, this is so touchy, because sometimes these people are contributing funds for that wedding, and we all know that sometimes money comes with strings attached. I hope hope hope that you both have fabulous families who say “We can contribute this amount of money or cover these specific items if you’d like to have them” and let you go about planning your day.
Sometimes it just doesn’t happen this way though. If this is the case, be prepared to have a firm (but loving, because though it might seem infuriating, they are doing it out of love) “Thanks, but no thanks” discussion. This might mean that you will need to foot the bill for parts of your wedding that you had always envisioned a parent paying for, but I can promise you that is better than having a wedding that is not your own.
#3 Anything Pinterest, a wedding magazine or blog, or any other internet sources say you MUST have.
The internet is great. As an information junkie, I’ve learned SO many things. Some of them, admittedly, were complete wastes of time.
It’s great to read responses from past brides about the things they valued and the things they regret not having, but your experience might not be the same. Video always tops the list of things that couples regret not having at their wedding. I don’t think this means video is always going to be the most important consideration for a wedding though. First, wedding video is still pretty rare. Less than half of weddings even have a video, so there’s more room for regret and that likely plays into how high this regret ranks on the list.
It’s a mistake to read that and decide “I must have video because everyone regrets NOT having a video” but purposeful to read that and let it guide you toward deciding early on whether it’s something you really do want (and if so, budgeting and booking it early, because like I said in my When to Book a Video post…you will not have money remaining at the end of your budget, so you should never put things that you really care about into that “We’ll get it if we have money leftover” category)
It’s so easy to read these articles and browse the Pinterest boards and see all these amazingly beautiful things and want them all. You don’t have to have ALL the things at your wedding for it to be amazing. Just the things that really matter to you.
Which brings me to the two things every couple MUST splurge on for their wedding:
SPLURGE: On the things that matter most to each of you.
Sit down early on in your wedding planning process and determine the one thing each of you is absolutely passionate about having on your wedding day. Then go out and get the best.
If that thing happens to be wedding video, then contact MotionWorks so we can book your film. We’re absolutely passionate about making great wedding videos for people in love.