When you can’t chop your guest list, the easiest way to cut costs is to take a good, hard look at your vendors and what you want from them. If need be, take advantage of your friends. In a good way, of course.
I’m still penciled in at Trio, but my parents continue to do some research on our reception venue. I took a look at my budget and decided the next vendor to tackle would be my videographer. I decided to reach out to my friend Heather, who is co-owner of Signature Video with her husband, Jason. They are based out of Brooklyn, but do a lot of work in Pennsylvania, where Jason is from.
Heather and I go way back to Manhattanville and I saw her videography skills begin first-hand in our video production class. I knew that I could trust her with capturing my day on film and giving me a fair, honest price for it.
The best part about hiring a friend is the ability to be completely honest and say, “Listen, this is what we have to spend. If you can work with it, awesome. If you can’t, it’s okay. We’re still buds.” Heather graciously gave me an amazing price, which included some compromise on my part by having her film a little less than what the package generally offers. I told her I was more than fine with leaving out video of me getting ready. Who wants to see me put on makeup, anyway?
I had already reached out to a friend to do my photography, but with his impending deployment to the Coast Guard, I’ve been looking for other options. I know the last thing a professional wedding photographer wants to hear is that all I want is someone who will take nice photos and throw them on a CD, but really, that’s all I want. I know more amazing photographers than I can count and it’s just finding someone that suits my needs. I found one in a friend of a friend, but I have yet to reach out to her because I’m not sure if the venue will allow unlicensed vendors.
After asking a few friends about their DJ’s I decided to leave the task up to Chuck because music is his thing in our everyday life anyway. I don’t need lights, effects, videos, etc. I just need someone with some personality to get people out on the dance floor as they the play music I deem acceptable. Paying $1,500 for someone to do just that is a little ridiculous to me considering I could download four hours worth of music for a fraction of that price and then have my extroverted friend, Lex be the Em Cee.
In the end, I’m still not quite sure how I’m going to pay for all this. I have $17 allocated toward my wedding, with the rest of my savings being funneled toward living with one income. Chuck had a promising interview today so more cash is hopefully bound to start coming in, but we still have rent to pay.
Unfortunately, you can’t pay your vendors with love, affection and a good recommendation.