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When The Deal Is Too Good To Be True

Updated: Jul 3, 2023



Welcome back to the Wedding Planning Collective blog everyone! Today we're going to talk about that common phrase, "if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."


You need to ask yourself why and how it pertains to finding your wedding vendors. Before we get too into it though, I want to clarify that we're talking about the reasons why, and not necessarily saying that those reasons are strong enough to not book a vendor or a service. So let's keep that in mind as we're talking about these details.


When we're talking about weddings, that too good part is generally referencing a price point or a deal that our venue or vendor is offering. And the why is typically going to come down to one of three reasons: I've called them The Three E's.


So the first E is probably the most common, and that is experience. Now to be fair, every single vendor starts off inexperienced 400 plus weddings ago. I was very inexperienced and I have to say, I'm surprised that some couples paid my extremely low price when I was just starting. I was very inexperienced and the pricing reflected that. Now, after 17 years and over 400 weddings, that experience is one of the main reasons that I'm on the higher end of pricing for local wedding planners.


And I don't apologize for it.





I bring a lot more experience and expertise to the table than I did back then. And I recognize that some couples are going to appreciate and want that. And some are not. That's absolutely fine.


That brings us to our second E though: expertise. Experience does not mean that they are necessarily an expert in the industry. And let me give you an example of this. Many years ago, I was working with a couple that had opted to hire a family friend as their DJ. This always makes me a little bit nervous because you never know what to expect with a vendor you haven't worked with before. But I continued on with my confirmations and the timelines and all the other wedding details. And in the process, he made a point repeatedly to tell me that he had been doing this for X amount of years since he had been in high school, he knows what he's doing. And you know, it was all a little condescending, but whatever we'll make it happen.


I'm not going to get into all the details of this evening, but let's just say he was far from being an expert at being a wedding DJ, even though he had a lot of experience. He was playing a lot of songs that the couple had specifically requested for him to not play, referencing that he knows what he's doing, he knows how to get people on the dance floor, he was messing up names as he was announcing the wedding party and ignoring our timeline, making decisions without running anything by us.


So if you see someone that has years and years of experience, but their pricing is reflected of somebody that is newer to the industry, you might want to take a look at those reviews and see if there are any things that might indicate that they are not truly an expert at what they are doing.


The final E when it comes to figuring out the "why" of why something might be too good to be true, is the equipment or the product that is offered. Often this one is going to pertain to rental companies or something where you're getting a physical product. So if you're renting a physical space, if you're renting linens or chairs, if the price is really low, it generally indicates that. Or you're getting a lower quality product or something that is a lower value.


For example, a few years back I had clients that wanted to take advantage of a deal they found for a combination package of linens and Chiavari chairs to rent for their reception. This package was coming in at about half the price of some of the other companies that I would typically work with. So I was a little bit nervous. We did continue with the plans and on the day of the wedding, the chairs came in stacked together without any covers on them.


That means that they were fully scratched and scuffed up. As the guests were sitting throughout the ceremony, they're creaking and making these noises. And I was just standing in the back, terrified that a chair was going to collapse. The linens were definitely worn. They were pilled, and you could really see through the fabric. And I thought the worst part was that the delivery guys were clearly smoking in the truck because these linens just made the whole room smell like smoke.


It was clear to me that the pricing for these items was reflected in the quality that they were offering in both the service and the product. They didn't have the appropriate staff to be able to care for them, so the chairs were beat up and the linens had definitely been used many, many times. Again, I want to clarify that this doesn't necessarily mean it's a bad thing.


I would say the majority of the guests at that wedding didn't notice anything about those chairs or linens. In fact, I don't even think the couple themselves noticed all that much in the wedding with the obnoxious DJ. He still had the dance floor packed for most of the night, and the majority of the guests don't know that he had messed up the names and the timing.


So the fact that he messed everything up stressed me out, but most of the guests didn't notice. And I'm personally super glad that I had couples that took a chance on me when I was first starting so I could get the experience I have today. However, was that hundred dollar service that I offered 16 plus years ago the same as what I offer now? Absolutely not.


And that's the main idea, that you want to make sure you're comparing apples to apples. And you're recognizing that if this deal looks too good to be true, what's behind that? Are you okay with having scuffed up chairs and cheaper linens because it's saving you the money? If chairs and linens aren't a priority to you, then by all means save the money in that area. But if it's going to bother you, if it's one of your high priority areas, you want to make sure you know what quality item or service you are getting. So to wrap things up, I'm going to reference another popular saying: "you get what you pay for."


And again, it's not necessarily a bad thing. Just something you want to keep in mind as you're looking at these too good to be true scenarios. If you were to look back and say, we got what we paid for, and you're happy with that, then definitely snag that deal. If you're going to look back and say, "oh, we got what we paid for and it really impacted our enjoyment of the day," then you might want to say you pass on that deal.


If you need more tips on how to build your vendor team, head on over to the Wedding Planning Blueprint course, where we go into great detail about how to build your team, where to find your vendors, and what order you should be booking them in. You can find more information over at www.planningcollective.com.


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