- by Lisa
What are the differences in hiring a professional vendor vs. a hobbyist? There are valid pros and cons to each. I’m not just talking about coordinators/planners, but also about DJ’s, florists, videographers, and photographers – collectively. Even though everyone has a different art and different strengths, the topics which I will discuss do cross “vendor lines”.
1. Professionals dedicate their career to their art. What’s good about this? They have more time to think about their business and their work, which gives them more time to make themselves, and their product, better and more attractive to you (the Bride and Groom). They are focused on the goal. They are able to take calls at all times of the day (without a boss breathing down their back). They are able to schedule meetings at times that are convenient for you (as they are available during the day and evening – minus meetings, events, and other engagements). They also have more time to keep up with the industry trends, and keep you up to date with happenings around your local area.
Many hobbyists are very good at what they do. However, focus may be lacking. When the day job consumes 8-10 hours a day, how much time do you think they have to focus on making their product more appealing to you (the Bride and Groom)? How responsive will they be when you call with questions, concerns, or an emergency? Will they have to wait until the work day ends to attend to your needs? Will they be available during the day, if that’s more convenient to you?
2. Cash. Generally professional vendors are a bit more expensive than hobbyists. Why? Overhead! Generally, they hire people who are knowledgeable bring their talent to your wedding. They also invest more money into their business, thus equipment used is generally of higher quality. The vendors spend more time educating themselves. For instance, the DJ will have a greater selection and knowledge about music, crowd control and crowd patterns. The planners will spend more time making sure all the details are addressed and tended to. The editing of the video will be of better quality. Often times, vendors will rent space so that they can broadcast their work in style. All of these small details make a huge impact on the outcome of your day.
Hobbyists generally have less overhead, and another job, and therefore can afford to charge a bit less.
3. A lot happier Brides. I know from experience that those who dedicate their time and energy to their wedding career have a lot happier Brides. I know both sides of the story. I had a full time job and a wedding business. I have also had my wedding career. When having a full time job, I had happy Brides, but since going full time, I have ecstatic brides. I really do believe that the difference is in the small things that now I am able to do to make my couples and their families happy.
I am not advocating that you spend a ton of money in every aspect of your wedding. However, I do think it’s important that you hire people that will help you create the day you dream it will be. There are different levels of professionals, and you will find a few that will fit your style and budget. After all, you are making a huge investment as you start of your life together. It happens once. There should be no regrets and no looking back and wishing.