I’ve compiled some of the MUST HAVE information for couples in the middle of wedding planning. The wedding industry is an unknown territory for most of its clients. It’s usually a first for most clients hiring and booking vendors. It’s also usually the only time they will experience the wedding industry. I’m here to expose the secrets of the wedding industry so you don’t get bamboozled while planning your wedding.

Disclaimer: None of the vendors mentioned in this blog are being accused of doing these things. They’re all really awesome vendors ready to make your wedding day perfect!

1. There are usually fees after your intial quote.

This is so frustrating! These fees can include tax or any “service fees.” When you book with me, the package prices are EXACTLY what you see. No additional fees. This isn’t always the case with other vendors. To ensure you don’t get bamboozled, ask if there are any fees not included in your initial quote.

2. Awards can be a facade.

YES! Those awards you see on vendors websites sometimes don’t come with credible weight. Speaking for the common photographer awards – they’re usually for pretty photos, not customer service. Coming from personal experience, the awards I hold are just for pretty photos. I could be a complete asshole and the people who gave me that award don’t know that (and don’t care, let’s be honest). That award isn’t for my personality or customer service. This can be the difference between remembering your wedding day with love or remembering how frustrated you were working with the total asshole photographer… but at least you got pretty photos, right? NO. These awards can give off the wrong impression. When in doubt, ask what the awards are for. The vendor should be more than happy to fill you in.

A photo I have actually won an award for. I took these two out for In-N-Out on their wedding day, I wasn’t an asshole but that award won’t tell you that.

3. Wedding favors are a waste of money.

I SAID IT!! I SAID IT!! Wedding favors are the equivalent of lighting money on fire. More times than not, favors are left on reception tables to be thrown away. Stop with the koozies and the personalized stuff with your name and date – NO ONE USES THAT STUFF. You’ve already paid for your guests’ entertainment and food for the night, favors are not required. Instead of the typical, try hiring a photo booth company (preferably the Instabooth) to give your guests photos they’ll cherish long after your wedding day is over. Another popular alternative wedding favor is take-home candy bags and, my personal fave, take-home seed packets for growing flowers! Popular wedding favors usually aren’t sustainable or useful. Say it with me – Wedding favors are not required.

4. Food trucks are 100% in.

Heck yeah, they’re so FETCH (is Mean Girls still in?) Anything from BBQ to coffee, there are food trucks for it ALL. This is an amazing option to give your guests a dining experience they’ll remember forever. Food trucks are usually locally owned as well, which is awesome for the local economy. Support small businesses! Here’s an awesome list of Colorado Food Trucks.

The Spot Coffee, Peoria IL

5. Fridays and Sundays are cheaper.

It’s true – vendors are more affordable on days that AREN’T Saturdays! Sundays and Fridays might seem like a drag for your wedding date but some of the best weddings I have been to have been on Fridays or Sundays… Or even during the week. We are so hyper-focused on Saturdays being THEE day for weddings, but that’s just a social construct we have come to accept. Be different – host your wedding whenever YOU want it.

The Red Barn, Mackinaw IL

The list could go on and on, but I will keep it short and sweet. Learn more hacks by hiring me as your photographer! We will tackle these things head on.