During today’s scroll through Facebook (I mean, let’s be honest: during today’s first scroll through Facebook…) I encountered a post that I see so often it makes me cringe. Someone was asking for all of Facebookland to provide them with recommendations for a …wait for it…

Reasonably Priced whatever-whatever.

Everybody asks for this…everybody. We want reasonably priced hair & make up vendors, reasonably priced photographers, reasonably priced videographers, reasonably priced caterers, reasonably priced transportation and so much more.

I have a huge problem with this, as do most wedding & event vendors I know. And it is not without reason. Here’s why you should stop asking for reasonably priced vendor referrals:

Reasonable to you might not/probably is not/won’t be what is reasonable to me. “Reasonable” is so subjective that it has become meaningless. Reasonable doesn’t take into account the timing of your request – now and not 20 years ago when Aunt Sally got married and wedding services & pricing structures were completely different. Reasonable doesn’t consider your region – your college friend Drew who got married in Nebraska likely did not pay the same for his photographer that you will in Chicago or New York or LA. Reasonable doesn’t get into your specific event details like package selections, schedule for the wedding day or the size of your event. Reasonable doesn’t account for the difference in budget, style, setting or season that will inevitably be a factor in some of the recommendations you receive from this query.

Instead of thinking you should be looking for recommendations of reasonably priced vendors you should be asking your friends, family, and Facebookland for these instead:

  1. High-quality vendors
  2. Established & Experienced vendors
  3. Caring & service-oriented vendors
  4. Vendors who are a good fit for your needs
  5. Professional, licensed & insured vendors
  6. Vendors actively engaged in their profession & communities
  7. Honest & fair vendors
  8. Creative & unique vendors
  9. Collaborative vendors
  10. Vendors in your price range

Ask better questions (these ones right up here^^^ are a great place to start!), and you should get some better answers.

When you make “reasonably priced” your main goal, you end up shopping as though you’re purchasing a commodity instead of a service. In those cases, you’ll typically get what you pay for and reasonable will likely have nothing to do with it. Is it reasonable to spend $1k on the cheapest photographer you can find, only to get your wedding photos back and find the majority of them are not useable? Please, please just stop asking for reasonably priced vendors – if only so I can stop cringing so hard at my feed. Or better yet, hire a planner with the attributes above and you’ll have a direct line to the best vendors around. Seems reasonable, right?

(Photo by Michael Novo Photography)