Cheapest Doesn’t Mean Best Value

As you plan your wedding, gathering quotes from different vendors, it's tempting to take the lowest quote in every area. While that may save you money upfront, the cost in the long run could be a lot more, not only in hard cash but in time and stress (which are priceless). There is a difference between bargain (Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French, from bargaigner – a transaction, situation, or event regarded in the light of its results 'a bad bargain') and value (Etymology: Middle English, worth, high quality, from Anglo-French, from Vulgar Latin *valuta, from feminine of *valutus, past participle of Latin valēre to be of worth, be strong a fair return or equivalent in goods, services, or money for something exchanged – Webster's).

One wedding I recently assisted at a beautiful luxury villa had opted for the $22 per person caterer (which was really a small local restaurant whom I doubt had done any catering before). While good cooks, they were over their heads and under staffed – the wedding planning team waitressed and bussed tables as there was simply no one else to do it. Worse, the chaos in the kitchen resulted a flooded floor, plugged sinks and a visit by the plumber. And they left the house in worse shape than when they arrived. Needless to say, the end of the night was stressful for the couple as they worried about their damage deposit possibly not being returned by the villa owner.

Who do you think would give better value-  the $22 per person bargain caterer with their myriad problems or the $65 per person caterer with a full and professional staff, who leaves the kitchen spotless, cooks without chaos and runs like a well-oiled machine?

Over the years, we've dealt with 'bargain' florists, musicians, bands, photographers, videographers that couples have hired and almost without fail, there have been problems. From showing up late to leaving early to not backing up photos to renting out dirty gear, these 'bargains' have cost dear in the end.

There are no 'do-overs' when it comes to your wedding day. Ensure you have the best team possible working to make your event as perfect as possible. If a vendor is significantly underpriced compared to the competitors, ask yourself 'why'. A Chevrolet Aveo is a car as is a Honda Fit. Each has four wheels, a steering wheel, combusitble engine, etc. So why does the Honda make the Best Value list whilst the Chevy  is considered one of the Worst Values? A number of things, such as construction, materials used, design, handling, etc. Sure the Honda costs more but the value it brings is overwhelmingly better than the cheaper 'bargain' Chev.

Quality vendors, who bring true value to the table, will (usually) charge what they are worth. Get the best you can afford within your budget.  Hire for the value, not for the bargain and you'll save time, money and grief.

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