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  • Writer's pictureShannon K. Wendt-Heath

What NOT to do When Reaching Out to Potential Wedding Vendors for Your Northern Michigan Wedding

Updated: Dec 30, 2021

Are you having a destination wedding in the Charlevoix, Petoskey, Gaylord, Harbor Springs, Bay Harbor or Traverse City area? It's time for wedding planning 101.


10) ask us to match prices. Not all comparisons are, as that old saying goes, "apples to apples". Asking a professionally trained Master of Ceremonies and DJ to price match a DJ that doesn't make announcements, create the timeline or hold planning meetings with you should be a no-go.

9) ask us (as a decor and design company) to recreate a Pinterest board with your decor ideas without the realization that those ideas cost time and money to get right.

8) have an unrealistic budget taken from an online site. Weddings and where they are held are all unique. A wedding during high summer for 150 in northern Michigan is going to be more expensive than in the winter when weddings are more scarce and you may score an off-season deal at your venue. And just because The Knot/Wedding Wire tells you what the average price is for a DJ or photographer that doesn't mean you will get an excellent one at the figure they post. Remember, it's an AVERAGE, not a point of negotiating a smaller fee because "Wedding Wire says you should charge xxxx".

7) If you DO have a budget in mind, be aware of "sticker shock". Online/google info does not properly prepare couples, especially if they are telling you a good DJ costs $1200 (or even less!) The emphasis here is on GOOD. Sure, you can get an "average" DJ for that price, but do you want to trust in average for a very, very important part of your wedding (flow, timeline, keeping on schedule, etc.?). Or an "average" officiant would cost $250. Do you want a pro that will get know the two of you and begin telling your story? Or go cheap and someone that may or may not get your names right?! Trust us, we've seen many that get names wrong or mispronounce them.

6) tell your potential decor vendor you can DIY your wedding more cheaply after you see the initial proposal. Of course you can. But what is your time worth? What I have had happen time and time again is someone calling me after they've realized they don't have the time (or the help of family/friends) as they had thought. And then they call me and I am booked on their date. Don't let this happen to you!

5) wait until the last minute to reach out to top-rated vendors (e.g. with less than six-eight months to go until wedding day). The hot dates for this year (10/10 and 6/20) were filled for us about 1 - 1 1/2 years out. For example, our entertainment division often books this far in advance and we've even had some two years in advance! "Book who you like or you'll get who is left" - Thomas Heath, owner of Thomas Heath Events and A+ Entertains.

4) haggle pricing. Wedding professionals aren't priced the way they are "just because it's a wedding". So many costs go into running a small business! If you would like to know mine, check out this blog I wrote last month: Here at Heart Wedding Decor and A+ Entertains (our entertainment division) we have a large office space and utilities to cover, as just one example. This space allows me to keep a showroom so you and other potential couples can see (and even feel!) many of the rental items.

3) ask a wedding DJ if you can see a video of their work at a wedding. Truly professional Masters of Ceremonies and DJs rarely get footage at their weddings. Why is this? Because they are concentrating on creating a wonderful experience for their couples and their guests.Occasionally, they may be able to secure raw footage from the couples' videographers. Also, don't ask a decor rental company for a full mock-up of your wedding vision without expecting it to have a consultation fee attached. For example, in the case of table settings, the items have to be pulled, arranged and then either photos or a video taken. This can take quite a bit of time depending on inventory, etc.

2) forget the mantra "You get what you pay for". It is so true in the wedding business! Don't trust one of (if not THE) biggest days of your life to cheap. Choose your vendors based on reviews, venue recommendations and even word-of-mouth from family or friends. Ask questions and get to know them! And there is a saying that fits perfectly here: "Good. Easy. Cheap. Pick two. You can get cheap and easy but it won't be good. You can get good and cheap but it won't be easy. And most importantly: you can get good and easy but it won't be cheap".

1) Don't ghost us! Please! For Heart, each and every one of my proposals is customized to you and your wedding details. It takes a lot of time to create and research these customized proposals. I don't just send a bill.

Do you have any questions you would like to ask me after reading this list of what not to ask your potential wedding vendors? Please feel to reach out to me via the site, text/phone or email: 231 622 3275 or

Agree or disagree? Either way, please share on soc. I would love to get a discussion going around these points.

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