The Pros and Cons of Working with a Start-Up Wedding Vendor

Partnering with a young business to plan your dream wedding can be a rewarding experience, but there are some important things to consider before sealing the deal.

Wedding Planning Checklist and Laptop
Photo: Milkos / Getty Images

Whether they post beautiful photos on social media or come highly recommended by way of a friend, it's easy to be blown away by the talent of younger businesses and vendors who are new to the wedding industry. But what's it really like to work with these less experienced professionals? Ultimately, you probably won't know for certain until you're into the swing of planning your nuptials, as there are so many factors at play. If you're deciding whether to hire a new-to-the-industry vendor, here are some pros and cons to consider before signing a contract.

Pro: A new vendor may be the most affordable option.

Vendors who are new to the industry are generally much more flexible with their pricing, and may be more willing to negotiate so they can build their portfolio. This is especially true when it comes to photographers, videographers, florists, and wedding planners.

Con: A lack of experience can be off-putting.

New professionals haven't had a chance to navigate the many, many things that can go wrong at a wedding. This lack of experience can make recovering from a less-than-ideal scenario more difficult—but it's important to remember that we all start somewhere. If supporting a growing business is important to you, but you have concerns, try asking targeted questions about Plan Bs and road bumps to work out as many kinks as possible ahead of time.

Pro: They might offer simple, minimal packages.

Wedding planners who have been in the industry for a few years or more tend to stay away from day-of or month-of planning packages; most established businesses solely offer full-service plans. In that vein, photographers who are just starting out might be willing to offer reduced packages—like four hours of coverage rather than a full day. You'll have more flexibility, since new creatives generally haven't secured their minimums yet.

Con: Their contract may not be perfect.

One of the major benefits of working with an industry veteran? They have experienced most of the ups and downs that being a business owner brings—and they want to protect their clients, employees, and company at large accordingly. For most, this culminates in the form of an iron-clad contract that covers more than just the basics. New vendors simply don't have that kind of experience—and tend to have simpler contracts that may leave a bit more room for error.

Pro: They're more willing to work within your hours.

Established vendors tend to work only within normal business hours. If that schedule doesn't work for you, a new vendor may be more willing to meet, chat, or brainstorm outside of that Monday through Friday window—especially if they're still working a full-time job while launching their side business.

Con: They might not properly staff an installation.

Staffing for an event isn't necessarily straightforward for industry newcomers. They often don't have a ton of contacts inside the business yet, or they're not exactly sure how much help they'll need on the big day. This can be a major problem, especially within the catering or floral design sectors; being under-staffed leads to delays in setting up and service throughout the wedding.

Pro: They're so enthusiastic.

Vendors who are new to the industry are likely to get more excited about brainstorming and developing ideas with you. It's not that veteran vendors are jaded—but they do have a clearer sense of what's trending versus what's an authentic, bold idea simply because they've been exposed to more. One perspective isn't necessarily better, but it's always fun to work with someone whose enthusiasm is contagious.

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