The number one complaint I hear from brides is how expensive weddings are(second to how stressful planning can become).
From the photographer, to the florist(one of the most underestimated costs), to your coordinator, and venue...I understand, it adds up quickly. I once was a young bride planning my wedding, counting numbers to make sure that we stayed within budget. But let me tell you, the best way to ruin a wedding isn't by a guest showing up late, or even a small tear in your veil.
The best way to ruin a wedding is to hire someone that you don't love being around, specifically your coordinator and your photographer(videographer). Those two individuals(or more depending on how many shooters you hire and how big your coordination team is) will be with you, the bride, more than any other person that day. More than your bridesmaids, more than your mom, and often even more than your new husband.
Your photographer is with you constantly, documenting each moment from the time you start putting on your make-up to the instant you leave as a married couple from your reception surrounded by family, friends and a world of sparklers. If you don't jive with your photographer, or trust them to document the story of your day, then you should prepare yourself now for stress. Or you should just hire someone different that you LOVE (not entirely determined by their price), and save yourself the stress.
Secondly, your coordinator is your lifeline the day of your event (and the days leading up to it). Yes I am slightly biased, but no other vendor can relieve stress the way a coordinator can. Other vendors can create stress if they aren't performing to the level in which you expected, but our job is specifically to alleviate stress. We are a "catch all" at times, making sure that everything looks how you want it, and everyone is where they need to be, exactly when they need to be there. We step in to help in ways we can when vendors don't deliver, we fight for what you want when aunt Cathy tells you how she thinks everything should look, we lay on the ground on a bridge so your little ring bearer can stand on our backs to be seen in the group shoot (this may or may not be from experience). And if you don't like us, or how we work, then you shouldn't hire us. Again, you should hire someone that you LOVE being around and trust to make sure that things go exactly how you want them.
A good coordinator and a good photographer(videographer) can make even the most stressful day, go smoothly, and look like it went smoothly. Coordinators do the upfront work of smoothing all the wrinkles from the day. The photographer does upfront work at making sure the images you will look at for a lifetime reflect the joy and delight of the day, not the hiccups and stress.
All that said...Pay for that photographer(videographer) you love. Pay for that coordinator you enjoy being around. Because after your wedding day, all you have are all the slews of leftover favors, and your photos to remember it by. Of course, ultimately you have a new wonderful spouse to love and cherish forever, and that is the ultimate goal. Even if the food is awful, the DJ's equipment blows up and catches fire, and it pours down rain from the heavens, you will be married to the love of your life at the end of the day, and that is something no money can buy.
photo by: Blythe Elizabeth Photography