Please, please, please hire vendors for your wedding that are TRUE professionals, experienced in weddings, and come recommended by other professionals you trust in the wedding industry (for example, by your wedding planner!).
Recently we coordinated a wedding where the couple hired a DJ that we had never heard of because the price was right. The wedding was stunning - beautiful couple completely in love, gorgeous flowers, fantastic venue - crappy DJ. Wrong songs were played at both the ceremony and reception at key moments, he stopped the party and flow repeatedly to make announcements at the wrong times, and was generally annoying on the microphone (and especially to us behind the scenes).
Now, I know that this particular DJ has wedding experience (something that is KEY to hiring your vendors - weddings are a whole different ball game than regular events!), but there obviously was a reason that we had never heard of him previously.
We take care to recommend to our couples vendors to hire that we have confidence in, know will do the best job possible, and fit into the couple's budget. We never receive kick-backs in return. The simple fact is, it makes our job easier when we know the people that are hired are awesome at what they do and can be counted on to be reliable and professional.
And by the way - be sure to ask if the people on the "preferred vendor list" paid to be there, or if they really are preferred vendors!
Luckily for him, the DJ in question was hired by THE MOST relaxed and easy going couple on the planet. They had a great day and were quick to forgive and forget the mistakes. Trust me - most couples would never be that laid back!
To avoid this all together - do some homework, ask around, and make sure the people you hire have real wedding experience.
And if you hire a wedding planner - trust them! We see the best and the worst and know the cream of the crop. We won't steer you wrong!
That's it. I feel better now!
How about you?