I see parents balk at prices for different Mitzvah-related vendors, wondering why they’re so expensive. Of course, there are a ton of variables that can cause a difference in pricing, but one of the things you’re paying for is your vendors’ experience in both their field and in Bar or Bat Mitzvahs. That experience is absolutely priceless to you in making your event run smoothly.
These scenarios keep me up at night: The band who has never done a Jewish event before and learned the hora, just for you. The family friend who has a great camera and wants to get into events. Your co-worker’s son who DJs school dances. The restaurant who wants to get into the catering and is giving you a deal.
You see the savings and I see all of the potential pitfalls. Talent inexperienced in Mitzvahs? Leads to a hora where people are awkwardly standing around and not sure what do. Your friend whose never shot an event before? He doesn’t know where to be to get the right photo when you need it. He doesn’t have the experience in the lighting to catch you in the most flattering way and your photos suffer for it. The DJ who does school dances? He don’t know how to engage both adults and kids at the same time; half your crowd stays off the dance floor because the music isn’t right. That restaurant? Its staff doesn’t know how to pace a meal for 150 and it comes out cold and mushy.
The reality is that you get what you pay for. Is saving money really worth it so you can be someone’s learning experience? Let someone else be their guinea pig. Hire a professional if you want professional results.