What to look (watch) out for in wedding deals

What to look (watch) out for in wedding deals


FX Photo Booths has been part of the local wedding industry for over twelve years.  Initially as a venue sales manager and wedding coordinator in Hershey, Pennsylvania.   As a photo booth experience provider, we have been offering our modern photo booth for rent to clients for ten years, focused in the areas of Lancaster, Harrisburg, Hershey & York Pennsylvania areas. 


So, we’ve seen a thing or two over the years.


As a photo booth rental company, we attend and are vendors at over fifteen Weddings Shows / Venue Open Houses over the course of any given year.  Since the beginning of 2024, we have been at Harvest View Barn and Moonstone Manor in Elizabethtown, the Yorktowne Hotel in York, The Ballroom on Broadway in Hanover, The Englewood in Hershey, the Imperial Ballroom in Lancaster, and Stone Gables Estates in Elizabethtown. 


There will be many more to come this year including Strock’s in Mechanicsburg, The Round Barn in Biglerville, Historic Shady Lane in York.  Some more dates have yet to be determined but we will likely be at many more before the end of the year.


In addition to venue open houses, you can find us at the Bash Wedding Shows and the Central PA Wedding Show circuit.


In meeting couples, we often ask some general questions about their wedding day:

  • Do you have a date?
  • Have you chosen your venue?
  • Are there specific vendor services or products you are looking to fulfill today?


We are often surprised when a couple tells us they booked A, B and C, but neither can remember the name of the business, company, or service.   It is usually followed by, “they gave us a deal on_______________.”


As a bride, groom, mother of the bride, etc., the wedding shows and open houses are great opportunities meet targeted vendors in person and ask about services (i.e. venues, catering, DJ, wedding cakes, dresses, bartending, photography, and videographers.  It will give you a feel for the company, their personality, offerings, etc., and the opportunity to see if they match your vision for your wedding day.  Afterall, the most important aspect of hiring vendors is to make sure they match your wedding day vision and in many cases they know and understand your personality.


In many cases, there may be a show incentive for attending, like winning a cash prize to be applied to your wedding or vendors.  You might even be offered “deals” or incentives by the vendors at the show.


So, here is some advice about attending shows and open houses.


Most of the details on the show will be published publicly through website information and/or social media.  Use this information to do some research not only on the vendors, but perhaps to narrow down the focus of your attendance to several key elements you want to accomplish by attending (i.e. tasting food).  This will save you time.


When considering specific vendors or entertainment packages for your wedding, if a service or wedding option are being offered for FREE, or “day of sale” or with unusually high discounted prices, it is essential to approach the situation with a level of caution and a thorough understanding.  While these may seem very attractive, there are many factors to consider ensuring you are making an informed decision.


  • Ask about hidden costs – verify there are no hidden costs associated with the services. Some vendors might offer certain elements for FREE but charge additional fees for essential components or upgrades. 


  • If I receive a free photo booth, does it include prints? Does the photo booth have a backdrop?  Make sure you know what you are getting in terms of time, equipment / product and output from your vendor.  Don’t assume you are on the “same page.”


  • Quality of Service – assess the overall quality of the services being offered for FREE or at a highly discounted rate. It is crucial that these services meet your standards.  Low quality services could impact the overall experience for you and your guests.


  • Does the photo booth offer a professional quality camera? Or is it a low-resolution webcam?   Does the photo booth have an attendant to provide a great guest experience? 


  • Contracts & Agreements – carefully review contracts and agreements provided by the vendor. Ensure all the terms and conditions and scope of the services are clearly outlined.  Pay attention to any clauses related to additional charges or limitations of these services or products.


  • How many hours of service do we get? Do you get to choose the timing?  Does the vendor own the equipment they use, or do they sub it out to another provider?


  • Professionalism & Reputation – research the vendors’ reputation and professionalism in their category. Read reviews from other couples who have used their services. A vendor with a good reputation is more likely to deliver on their promises and provide a positive experience.


  • Look for reviews on notable wedding websites, Yelp, Google. Ask your venue and / or wedding coordinator if they have had experience with the vendor. 


  • Customization Options – is there room for customization of the free services. Your wedding is a unique event, it’s important the entertainment package can be tailored to your preferences. 


  • Can you customized experience? Choose the backdrop? Can you choose the photo strip? Or do you get a standard vanilla service with little if any input?


  • Communication and Responsiveness – evaluate the vendor’s communication and responsiveness. Clear and open communication is the key to successful collaboration.  If the vendor is hesitant to provide details or is unresponsive, it may raise concerns.


  • Backup plans – inquire about backup plans in case of any unforeseen circumstances. A professional vendor should have contingency plans in place to ensure a smooth flow of the event, even if there are unforeseen circumstances. 


  • Does the vendor have backup equipment in case of a system failure or problem? Are there stipulations in your contract to cover downtime, system, or equipment failures. 


  • Referrals and recommendations – ask the vendor for referrals or recommendations from previous clients. Speaking directly with couples who have worked with the vendor can provide valuable insights into their reliability and overall experience they offer.


  • Again, you may be able to find quality reviews on notable wedding websites, Yelp, Google. Ask your venue and / or wedding coordinator if they have had experience with the vendor. 


  • Duration of the offer – clarify the duration of the free services offer. Some vendors may provide free services for a limited time or under specific conditions.  Make sure you understand the terms, conditions or time constraints with the offer.


  • If the offer is “book today” or the deal is gone, you might want to walk away. You should not feel pressured into making decisions on the spot or under duress.  Planning a wedding can be stressful enough without having to make significant financial decisions under the pressure of losing money.    Also, watch out for the unsolicited “24-hour deals.”  This has popped up as a recent sales tactic reported by clients.  “Book in the next 24 hours and get $xxx off.”  You’re likely to feel good about the price but may be ultimately disappointed in the outcome.


  • Comparative Analysis – compare the overall value of the service or entertainment package, including both the free and paid services with offerings from other vendors. This will help you make an informed decision based on what aligns best with your preferences and budget.


  • Know what you are getting, specifically in terms of the product or service. Is it as the show?  Can you see it? Touch it?  Feel it?  Can you try it out?  If a vendor tries to sell you a service or add it to a package and you cannot physically see it in person, the vendor does not likely value it.    


Sometimes big packages bundles may sound good in concept and represent a “deal”.  You may get a free wedding cake from your caterer, but does it match the vision in quality, taste and style?  It may also provide an “ease in booking” (one contract with multiple services).  Unfortunately, they often result in water-downed services, where emphasis may be on one component, but little is paid in attention to other aspects of the package.


Cheaper does not always mean better and it will rarely fulfill your vision of what it should or could be. 


Ultimately, being cautious and thorough with your evaluation will help ensure that you select a vendor or entertainment package that not only fits your budget but also meets your expectations for quality and professionalism on your special day.  If in doubt, don’t hesitate to seek clarification from the vendor and consider seeking advice from other wedding professionals or planners. 


About FX Photo Booths


FX Photo Booths is a family-owned and operated photo booth rental service started in 2014 with an office in Elizabethtown and a warehouse / studio in Mount Joy, PA.  We are repeat winners of the Knot’s Best of Wedding Award (2016-2024) and WeddingWire’s Couple Choice Awards (2016-2024).  In 2019, we were inducted into the Knot’s Hall of Fame.


FX Photo Booths offers the area’s largest and most technologically advanced photo booth rentals in central Pennsylvania.  Like our clients, we believe quality and results matter.   


Our photo booths are modern in style and will offer you and your guests a wide array of fun ways to express themselves.  We offer flexible, custom designs and curated photo booth experiences for you and your guests to enjoy. 


Centrally located in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, we provide our “Best in Class” photo booth rentals and curated photo booth experiences to the entire region, including Lancaster, Harrisburg, Hershey, York, Carlisle, Lebanon, Mechanicsburg, Selinsgrove, northern Maryland and everywhere in between.