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Friday, October 1, 2010

#99: Would you hire a college student to...

Earlier this week I unveiled my Big Idea - that my secret dream (yes, after all the money I spent on grad school for counseling), is to own a quaint little cottage style wedding venue on beautifully landscaped grounds that would allow NYC/ Long Island couples with a modest budget to have a unique, creative, simple, and beautiful wedding.

Part of my plan is to have a list of vendor resources for people on a 5k, 10k, or 15k budget. And so I'm wondering how frugal couples might respond if I suggested that they hire local college students to provide certain services.

I should clarify that by college student I'm not talking about those of the class-skipping, boob-flashing, marijuana-for-breakfast kind. I'm talking about highly motivated students who are responsible, mature, and eager to practice their creative craft.

So. Would you consider hiring a college student to do any of the following:
  • Man your iPod DJ booth (a music major)
  • Photograph your wedding (a photography major)
  • Videotape your wedding (a film major)
  • Provide live music (students in the school orchestra, a cappella group, or jazz band)
  • Be your day-of coordinator (education or business major)
Your thoughts?

Photo credit 


  1. I'm more interested in experience than education.

  2. Personally I would consider hiring a college student for any of the above. (And may, indeed, do so for my spring wedding!) My brother was in several jazz bands in undergrad, and his friends used to play weddings all the time - the quality of their music was great, they were sweet kids, and they really appreciated the extra cash. The only task I'd be more leery about is photography, but I think that could be easily addressed by seeing the student's portfolio and meeting with them. I'd also feel more comfortable hiring a photography student who I heard about on recommendation based on their past work - so getting a student recommendation from a venue such as the one you're considering might carry more weight for me than a random student's post I found on Craigslist.

  3. I hired a photography student to shoot my wedding. I checked out her website, liked what I saw, sent her an inquiry, and she then sent me her wedding portfolio (she freelanced as well as worked as a second shooter for pro photogs). I was sold already, but then the engagement photos were so kickass that I was even MORE sold. She did a phenomenal job.

  4. OH! And I would have done the same for our wedding ceremony music, but I wanted a bagpiper, and there aren't very many piper programs in the US. :)

    Honestly, I hadn't even thought to do it for a DJ, and I wish I had. Oh well. :)

  5. Something I know something about!

    I have been a wedding singer since the age of 16. I don't advertise, I get all my work based on word of mouth.

    That alone has to mean something for my professionalism and I'm not going to modestly step back from that statement because it's true that I am very good at it. I have a good rapport with the couples with whom I work and am always on time and ready to assist. Plus, I can sing.

    I would also argue that some of the most unprofessional and difficult people in my business are much older than I was and am. So age isn't an indicator of professionalism.

  6. Of course. I'm a college student myself and I loved our student photographer's work for our engagement session...You can get GREAT work done for acceptable rates...but the important part is not to completely exploit their labor. Don't pay them $50 to do something that would normally cost you $3,000 or something.

    Typical prices for established photographer's here for engagement sessions were between $150-$500. (Minus those crazy photographer's with $3,000 engagement session prices and what not...which exist all over)

    So we paid her $125 to keep it fair. She worked for 6 hours...meaning she made $25 an hour for the shoot and did the editing and what not included.

    We also took her out for sushi beforehand to get to know her first...which I think is a must.

  7. I would consider a college student for all of the above. I firmly believe that a motivated college student can provide a great service that would equal and possibly top those that are experienced. They may also bring a fresh view point to the project at hand as well.

  8. Very interesting points, everyone. The main thing I learned from all of you is that quality service is a must for everyone, no matter your budget.

    If I do plan to have a list of affordable student vendors when I'm a bad-ass event space owner extaordinaire, I myself have to be blown away by their portfolio/ audition/ interview. After all, I want to provide a service to customers, not a disservice.


Babbling about weddings is so much more fun when people babble back. :)

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