AAWA Free Planning Program

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is the AAWA Free Planning Program just for weddings?


Our program works great for weddings (obviously), but it's not just for weddings! Proms, Anniversary Parties, Sweet 16s, and every other type of celebration are also eligible for our program benefits. Being the Adirondack-Albany Wedding Association, we do use the term 'wedding' very heavily throughout our website and social media. But just know that any of the information we share can be applied to any event you are hosting.




Will I have to jump through a bunch of hoops to qualify?


In short, no. Our free program has just three main steps:

  1. Sign up.
  2. Shop.
  3. Spread the Word.
Simply fill out the registration form on our website, or at one of our wedding shows, then browse our website to find local vendors and venues who are participating in our program. Book any 5 of these vendors for anything related to your wedding, and send our office a quick email with their names once they are under contract. While we construct your discount letter, we'll send you a link so you can spread the word by writing a review of your experience. Once your review is completed, we will email your letter to your pros to let them know you have qualified for free upgrades or discounts.




Do I have to book an AAWA venue to qualify?


Our free planning program works for you no matter where you choose to hold your event. You don’t need to use one our venue members to qualify for upgrades or discounts... but you will save more if you do!




What counts toward my 5 vendors?


To put it simply, everything related to your wedding counts toward your 5 pros. Some things are obvious: your venue, entertainment, photography, officiant, flowers, invitations, favors, dessert, etc. Less obvious are the things you might need for your wedding shower, rehearsal dinner, bachelorx events, or honeymoon. And then there are some scenarios that you may not even think of! These are all real life examples from some of our past couples:

  1. A bride & groom from out of the area were planning a destination wedding in the Adirondacks and needed a hotel room so they could come up for a weekend to meet with their vendors (that counts!)
  2. Another couple used one AAWA cake baker for their wedding shower and a second baker for their wedding cake (that’s 2 pros right there!)
  3. We even had a couple who held their Jack & Jill party weekend in Saratoga and booked one of our hotels for overnight rooms, one of our restaurants for dinner, and hired one of our limo companies to chauffeur them around all night (that was 3 total vendors alone!)




Are any vendors excluded from this program?


Third party vendors, such as travel agents, offer a service that is actually free for couples, so they are unable to offer any discounts on that free service. However, they will still count toward your 5 pros, and they will usually be able to offer some insider tips and experienced advice to save you money!




What is the benefit of using this free program?


Our program saves you time and money. We save you time by prescreening our vendor members to ensure that they are fully licensed, fully insured, have great reviews, and are LGBTQ+ friendly. We also save you money when you book any 5 of our pros for anything related to your wedding. For venues and caterers, your benefit is a 5% pre-tax upgrade or discount (depending on what the pro and you agree on). For all other member pros, your benefit is a 10% upgrade or discount.* *Some exclusions apply. See next question for details.




Why are these vendors willing to give a free upgrade/discount?


All of our wedding pro members are pre-screened by us before they join. We look at their reviews from couples as well as feedback from other pros they've worked with. This way, our members know that they can count on each other from start to finish to give you the perfect wedding day. From their standpoint, having multiple AAWA members working at your event makes it guaranteed to run more smoothly, which in turn will make their job easier. Knowing they will encounter less stress is why they are happy to give you a discount or upgrade just for booking vendors who are a part of the AAWA Free Planning Program.




I have booked my five AAWA vendors... Now what?


Once you are ready for your letter, send us a quick email with your names, event info, and your vendors and what you have booked them for (some pros offer multiple services). One important thing to remeber is that you must contact us no later than 30 days before your event date, so your letter can be issued before your final balances are due. We usually suggest that as soon as you book your 5th pro, contact us! Then, as you continue to book more AAWA pros, we can simply add them to your letter and ensure that you don’t miss out on your savings.




What if I book one vendor for multiple services?


All pros generally only count one time, unless they allow you to count them more than once. For example, if you book a company for your DJ, and decide to also hire them for your photobooth, they would only count as one pro, unless the company allows you to count it twice.




Are these vendors any good?


If they weren't, they wouldn't be here. All our vendor members are pre-screened to ensure quality and reliablility. We look at reviews from past couples to make sure they were satisfied with the service they received. If we haven't personally worked with a vendor, we check in with other pros who have to ensure that they conduct themselves professionaly while at events. We also require our members to be fully licensed, fully insured, and respect all couples, no matter their race, color, religion (creed), sex, gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status.




What will you do with my information?


All the information you provide on our Free Planning Program registration form will never leave our association. Occasionally, we may share your contact information with our member professionals in order for them to reach out to you if you are in need of a service they offer. We will never sell or distribute your information.




What if I already booked a vendor who isn't part of the AAWA?


Couples sign up for our Free Planning Program at all stages of planning. Sometimes they have already booked a vendor that they then find out isn't in our association. This is fine! You don't have to book only AAWA vendors to qualify. You just need to book five (or more!) of our vendor members. However, if you think your vendor would be a great fit for our association, let them know about us! If they join, we will thank you with a free gift!