How goes the wedding planning? I hope everything is going great and you have found tons of useful tips and tricks for an affordable wedding day.
This week, I found a bunch of articles that had some really great advice when it comes to your vendors.
Very few couples can do a wedding 100% vendor-free. At some point, a wedding vendor will be needed in order to pull off the wedding of your dreams; whether it is a caterer, a florist, a baker, or even just someone who will rent you a few chairs.
Check In With Your Network
‘Checking in with your network’ is just a fancier way of asking you to get in touch with your friends and family.
This is a great starting point. First of all, they need to be informed anyway. Cross of two things by both informing them as well as seeking out great tips or help with your wedding.
Remember: People are usually more than happy to help out in a wedding. Just be sure they know how grateful you are. Rayhab Gachango’s article on 17 Tips For Planning A Budget Wedding, suggests accepting their help as their wedding gift.
And don’t just keep things within your closest circles. As Jamie from Weddingbee wrote in her article 7 Wedding Hacks To Keep You Under Budget, reach out to other acquaintances like ex-schoolmates or friends-or-friends.
Know The Market Prices Beforehand
Before you meet up with potential vendors, you should really hop on the internet for a research session.
Vendors are salespeople. And every salesperson worth their salt can differentiate between the people who know what products and services they want and how much they should cost and those who don’t. Of these two sets of people, guess who gets better deals.
Your research session can be as simple as searching “average price of wedding flowers 2017”. It can also get as intense as seeking out reviews, Facebook comments, and forum discussions on every single local florist that will have you going all the way up to *gasp* page ten on Google.
From this, you can make a budget on how much you expect to spend on each category of your wedding. If you want to have an affordable wedding, a proper budget is important, necessary, crucial, essential, vital. That’s why it is so often Numero Uno on listicles on wedding planning, such as Easy Ways’ 22 Easy Ways To Plan A Wedding On A Budget.
Don’t Be Shy
As Getting Married mentioned in their recent post on Haggling With Wedding Suppliers, it is perfectly acceptable to haggle with your potential vendors (as long as you don’t push it too far).
The key to haggling is to be respectful. Remember, you may need to work with them for the next few months plus you are relying on them to deliver excellent services for your wedding.
Ask the vendor for a quote and then counter it. You can say things like “Wow. That’s a bit too steep for my budget. I was really expecting the price to be around X-amount. Is there anything you can do to help me?” This is where your research session pays off. If you did your homework, you know what to expect in terms of prices and can haggle more effectively.
Explore Your Options
Don’t commit to the first vendor you visit. You should really visit several vendors to see they can each offer.
Some people feel awkward if they think the vendor knows you will be checking out other vendors. Don’t.
It is perfectly fine to inform the potential vendor that you have appointments with other potential vendors before you make the final decision and if there is anything else they could offer to the package. If you are lucky, they might do one final push to sweeten their offer with lowered prices or extra add-ons.
Do You Really Need The Vendor?
A great way to reduce vendor costs is to not have them at all. This doesn’t necessarily have to mean that you can’t have the services they offer. It simply means that you may not need top-shelf services for those particular categories.
Do you really need a live band? Kimberly Studdard recently shared on How To Have Your Dream Wedding On A Budget that she paid zero dollars for her music by skipping the DJ and live band and utilizing her phone and her church’s sound system. This alternative might be unthinkable if you or your would-be-spouse are musicians, but it is a fantastic idea for those who don’t have deep musical roots.
Laura Grace Tarpley also recently wrote How I Had My Dream Wedding With 190 Guests On An $8K Budget. Right on the top of her list of biggest cost-savers, she mentioned how she skipped the florist and bought her flowers from Costco. The average spent on flowers is $2,141. She spent $315.
Help A Student
If you have checked out multiple vendors and still found them to be on the high side, you can also try to hire a student. JAVDA’s article on Tips For Your Wedding Budget To Help You Save Tons Of Money suggests getting quotes from students from reputable schools.
Students are just starting out in their field so they are normally hungry for jobs and eager to go the extra mile to build their reputation. You can find students to do your make-up and hair. You can even keep an eye out for young photographers who have limited wedding experience but a great portfolio.
The key here is to make sure you do a trial run before going with them. It greatly reduces the chances of being disappointed and sets expectations.
However, we do recommend you don’t go with rank newbies who have not had a single bit of experience. Good deals are great, but your wedding is not the place to root out untested talent.
Finally, I want to end this article by sharing a recent news article on BBC on a Kenyan couple who had a wedding with just $1. They had to cancel their wedding twice in 2016 as they were not able to raise their $300 fee. In the end, their church helped them out and they spent $1 on two budget wedding rings.
This is admittedly on the extreme end of ‘affordable weddings’, but it is a great reminder that the most important thing about your wedding day is getting married to the love of your life. Everything else about your wedding is just pretty bells and jingles to add to your celebration.