Haggling with Wedding Vendors…yes or no?

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We all love a good deal, me especially. My father in law likes to comment that my uncle and I invented copper wire by fighting over a penny. I love bargains, I love manager’s specials and I love walking away from a transaction with no buyer’s remorse. But knowing when it is okay to ask for a discount is like a fine art.

Your wedding is one of the most expensive days, possibly years of your life. You are pouring every extra dollar into your perfect day. You want the best that you can afford. “Afford” being the key word. You have to remember that the professionals you are hiring to pull off your perfect day have a job, need an income and probably have families to support; just like you. It can be insulting to ask a photographer to do a 10 hour shoot but also tell them that you only have $1000 in your budget for photography. Remember that you want your day to be perfect, so you need to pay appropriately.

Here are the questions you need to ask yourself and your wedding vendors:

What are your priorities for you perfect day?

Is it the perfect location, the dress, the food, the entertainment or the memories (photography, videography). Once you have you and your fiancés priorities lined out you will know where you should spend more of your budget.

Is my budget realistic?

This is a tough one for most brides. If you want to pull off your perfect day with 150 guests on a $10,000 budget, good luck! If you did it, we’d love to hear how! If your budget is not realistic, then consider changing your wedding date to be able to save more and stress less.

Are your dates/times flexible?

Saturdays are the most expensive days to get married, but also the most convenient. If most of your wedding guests are local you may be able to pull of a Friday or Sunday wedding. If you are having a small guest list you may be able to do an evening wedding during the week. Additionally, if you are planning a wedding on a holiday weekend, be prepared to pay for it!

So can you haggle?

I think it’s always okay to ask if there is wiggle room with a vendor, however be realistic. If a photographer typically charges $2000, don’t ask them if they will do it for $1000. That is insulting to their profession. A 5-10% discount would be reasonable to ask about, or possibly dropping certain services that they include in their package pricing. They will either tell you that their price is firm or give you some sort of a discount and you will need to accept whatever they tell you.

Do you have something you can offer in return?

Everybody loves getting a deal, and trading is one of those perks of being in business. If you have something that you can offer a vendor in lieu of money exchanged than ask them if they’d be interested in trading! It’s a win-win for both parties!