It can’t hurt to ask

April 13, 2009

It can’t hurt to ask wedding vendors for a discount, right? That’s what I figure. It worked for me with my photographer AND my DJ!   So, I decided to give it another try with a videographer!  We’ll see what happens…maybe I’ll be 3 for 3!

These are my tips for asking for discounts:

1. Email.  I think email works best opposed to phoning or meeting in person because it gives you the chance to list specifically what services you are looking for and your budget. Then the vendor has time to think it over and crunch some numbers, too.

2.  Throw in some flattery.  It’s important that the vendor knows that you respect and admire their work and that’s why you want to use them, not because you’re just trying to get the cheapest rate in town.

3. Scale back.  You can’t expect to get the same packages as everyone else and pay significantly less. Ask for reduced coverage (example 4 hours instead of 6) or cut stuff out (photo albums).

4. Be realistic.  Don’t go asking for anything that is too far off from their normal prices.  For instance, if you’d like to pay $1000 for a photographer and they normally charge $2400 for 8 hours of coverage, don’t expect get 6 hours of coverage for $1000.  If you do the math, three or 4 hours is closer to their going rate.

5. Have an off-day wedding.  Getting married on a non-Saturday or in the Winter means that you will typically not be competing with other full-paying brides for your date.  The vendor can look at it this way: book this client and make a little less or have no client at all and make nothing.

6. Keep your wedding in balance.  If you email a DJ and tell them you can’t afford their $900 package and would like to only pay $500, but inform them that your wedding will be held at the fanciest hotel in town and the reception will last at least 6 hours because you are serving 200 people a 5-course meal…that DJ is going to be a little skeptical about how “low” your budget really is.  Don’t lie about not being able to afford something just to get a better deal. I think that’s insulting to the vendor.

7.  Be polite.  Don’t forget to be kind and grateful.  No one wants to work with bridezillas, OR cut them a deal. You attract more bees with honey, right? (Or however that saying goes.) And be understanding if a discounted package is not something a vendor can offer.  This ishow they make their living after all. They have a business to run and an image to uphold.

So, yes, some sacrifices may be involved. But if you are on a budget, this is a great way to get top-notch, quality vendors  for your wedding!  Quality over quantity. That’s what I’m all about.

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