5 Ways Your Wedding Vendors Can Save You Money guest blog post by Sharon Naylor
5 Ways Your Wedding Vendors Can Save You Money
When you’re planning your wedding on a budget, you might take one look at those lofty vendor fees for floral design, catering, photography, and videography and think, “If I do these myself, I’ll save a ton of money!” But that’s one of the biggest wedding money disasters possible. After all, vendors are experienced, they know how to schedule when things need to be done (like heating up the cocktail party food so that it’s hot when guests are ready to eat,) and they’re worth every dime in creating your gorgeous wedding details at a fraction of the price it would cost Inexperienced You.
So here are the top 5 ways that wedding vendors can actually save you money…and perhaps even hook you up with some freebies:
1. They have things in their storerooms. So many of the ‘creatives,’ like floral designers, order votive candle holders, fabric, lace and other supplies in bulk for the big weddings they plan, and when that wedding is done, they usually have a nice, big pile of high quality leftovers that wind up in their storage areas. My own floral designer showed me gorgeous wrought iron candelabras and metal hook stands holding metal hurricane lamps, plus dozens of square glass centerpiece vases that she had left over from a big wedding a few months ago, and she offered them all to me for…get this…$100. It would have cost her hundreds of dollars to return them, and frankly, she just wanted to get that stuff out of her workshop so that she could make room for incoming orders. I said yes and saved over $900 on my wedding décor. Ask your floral designer and wedding coordinator to show you their ‘dead stock’ or leftover wedding supplies to see if you too can snap them up for a song, and big savings.
2. They know all the best-priced vendors in town. Wedding vendors know each other very well, and they also know the vendors in town who overcharge, are unscrupulous, and won’t make you happy. So ask your floral designer to refer you to a great wedding invitations designer and a photographer you’d be happy with, and she might just be able to call her friends in the industry and wrangle you a big discount.
3. They’re fountains of information. Your caterer will help you make the most of your budget by telling you which seafood and meats will be better-priced during the season of your wedding, or that you should wait a few weeks to make your actual menu…because the lobster prices are looking like they’re going to drop. Your floral designer can show you all the less-expensive, dramatic, non-bridal blooms you can consider for half-price centerpieces, and your invitations specialist will show you a range of more affordable types of imported papers, teach you about letterpress printing, and show you pretty fonts from her no-extra-charge list.
4. They keep you on budget. Forget about those tales about wedding coordinators inflating wedding expenses so that they get a greater percentage of what you spend. Quality wedding coordinators who are accredited and belong to professional associations get more out of keeping you on budget, and they have top-tech spreadsheets to help you do that. When your wedding comes in under budget, you’ll tell all your friends about her, she books their weddings, and everyone’s happy…especially you.
5. They’ll throw in add-ons. Many wedding vendors tell me that when they like a wedding couple – you’re polite, you show up for appointments on time, you pay on time, you’re pleasant to work with – they’ll throw in some additional items for free. You might get an extra station at your cocktail party (a $500 value) or an upgrade in your centerpiece design, some extra floral arrangements to beautify your reception room, extra thank-you notes, extra photo albums, special effect lighting…all things that have dollar values on the market but are given to you for free.
If you were to try to design your own florals, you’d probably overspend, thinking you have to jam a ton of flowers into each centerpiece to make an impression…and since your flower source won’t offer the freshest flowers like the pros’ sources do, you might wind up with wilted flowers and have to buy more on the morning of the wedding. Which will send your stress levels through the roof.
Kindness and partnership are the key factors to building a relationship with vendors, and it’s important to tell them you’re on a budget! Don’t be embarrassed! Just about every wedding couple out there is on a budget, and the ones who don’t say so wind up spending more.
And be open-minded. If you insist on gardenias for your bouquet without a deep sentimental attachment to them, just because you want it your way, you’ll spend more than if you go to your floral meeting with an open mind, showing the designer what you like, but asking him to show you additional ideas that his trained eye knows would be perfect for your style and your budget.
Vendors want to help you make your wedding details look like you spent triple the money, and since they’re so experienced and so good at what they do, so ‘in’ with the best suppliers in the world, they’ll do just that.
Sharon Naylor is the author of over 35 wedding books, including 1001 Ways to Save Money and Still Have a Dazzling Wedding and Bridesmaid on a Budget, www.sharonnaylor.net