How to Save Money While Planning Your Wedding
I touched on this a little bit in my post about budgets, but I want to dig a little deeper into the concept of "naming your own price". Anyone who has gone through the process of planning a wedding or big event has found that all of the items add up FAST. Before you know it, you are out of money and unable to have some of the things you really want (i.e. farm tables...wink wink). Before you write off the dream items you think you can't afford, read on to see how you may be able to get the special touches on your big day at a price you can afford.
1. Shop and Compare: There are two things you can do to get the best price with any vendor. First, it would be in your best interest to get a few quotes for every item. I know it can be daunting to collect quotes for everything, but you would be surprised at how much you can save! Don't just go with the first quote you get. Compare it to other prices, get a quote in writing to compare to other quotes. You could save a few hundred dollars in a few areas, which can really add up.
As a vendor, let me say this. While it pains me to give someone a quote and never hear from them again, I never assume that I will "get the sale" just because I prepared a quote. There is nothing personal in inquiring about someone's goods or services, this is just part of the planning process. Never let a vendor pressure or guilt you into using their services. If they are good and what they have to offer is a good value, they don't need to pressure you; what they have to offer speaks for itself. I wish everyone that asked me for a price booked, but I have to tell you that it's in your best interest to ask around.
2. Ask and you shall receive: This is something else that I don't want to tell you, but as a friend - I must! Now let's say that you have gotten the quotes, done your research and are now ready to make a decision. Absolutely do NOT make a decision based solely on the price. More often than not, that doesn't go well. What you should do, on the other hand, is go back to the vendor of your choice and try to negotiate the price.
If you have been in communication with a vendor you really like, ask them what they can do. Every quote is negotiable. Some vendors may not be able to meet you at your price point, your budget may just be too low. But, you have done some research and shopping around and have the advantage of some other quotes to show the vendor of your choice what can be done. Be honest with them and let them know that you shopped around, and tell them about some of the prices you found.
Now read this carefully - just because you found a dirt cheap ____Fill in the blank___, there is no guarantee that the vendor you really want to work with can match the lowest price you found. You can get low quality products for a dirt cheap price. The vendor you select may use only the best, highest quality product that they are willing to offer their clients. Respect that, appreciate that. Likely that is one of the things that really drew you to them over the others. Understand that there are a lot of factors that you may not know about when asking how low they can go. You may be pleasantly surprised to find that a vendor is willing to work with you, but please respect their craft and don't insult them if they won't come down as low as you would like. This is after all their livelihood. The key word here is NEGOTIATE. It goes both ways.
That's it, the secret is out. Happy hunting! I hope you are able to find the vendors you love at a price you are comfortable with.