Welcome back! During the Money-wise Wedding Series, I’m dishing all of my tips to take the least costly route possible when planning your dream wedding. As a recently wed woman, I completely understand the stresses of planning a wedding and that so many of them come from the mountains of costs associated with this important event.
With that being said, your wedding is obviously one of the most exciting and important days of your life that you’re planning for, but there is no need to enter therapy or go into bankruptcy while putting things together.
In the previous post I discussed the first and foremost step of wedding planning, which is setting a budget. If you haven’t already sat down with your partner and done this, check out the last post for some great tips on creating a budget. This week I’m giving some secrets to success when it comes to selecting and booking your vendors including how to negotiate prices and where to skimp and splurge.
Narrowing down your selection….
As I mentioned, its vitally important to set a budget for the vendors with the biggest price tag so you can be prepared for their bill. Some of these include the venue, caterer, DJ/musician, baker, florist and dress designer/alterations. Set budgets for each of these based on your wants and what the average cost is for what you’re looking for and then you can start the process of narrowing down vendors.
Once you have 3-4 vendors selected who can provide you with what you want, then you can begin the elimination and negotiation process.
Process of negotiation and elimination
Its important to not rule out places that you wouldn’t normally think of getting the job done for a formal event. Let’s say, for example, that you want a simple two-tier wedding cake for the bridal party accompanied by cupcakes for the rest of the guests. It will probably be much more cost-efficient to buy a bulk box of cupcakes from a big retailer and splurge on the bridal party cake. This is what we did for our wedding! It still turned out beautiful and cost us so much less.
When it comes to negotiation, don’t be afraid to do it! This means, if you find something that is the same or close to the same elsewhere for a better price, ask your vendor if they’ll match the price for you. This tends to work very well when buying a dress; if you find the dress you love at one boutique, call around to other boutiques in your area to see if they carry that gown and if they can go lower on the price.
Don’t be afraid to make sacrifices
What is really important to you and your fiance? There’s no way around it, when you’re budgeting and working with crunching numbers you will have to make sacrifices in some places. Figure out what things are really important to you and know that this is where you can give yourself room to splurge on quality. My husband and I decided that professional photography just wasn’t something we valued and so we had a friend with a good quality camera and some amateur skills take our photos. They turned out great and he and his wife were able to still capture all the special moments at 1/3 of the cost. This makes planning with a limited price point much easier. The other things that don’t matter to you as much will be what you spend less on or eliminate altogether.
Remember, when selecting your vendors it is so important to ask questions, know your limits on what are your must-haves and understand its okay to make some sacrifices. Too many brides get caught up in the glamorization of expensive resources and forget that it is entirely possible to have a beautiful wedding without spending a fortune.
Are you planning a wedding? Did you just get married and have some favorite tips you want to share? Leave me a comment below! I look forward to seeing you next week when I help you out with items you can live without and save hundreds of dollars.