Bartering wedding services to keep costs down…

posted 3 years ago in Money
Post # 2
Member
6048 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: March 2012

A few of my cousins have done this.  My one cousin that got married pulled tree stumps out of a lady taht goes to their church’s yard, she happens to make AMAZING cakes, so she made his wedding cake.  He also worked weekends and nights as a mechanic for a guy, who got him the Hall they got married in for free.  He worked for years at a restaurant, who donated all the drinks, alcohol and soda, for free, because he had done a ton of work around the restaurant and cars for free over the years. 

His sister got married and she barted getting her hair done from one of her friends, who is a hair dresser, in exchange for babysitting.  It’s not hard, or awkward but they don’t just barter for wedding things, it’s a bit of the norm.  People either brought it up, like what can I do for your wedding to help, or made it their wedding present.  

Post # 3
Member
1230 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

chica95110:  My sister offered to barter her services for me. She is a massage therapist and works at a spa. She offered to donate massages to aesteticians willing to give me a facial and beauty treatments closer to the date. She also asked me if I wanted her to do it for hair and makeup (I’m planning on doing those myself). We barter with our dogwalker. We leave her nice wine (which FI gets at cost) and she babysits the dog. 

 

Post # 4
Member
72 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

chica95110:  I bartered graphic design work for my engagement photos! We’re both in college and working to develop portfolios, so it worked out really well- I revamp the logo for her business (and get exposure to her clients and peers) and she takes our engagement photos (and gets exposure to our friends and family, as well as a logo, of course!).

I think there can be potential for it to turn into a sticky situation if both parties aren’t clear about what’s expected. For our case, even though we’re good friends, we made sure to draw up an informal contract so that we each knew what our end of the bargain entailed. We were both of the understanding that it wasn’t for lack of trust, but rather for making things easier on ourselves.

If there had been more opportunities for bartering, I would’ve been happy to jump on them! Our wedding budget is pretty tight.

Post # 5
Member
42490 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

chica95110:  Keep in mind that depending on where you live, your government may require you to include the fair market value of goods and services received from bartering when filing your income tax return.

Post # 6
Member
1275 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

We barter on everythingggggg.  We even bartered our way to a lower rent!

We didn’t question the food prices (a friend starting a business is doing our food) or my dress.  We bartered to get a deal on the tuxes (and we got $80 off each tux in doing so! but really it was an ad they had run previously for off-season rentals and we just talked them into giving it to us even though our wedding is at the end of peak season), on the venue, the photography (not exactly on price, but for adding a second photographer), and we will be bartering on flowers.  We bartered on videography BIG TIME.

Here’s how we do it: decide together (FI and I) on a price or a service that we believe is fair.  We don’t try to screw people over.  Then we ask for more than we actually want and when they come back with the compromise offer of what we want, we accept.  If they don’t, we walk away.  Easy.

I have had so many vendors contact me a week or ten days later after we walked away and say they’d be willing to budge on X or Y – if something was in it for them, like a 50% downpayment or whatever.  Done and done.  It’s a deal for both of us.

ETA: if you want to do this, you have to actually be willing to walk away from a vendor.  I would never hardcore barter with a vendor if he was the only one in the area whose work I liked.  I seriously barter with vendors I consider “disposable,” like florists, whose work I’m not attached to.  If you try to lowball a vendor then end up paying the regular price, both parties will harbor resentment!

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by  208bride.
Post # 7
Member
42490 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

208bride:  Bartering is the trading of one service or goods for another. For example if your DH was a mechanic, he could barter a tune-up  or brake job in exchange for table and chair rentals.

I think you are referring to  negotiating.

Post # 8
Member
1275 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

julies1949:  I’ve been using this verb wrong my entire life!!  And I’m an English teacher!  In my L1 barter/haggle is roughly the same word and it never occurred to me that it might be different haha thank you!

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by  208bride.
Post # 9
Member
1107 posts
Bumble bee

We didn’t really barter, but we did ask for certain services in place of gifts from family and friends! We did this with desserts, music, wedding day coordination, rehearsal dinner setup/teardown/planning, and hair/makeup. 

Post # 11
Member
4884 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

chica95110:  I’m a wedding photographer, and I traded my services for my wedding cake. We did dollar for dollar. My cake lady’s son was getting married, and they were interested in using me. She priced out my cake, and that was much $$ they could apply towards a wedding package. It worked out fantastic. I also traded some photography for my invitations.

I know several within the business the barter/trade. A good friend of mine did a huge promotional shoot for a local spa in return for spa services. Same thing – dollar for dollar. So she quoted them how much the job would be for the shoot, and in return she got a gift certificate for that much “service” (not products) from the spa. It worked out awesome for her – even more so in our line of work where we’re constantly stressed so having a massage several times through the season is a must!

Post # 13
Member
6 posts
Newbee

If anyone in Massachusetts wants to barter their wedding vendor services ( I’m still in need of all as I just got engaged this past weekend!) for my web design/ graphic design services Please PM me to see if we can make it happen! Planning on wedding some time in Aug of 2015 but date and venu isnt set in stone as of yet.

Bartering Bride,

Kristen 🙂

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