Post # 1
I know I’ve posted on here before about Brides with Champagne taste on a Beer budget- but I really think when planning a wedding, Brides are expecting WAY too much for little cost. I love the Bee, and how we can recycle our beautiful decor and make it affordable for everyone. I think we ALL deserve our dream wedding, and I hope that every bride gets hers. However, lets be realistic here. If you are coveting a table linen that retails for $70, (Rossette linens for example) rents for $40 (depending on Area), and you find a used one for sale for $50- take it! Its a great deal, If you don’t want to cough up the $50, please do not think the vendor is overpriced just because that quality is not in your budget. I have helped countless friends plan/budget their weddings, and its sad to see couples go into financial downfalls due to irresponsible planning. I am completely crazy about weddings- always have been, always will. So I love all the pinning, and inspiration boards- however I think this wedding industry is getting so over the top, brides are loosing focus of what is realistic for them. I am not complaining or ranting in any sort- I’m just hoping I can provide a perspective for a New Bee who is planning her wedding.
1. Be Nice to your Vendors- They have prices, respect that. If it is out of your budget, it is not their fault. No one would come into your job and tell you make too much or little. Most vendors put so many hours into weddings, that they barely end up making minimum wage (pr. Hour). I know everything seems personal when planning your wedding, but in all reality, your wedding is someone elses profession.
2. Set a Dream inspiration board, then set a realistic inspiration board. I have had countless emails from brides asking me to lower my cost for my glass beaded chargers because they NEED them for their wedding. Because you LOVE Vera Wang, would ask her to sell one of her dresses for DB Vera White prices? No 🙂 So just look at the cheaper alternatives my sweet bees- and create beautiful inspirations from those. You will only give yourself a headache and end up hating your wedding because it didnt look like the High-End Luxe wedding you’ve been lusting over.
3. Remember why you are getting married. As Wedding-Crazed as I was with my wedding, when I woke up on my wedding morning, I didnt care about anything. My flowers didn’t turn out- it was pouring so we had to move everything inside. All the things you think you need to obsess over really don’t matter when the day comes. It will be special and beautiful because you are committing your lives to each other.
Just food for thought- Please if you really do need help budgeting and figuring out how to get what you want on your dime, feel free to drop me a message. I am pretty good at financial planning for weddings. Enjoy planning and this special time 🙂
Post # 3
Good advice. I was a wedding vendor as well, but thankfully I haven’t had too much trouble with brides trying to get me to work for free! Law clients…different story. I just got a headache behind my ear just thinking about it. Ugh.
Post # 4
@Overjoyed: Oh I can only imagine with Law clients!!! Its sad when people overlook the hard work and education it took you to get there and expect it for free…same goes to counselors and Dr……anyways 🙂
Post # 5
@kinneybride: I agree, but also when a vendor is clearly overpriced-they shouldn’t be offended when brides ask if they are willing to negotiate.
We just want a good and fair deal- vendors shouldn’t be offended by that
Post # 6
@kinneybride: i get what youre saying, and it makes sense…to an extent
i do kind of get why brides ask for discounts though. You dont lose anything by asking, and ‘dont ask dont get’. for example a lot of hotels with waive ceremony fees with a food and drink minimum etc – by asking, ive known brides to save hundreds of dollars. hotels wouldnt do it if they were sacrificing all profit. Your linen example and similar things – 100% agree
Also, some places do inflate prices a LOT, far beyond what is reasonable. For example my venue tried to tell me i should use their mariachi band as it was the best – and it cost over 2100 dollars for 40 minutes(!!!!!) Living in Mexico, im aware of standard prices and quality both in my area and in playa del carmen where im having my wedding. fi (who is mexican) and i have seen them play live, and the alternatives that were around and we found a superior group for well under half the cost. so i had no qualms in telling the venue that they werent offering quality OR value for money. So sometimes its not brides with unrealistic expectations, but rather venues or planners trying to make a quick buck at the couples expense. The infamous “foreigner tax” in mexico for example, which is why i ask my mexican fi handle a lot of the queries. Im not trying to screw people out of a living or having a champagne wedding on a beer/kool aid budget but i will always look for the best deal
i do think people lose sight of the big picture however and of course the marriage is so much more important than the wedding
Post # 7
I asked for discounts but usually it wasn’t just like a straight up discount it was either a volume discount or a bundled discount. I never really just low-balled them though I’d ask something like my budget is $x and I was hoping for a,b,c is that possible, can we work with that somehow and then we’d negotiate like reasonable people! I don’t think either one of us got jibbed at the end of the day and
I know people who wanted a 150+ person amazing gorgeous wedding in the expensive Vancouver do be done at 15k… NOT GONNA HAPPEN.
…being realistic is GREAT advice.
Post # 8
@MissFireFlower: Honestly I think there is a difference between a good deal and a fair deal. While something fitting between the average range of costs would be a fair deal– you’re not getting gouged, you’re paying a price that fits in the standard range for a certain type of product. Finding something below that range of similar quality would be a good deal. It sounds like a lot of brides are looking for amazing deals for everything.
OP, from your post it sounds like a lot of brides out there don’t know how to negotiate. While I find no problem with a bride asking for a discount (for example maybe free delivery if they add in more rental items than they were originally looking for so the vendor is getting a larger rental amount), there are standards and things need to be within reason.
It reminds me a lot of when we sold our first house and had a lot of house hunting newbies thinking that because it was a down market, they could get our shirt. We rejected the first two offers because they were just insulting and we didn’t want to try to haggle with someone with that mindset. We knew we would sell for under the asking price, but there is something to be said about not alienating your vendor.
Brides, if you are planning on honing your negotiating skills, I would recommend listening to Slates Negotiation Academy (I think it’s on iTunes). You cannot attempt to hold the vendor hostage because you have money, because honestly that’s not the only consideration to getting a good deal.
One bride recently had a post about how she got creative with getting bargains for her wedding which involved sometimes getting lower prices because she could offer a service that some of her vendors needed or wanted as well. I’m glad I’m not selling anything from my wedding because I keep hearing these horror stories of brides trying to take vendors or other brides to the cleaners.
Post # 9
I really think the “wedding” items are very marked-up, but my solution is to avoid things marketed for “weddings.” There’s often the same thing sold for different purposes without the crazy markup.
Post # 10
Also I do believe in asking for perks and discounts. The worst thing is for the vendor to say “no” and that was the boat you’re originally in anyway. I think its fair to ask for “realistic” discounts… Every single one of my vendors gave me something or marked something down. Even my ceremony venue vendor marked the fee down by $500 because she said I was a bride that was great to work with and it was a “gift” from her and her manager.
Post # 11
@LittleCricket: actually i think that you phrased it better than i did – the difference between a good and a fair deal
everyone wants a good deal…of course, but i personally am willing to pay a fair price. If a service is way way above average costs, i want to know why before ill consider using that service. Is is a quality difference? is it worth it?
My venue does offer a lot of inflated priced services. for example, 2 pieces of fabric for rental for 850 dollars to be hung from the ceiling. luckily i have a great wedding planner, who has found them (and people to hang them) for 350 dollars, with exact same material, colour,dimensions etc
i dont badger people to get prices down, but ill search for the best deals available. otherwise i may as well pile up a stack of dollar bills an burn them!
Post # 12
I don’t think there is anything wrong with discounts or bulk pricing- so please don’t take what I say out of context. I am referring to brides who fantasize over celebrity weddings, and expect to wheel and deal a $100k + wedding inspiration on a $15k budget. My glass beaded chargers that I used to rent out cost me $27 a piece +shipping. I was renting them out- basically for a steal at $2 a plate- most places start renting these at $6 minimum. When a bride aproaches me saying that my prices are high- when clearly I am way cheaper then any other vendor and I have high end quality, I have no problem telling them to take their wallet somewhere else.
Discounts are great! My point was, lets just set realistic standards 🙂 If someone has a wedding budget that is WAY more than yours, don’t expect the same wedding. I am in no way saying anything bad about wanting to get a good deal, just be practical about it and do your research before claiming anything is priced too high. And yes there are some vendors that are priced too high- but have you researched the amount of service that goes with it? Typically you pay for what you get, not saying always, but most the time.