Raise your hand if you've entered a drawing at a wedding show? Googled “wedding venue discounts?” Checked out the “offbeat discount” tag on Offbeat Bride? You might be looking for a deal, and to that we all can relate. Weddings are hella expensive, but sometimes couples can respectfully negotiate discounts. Here are our five tips for getting the best deals from wedding vendors — AND one very special promotion from an Offbeat Bride sponsor (super enticing for bargain-hunters!).
Start booking early
The earlier you start booking vendors, the more flexible your vendors can be. You can choose an off-peak (aka less expensive) time of year for your venue, a less busy season for your photographer, and maybe get a discount for booking ahead of time. We often see vendors offer end-of-year discounts for couples booking the following year.
Think outside of the Saturday box
You probably already know by now if you've started planning, but Saturday wedding markups are real, and they can be big and bad. If you can swing a Friday, Sunday, or even a weekday wedding, get ready to save big time. Plus, if you're planning a last-minute party, alternate days are far more likely to have availability since venues and vendors book up on Saturdays well in advance.
Buy seasonally and locally
In-season flowers and produce are generally less expensive than anything you'll have to ship in from other parts of the world. Out-of-season flowers can be acquired, but you'll likely pay three to five times the price of it in season. Try to stick with what's easily available during your chosen season and you'll shave off some extra money from the budget. This goes for decor, too. Planning a holiday wedding next year? Stock up on super cheap seasonal decor right after the holiday this year.
Ask for a deal — respectfully
No, really. Just ask if the vendor has a promotion going on, works on a sliding scale, or would just be willing to make things a little easier on the wallet. Respect that a vendor may not be able to accommodate it — but as long as you're respectful, it never hurts to ask.
It can also help to give vendors a taste of why they might want you as a client. Are you having fire spinners, an Iron Man groom's cake, or a lush forest venue at the Golden Hour? Vendors are always looking for neat-o ideas for their portfolios and may be inclined to give you a deal. Don't worry if you're doing things more traditionally — you never know when you'll totally connect with a vendor over some small detail.
Watch for vendor specials — like the one we're about to drop!
Offbeat Bride features vendor deals all the time, but this one is special. You may have already heard about Rocker in Love's U.S. Wedding Tour, and there are still dates and locations to snag (extended into 2015 due to demand and to accommodate more couples!), but there's a new element in the mix. Dani and Grasi are working on a photography book to capture all the amazing moments on their U.S. tour. So there's a chance you could be in it!
The best part, of course, is the price. It's why you're reading this, right? Rocker in Love's deal is only $1800 for two photographers, full wedding coverage, edited images, rights to print and share, and a extra photo session! See all the details here. The map above shows the locations that are still available (grey states), so see if your wedding matches up. If it does, you need to reach out to Rocker in Love and get on the tour. Simply email them at [email protected] with the details of your wedding and they will hook it up.