Why Wedding Vendor Discounts Should Be Cancelled

Why Wedding Vendor Discounts Should Be Cancelled

Wedding vendor discounts…let’s talk about it!   Everyone loves to saves money.  We all want a good deal. A bargain. The best value. However, value is relative and comes in a lot of forms. What we offer our clients is a value because the service is impeccable. We provide a client experience, not just a service for a day.  But a bargain?  Now that’s a little different.  When I go to Nordstrom Rack, I feel good because I didn’t spend as much on those Michael Kors shoes as I would have if I had gone to the Michael Kors store on Michigan Avenue.  However, we all know the shoes I got at a lower prices were from last season. They were discounted because they aren’t not the best that MK currently offers. And that’s how discounts should work. Discounts are provided when the quality is not the same or the service is pared down.

Now, even when potential clients want to pare down services for a better rate, it still makes me nervous for them. Sure, you are a year from your wedding. You are on cloud nine. You want to do this. You can do this… let’s go!  Until the bubble bursts when you hit that three month countdown.  Everything within you and everyone around you will be begging you to hire help. As a professional planner, I’ve seen it time and time again.  The emotional toll is exhausting.  I’ve been doing this for quite a while now, and I know what it is that you are needing in those moments and even before they hit. However, we cannot pare down our service or process.  By doing so, we would lose our quality, your day would suffer, and ultimately, our own reputation is at stake. Our vendor and venue colleagues expect a certain level of service when working with us, and we aim to provide it; mainly, because it is what’s best for you.

If I’m honest, I get a little offended when I’m asked to give a discount.  I mean, I get it.  Blogs and social media train couples to ask (and trust me, vendors are fighting back really hard).  So I don’t take it take it personally, but it does make me shake my head a bit.  Can you imagine if I were to walk into my dentist and ask for a discount? That’s just not how things work. As vendors have overhead: rent, staff, taxes, marketing, office supplies…the list could go on and on.  So it’s a bit jarring to me that one does not think to ask for discounts on goods, but expects it on services. My product and ‘good’ is my time, experience, knowledge and service. No, you can’t hold it in your hand like you would those MK shoes, but it is just as valuable. Cavity free teeth…. a smooth wedding day — can you really put a dollar sign on those things?

I’ve said a lot here, but here’s my point…I don’t ask my vendors for discounts. * GASP *  I know…I know…you’re probably ready to stop reading, especially since The Knot, WeddingWire or some random person on Instagram told you that a planner should be able to pull in some amazing savings & discounts for you. Here is the deal though, when asking a vendor for a discount, this is what they hear, “I do not value your service” and this is what they do – provide weaker service.  Sure, some of my go-to vendors are able to provide some discounts or savings because, with my leading the team, they don’t have to do as much leg work and can eliminate some of their hours, but it’s not really a discount. They are simply not having to do some of that work; so they only charge you for what they do have to do.

The best way for me to save you money is for me to do my job – connect you with the right vendors. The ones with the best price points (with quality) for your needs, budget and expectations. Ironically, cutting the vendor search is one of the first things people ask me to shave off or they say “I already booked my major vendors. So I don’t need you for that.”  However, apart from catching your planning mistakes down the road, finding the right vendors is the biggest way I can save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.

The bottom line here is that when you value your vendors, they value you and put your wedding first. Your goal is to be someone’s priority and being that means making them a priority as well. As great as they sound in theory, I promise you, discounts will kill your wedding day. Things will go wrong, and a fellow planner said it best, the response from the vendor will be “well, I gave you a discount… so I didn’t think the expectation was as high.”  (True story… it happened to her client.)

While I think it’s important to educate you on how discounts can negatively impact you, I also think it’s important for you to know that your vendors are real people with real hearts. We really do care! We aren’t ‘no’ people, and we want to help. We may not be able to give discounts, but talk to us about your hesitations.  We may have some other tricks up our sleeves that can still accomplish your goals. Remember, the better your wedding day is for you, the better it is for us. Talking about money is hard.  We all have financial constraints, and no one is special because they are on a ‘tight’ budget (which so relative by the way; I’ve heard that from 5k brides and six figure brides!), but the reality is, we are all on the same team. We want to create an amazing day for you.  Plus, we have way more fun when you are happy!

Happy Planning!

 


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3 Things That Will Affect Your Wedding Budget

3 Things That Will Affect Your Wedding Budget

 

Your budget is one of the first things that you should sit down and discuss when planning your wedding. It also has the potential to cause the most stress during the planning process. Below are 3 things that could significantly affect your wedding budget and add to your wedding planning stress – location, time of year, and guest count.

1. Where you wed. The location of your wedding and reception will play a huge role in the creation of your wedding budget. Well-known venues or those that are located in popular areas will generally charge more than smaller venues or those outside of major cities. Venues also have different packages and policies that you’ll need to consider. For example, some venues might require you to use their vendors, some of which might not fit into your budget. Many venues also have minimum headcount requirements for catering that may exceed your guest list. It’s important to look at the average cost of the cities and venues in your area before you make a final decision on where you want to celebrate your marriage.

2. Time of the year. Wedding seasons make a huge difference in cost. Planning to get married on a Saturday in the summer? There’s a good chances are you’re going to end up paying a lot more for your wedding. Review your budget and see how it fits within the venue and location you have in mind. Then, consider hosting your wedding in another season or on another day of the week to save on costs. Fridays & Sundays have become more popular, cost saving options. Vendors might also be able to offer you discounts for off-peak days and seasons.

3. Guest count. This is the one area that can easily get out of hand. Between both of your families, your friends, coworkers, and parents’ “suggestions”, your guest count can skyrocket before you know it. The fact is, your guest count is going to consume the largest part of your wedding budget. So it pays to be strategic about who you’re inviting. Most venues will charge you for everything from food, drinks, & cake even to the chair your guest will be sitting on. So think twice about inviting that aunt you haven’t seen in 3 years or that friend from high school you haven’t spoken to in 10. Sit down with you’re your spouse-to-be and agree on how many guests you want to invite and stick to it!

If you truly want to hold firm to your wedding budget and not be knee deep in debt when you get back from your honeymoon, carefully plan your finances before you even begin planning your wedding. Working with a wedding planner can also be an asset, as they should be able to help you find more cost effective options and keep you on track financially.

Check out our blog You’re Engaged, Now What? for more tips on what to do before you start planning your big day. For even more, check out our blog home page.

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