When is it OK to haggle with wedding suppliers?

See below the latest post from Ask The Expert on Gettingmarried.co.uk

When is it OK to haggle with wedding suppliers?

It’s always OK to at least try and haggle with your suppliers, however you don’t want to seem pushy and offend them before your big day. Keep them on your side and positive to make the big day amazing.

When is it OK to ask for a discount with suppliers?

We all want the best deal to save money when planning a wedding, but really think about the product. For example, a bespoke wedding gown requires hours of time, professional skill and material so there probably isn’t much wiggle room. There are ways that isn’t necessarily asking for a huge discount (and therefore respected) such as asking for free alterations or veil to go with the dress. The worst that could happen is hearing “No”.

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If I can’t haggle, should I look elsewhere?

Not necessarily, think about how you can use something more than once, for example, re-use the flowers and candles for the church in the reception venue. You can ask a friend or someone at the venue to take care of this and no one will notice. All ceremony decorations are only required for a short amount of time so you may as well make the most of it.

Other ways to save money can be achieved at home such as making stationery, the favours or decorations and it adds a personal touch. Ultimately it’s about striking the balance of what you’ll enjoy doing yourself and how much time you have. You don’t want to add stress so starting earlier is always better!

Who can you haggle with and who shouldn’t you try it with?

Be respectful. If something is handmade then it might be pricey but it’s their livelihood, but if it’s a bigger company then they’ll mark up things like booking a band or ordering food and drink. Will your guests know the difference between prosecco or champagne? Can you buy larger quantities at cheaper prices and pour them into pretty dispensers? Think about where you can save – it all adds up!

Wedding photography prices can usually be haggled (they will hate me for saying that!) but the big one is venues, there’s always room for movement with bedrooms and venue hire. Research discounts at different times of the year to know whether they may be able to budge and ask if the hotel offers bulk room booking discounts.

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How much can you haggle? What discount can you get away with?

It really depends on the supplier but if a middle man is involved, there will always be room for a cheeky 10% off. Also remember that prices differ based on region (suppliers will be more expensive in London), the time of year (summer weddings are very popular) and the amount of time before your wedding – some might want a quick sale if it’s soon, others might charge more to work quickly.

Build relationships with your suppliers as soon as possible, you can build up a good rapport and they’ll be more likely to help ease the stress. Don’t be surprised how much weddings can cost, but always keep in mind questions like ‘Will my guests notice this?’ and ‘Will this be something they remember forever?’. If the answer is yes, you’ll know that it’s worth every penny.

Delivery distance means higher costs but sometimes you won’t be able to find someone closer to your venue so bear this in mind. Suppliers will charge to make it worth their while, especially if it’s more than an hour’s drive.

So in summary…

  • Be respectful
  • Try not to break ties if they say no
  • Think about other ways you can save if a discount isn’t available
  • Bear in mind how something is priced
  • It doesn’t hurt to ask!
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