Let’s not beat around the bush: Weddings are bloody expensive. There’s so much to think about and so many things to pay for, who can blame a girl for wanting to save every penny possible?
There are a myriad of ways to plan a wedding at a pinch, but what if you’ve got your heart set on something in particular that doesn’t fit in with your very strict budget? Is it ever OK to ask for a discount and if you do will those suppliers get mortally offended?
As this seems to be a hot topic right now, I figured I’d go straight to the source and ask some of my wedding industry pals to shed some light.
Do you ever give discounts to clients?
“I ask for a few details from my couples before sending over a quote. I ask thing like the location, the number of guests and what time of year or day of the week it is. With this information I can provide an accurate quote and take into account if it’s low key/ off season /a week day or involves an overnight stay. If they come back to me and say it is out of their budget, I could look at taking things out of the packages for them to make it more affordable, maybe less coverage or taking out the album. However I don’t generally do this for key summer dates.” Lisa, Devlin Photos
“We are more than happy to give discounts to our custom order clients when we’re able to. For example if a client is ordering more than one piece in the same style and we can combine materials so we’re often able to reduce the cost per piece slightly. A lot of our ready-to-wear collections have long-term discounts and offers attached already though so we won’t take money off those just because someone asks!” Sophie, Crown and Glory
“If you’re a good friend or blood relative, you’ll get a discount without asking for it – it’s your wedding present. Better than a toaster, no? But in general, we don’t offer discounts. Full stop.” Rachel, September Pictures
“We mostly give discounts through offers on our magazine or blog advertising. However, if we feel like it’s really going to make the difference to someone we will quite often pre-empt a discount. We’ve also had situations where people have said ‘I’m not sure we can afford that’ so we’ll always do whatever we reasonably can to bring it in to the hallowed realms of affordability for them.” Matt and Leanne, Swoon at the Moon Stationery
“We are happy to offer a discount on large quantities of lanterns – what ‘large’ means varies from person to person and of course budgets vary greatly from wedding to wedding too. On average, most couples wanting wedding lanterns to decorate the whole reception space use 50-75 of them for a good level of coverage across the whole ceiling. On this quantity we would happily offer a discount of 15-20%. We also include free delivery on orders over £100. ” Aimee, The Hanging Lantern Company
Do you ever get offended when people ask for money off?
“I don’t get offended, I understand that the precedent is often set by venues offering discounts or because couples have been told to haggle for everything. I know what it’s like trying to plan a wedding but some parts are worth investing properly in. I do find it funny when they come back with a comparison saying this other photographer is offering more hours or free albums, can I match it? Er no… just book the other guy!” Lisa, Devlin Photos
“Not really, especially when they are realistic about it. We can often knock a little bit off multibuys, but expecting to pay less than the listing price for a customised version of an existing design is probably not going to be possible and can come across a bit offensive!” Sophie, Crown and Glory
“I totally get why people ask for discounts: I know how horrifying it can be to budget for a wedding. I also think it can be pretty unclear how the whole thing works: is it like walking into a shop where you pay the price on the tag, or like hitting the Medina in Marrakech where you’re expected to haggle? Commissioning a photographer isn’t something most people have done before, so I don’t get offended.” Rachel, September Pictures
“We NEVER get offended when people ask for discounts but we probably would be offended if someone said ‘Yeah but X can do it for X price, can you come down to that?’ as there are so many variables and SO much competition in wedding stationery that it’s already a buyer’s market. Everyone is already competing at pretty tight margins and we all have their own reasons for pricing the way we do. If you like X’s product and it’s cheaper, then go for it!” Matt and Leanne, Swoon at the Moon Stationery
Are there any instances when you would never offer a discount?
“If it’s asked for without any manners or if someone says that their wedding will be ‘really cool’ as if that has any affect on how much work I need to do! By the way, when they say that, it usually turns out to be the opposite of cool!” Lisa, Devlin Photos
“If someone was being a jerk about it or expecting a discount for no reason other than they asked!” Sophie, Crown and Glory