How to Ask For a Discount without Offending Your Wedding Suppliers

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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

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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

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Colourful Spring Wedding in Kent

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Claire and Jon planned their wedding in just five months. They were hitched at St Julians, a private members club in Sevenoaks, Kent.”Planning the wedding in just 20 weeks wasn’t that difficult”, began the bride. “As soon as we booked our venue we were shopping for decorations, favours, things for the tables… We made a lot of it ourselves and it was nice to have some personal touches to the day.  Our venue was absolutely stunning with awesome views and such a beautiful building.”

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Claire wore a Stuart Parvin dress with Irregular Choice shoes, “As soon as I saw those sheep shoes I knew I had to have them!” she laughed. “My shoes were a huge statement – sheep shoes, spring wedding, what more could a girl want!?”

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A Bride in Blue (Stockings)

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Shot around Fitzroy in Melbourne, this photo shoot was set up by photographer Fiona Harding to show that weddings don’t have to be expensive, traditional affairs to be utterly beautiful!

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“I wanted to theme this shoot around a city hall elopement”, Fiona writes. “That meant a tight budget, non-traditional, urban affair that was 100% about being fun, quirky and different. The vintage halter dress was the pioneering piece of inspiration and the shoot grew around that.”

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Manchester Steampunk Wedding

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An almost completely DIY wedding is impressive enough, but when you have such a theme as steampunk then I think it’s doubly so! Alys and Stu were hitched last October in Manchester. The reception was held at the Museum of Science and Industry.

“We both love the steampunk and neither of us was particularly keen on a traditional white wedding”, said Alys. “We are also not religious we fancied doing something a bit different. We both love the Museum of Science and Industry and have been going since we were kids so it was quite a poignant place to get married. I can’t quite remember which came first, the theme or the venue, but either way they complimented each other really well!”

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They shunned tradition in plenty of ways, not just with their inedible outfits! “We did a joint speech ​as we were not keen on a lot of the gender specific obligations. Likewise, I had both my parents walk me down the aisle. ​We let the cake bakers have first ‘cut’ of their own cakes rather than just us being up there doing it. My sister also did a speech as well as the best man and I had ‘bridesmates’ instead of bridesmaids (don’t really like the word ‘maid’).”

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An Intimate Ceremony in the Smallest Church in Ireland

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Helen and Jamie are also planning a big, elaborate wedding with all their friends and family in Spain, but organising the legal bit over there was a huge headache. So they decided to have their official ceremony in a teeny tiny church called St Gobbans in Port Braddan, Northern Ireland.

“We live and work in Thailand and therefore getting back and forth to Spain and organising everything from far away wasn’t straightforward”, explained the bride. “As we are UK citizens and all our families live there, the least complicated way to officiate our marriage was in the UK. My mum’s cousin, Connel Auld, is a minister and has the most incredible cottage with tiny church up in the North Coast of Northern Ireland and we thought it would be really personal to get married there. Connel really only officiates for friends and family so when he offered to conduct our ceremony, we felt very privileged. He is such a great character and really made the day for us.”

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“His house is like a museum with relics from WW2”, she continued, “Pieces of furniture, including the porthole windows that feature in some of the photos, were made for but didn’t make it onto the Titanic! The church is the smallest in Ireland and one of the smallest in the world and we just about managed to squeeze the 11 people in! This made it all the more intimate and special.”

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The National Vintage Wedding Fair Celebrates the 1980s

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The eighties gets a bad rep: The big shoulder pads, the garish make up, the even bigger hair… But that didn’t stop the National Vintage Wedding Fair embracing it! To celebrate their upcoming wedding shows, they wanted to play homage to the decade of excess and create these promotional images in all their over-the-top glory!

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“Over the last year we have styled a series of vintage shoots covering different decades to help promote our National Vintage Wedding Fair“, organiser Kate told me. “We started with the 1950s, which many feel is the most popular decade for vintage wedding styling, then shot the 1940s, 1960s and 1970s. I was fully intending on featuring the 1930s next but last minute did a massive U turn, choosing to shoot the 1980s. This was quite risky as many don’t feel that the 1980s is vintage, especially for weddings, but I really wanted to show that this era of decadence can look fab. The looks are all very glam, as was the 80s!”

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