Recently I had a bride come up to me and ask if I could meet within her budget. This is the first time I have ever had a bride come to me and instead of saying “I don’t think we can afford The Eden” she said “Here is my budget, here is how many people I am expecting, can you help me stay within my budget?”
Some wedding professionals would of said sorry this is my price take it and leave it. But, how could I do that to this couple? I was shocked out of respect! Not because I was appalled but because I appreciated that I was able to make a connection strong enough that she trusted my professional opinion enough to make adjustments to meet her needs.
Now, before every person says well sometimes you just can’t make a budget work let me address this. As long as the bride has a reasonable budget for the headcount and is flexible with other variables there are several things we could work with to get our prices down.
First, she wanted a Friday wedding. Fridays are not as popular but probably one of my most favorite wedding days. They are relaxed and usually not as formal. They tend to be creative and different, which I love a good break on tradition every once in a while. Also, the fact that she was getting married within the same year she was booking allowed me to cut our rental in half! The reality of business is that I might not book that open Friday for a wedding within the same year. Of course, I am going to give a discount, otherwise the room will sit empty.
She was also flexible on the food. I was able to rearrange the salad to still be a salad but a less expensive salad. This means I am only using in season vegetables from our garden on the property. This allowed me to cut the salad price down by 30%!
Finally, this couple wanted to host a bar but providing free alcohol wasn't a big priority and their family weren't big drinkers. They decided to opt for the cash bar option to allow guests to have complimentary soft drink but pay for their own alcohol.
The moral of this story is that if you are flexible on different elements, make sure you ask your vendors (especially your venue) about certain discounts. It doesn’t hurt to also tell them exactly what your budget is and allow them to figure how they can work within that budget. A good vendor will be able to tell you how to save money on their goods and services with alternatives.