How to Ask Venues, Vendors, and Friends For Anything For Your Wedding — and Save
Weddings come with a price tag and a huge number of variables for every planning aspect. It is important to be realistic about your budget, but there is an opportunity to strive for your ideal vision and work with friends, venues and vendors to make your dream a reality.
It is not uncommon for wedding venues and vendors to have defined outlines of their offerings. Sometimes certain aspects, such as the venue location, or a florists bouquet arrangement seem ideal, but you had envisioned daisies rather than roses, or you would like to hold your wedding reception in the gardens rather than in the venue’s indoor space.
You might be wondering – how do I ask?
How to prepare for asking for what you want
There are a series of preparations you can make before making requests of your friends, family, venues or vendors. Making these preparations will put you in the powerful position of knowing what to ask for, how much you are willing to spend and what you consider to be deal-breakers in all areas of creating your wedding.
Know what you need
If you do not know what you are asking for, it can be challenging to make arrangements. Consider making a list of wants, needs and questions for the potential vendors and venues. Furthermore, take into account that your friends may be offering help or be willing to provide you with a service for your special day that could save you money within your budget. That saving could give you some room for movement on other aspects of your budget, so think carefully as you work through the process of deciding your ideals, what you are willing to compromise on and what you can do yourself or with friends to save money.
Do your research
Many before you may have enquired about a specific request, location, colour scheme, menu item or general query. Take the time to look for vendors and venues that best meet your needs and wishes, and don’t hesitate to ask for what you want. After all, if you don’t ask, they won’t even have the opportunity to provide!
Commit to your vision
Do you want to look back at your wedding and wish you’d fought harder for what you really wanted? Commit to your vision. Be prepared to politely push vendors and venues to work with you rather than against you.
Ask sooner rather than later
If you can, it is always best to ask questions early to save disappointment later down the line. If there is no room for negotiation on something you cannot compromise on, you may have to walk away. This is why ensuring your values are in line before opening a discussion with a provider is preferable.
Once you have gained an understanding of what exactly you are looking for, your needs and what you are unsure of, approaching vendors, venues and friends is the natural next step.
How do you approach them?
Do you struggle to communicate effectively in person? Many venues and vendors have an email or online form you can use to contact them with your queries. If, however, you feel comfortable, it can save time to pick up the phone and make a call. If the vendors and venues are local to you, it may be worth scheduling an appointment and meeting them in person to discuss your questions, and queries before potentially working together. It can sometimes be beneficial to communicate in person, as this presents you as a real person rather than simply another enquiry. However you choose to approach it, making contact is the first step.
Any individual can appreciate kindness. Approach every venue, vendor and friend with a calm and friendly approach, asking if they could be available on your wedding date, and outlining what outcome you hope to achieve together for your wedding.
Think about who you are approaching
A caterer may not be interested in the special hair pins you bought to match your veil. They will ideally need to know how many people they would be catering for, or how passionate you are about chicken vs salmon for your main course. Try to remain focused on the individual vendors, and provide them with any information they may need to be able to make the most appropriate and relevant offer to you.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions
Allow venues and vendors to showcase what they can offer you. If their proposal is to your liking, but you have some adjustments you would like for your personal wedding image, there is no harm in asking. If they cannot accommodate, you may be able to discuss a compromise. Communication is key.
Being assertive does not negate manners. It can feel challenging to say “no” and to clarify what you truly want someone to do or create, but if you don’t you run the risk of not getting what you have visualised and paid for. Communication is key; your make-up artist or hairstylist might be delighted to try something new, or disappointed that you did not speak up and allow them to produce something you absolutely love for your special day. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. Your needs matter.
If a wedding vendor or venue is offering a service package, but there are aspects of the package that you will not require, this could be a potential opportunity to barter. You could ask for a discount on their service package as a result of not using their whole package offering. Equally, if you would like a friend to help you with something, such as hair and make-up or take time to help you choose the best wedding shoes for your big day, there may be something you can offer in exchange, such as help with their garden, pet sitting or providing them with a unique offering. This can help you to save on costs significantly, and make your friend feel like a special part of your big day.
If you are struggling to convey what you would like, find a picture. Draw a diagram. Consider bringing in a sample or model of what you are hoping to use or create. Thinking outside the box; a venue may not be able to accommodate more tables for health and safety reasons, but they might be willing to adjust their standard table arrangement to accommodate your social layout. If this is a compromise you can live with, accept it. If not;
Consider looking for alternatives
If vendors and venues if they are not able or willing to provide you with what you really want, or move on the price and terms, it may be worth considering looking elsewhere. Being aware of your boundaries and parameters is vital when you walk into a situation with the potential for negotiation. Some may not be able to accommodate your request, but potentially some may be willing to compromise or adjust.
Explore all avenues
There are so many online marketplaces that offer a variety of items, solutions and prices for the same or similar objects. If you are looking for special lanterns or decorations for your wedding, exploring online marketplaces for individual, secondhand and job lot bundles of what you need could be a fantastic opportunity to save money.
There are many creative ways to save money on your wedding, from honeymoon funds to open and honest discussions with venues, vendors and loved ones. Be prepared to shop around, keep clear notes of who can offer what as you contact people, and trust yourself. Knowing what you are trying to achieve is the first step, and then voicing your desires and discussing how they can be achieved will eventually lead you to your big day.