7 Tips for Hiring Budget-Friendly Wedding Vendors

Jessica Bishop
December 30th, 2021 | 9 mins

This post about planning a wedding on a budget first appeared on The Budget Savvy Bride, and is shared here on The Money Date to provide some helpful information to our Zeta couples who are planning weddings!

Hiring professional vendors to execute your event can be the biggest expense when planning a wedding. If you’re a budget-minded bride, we’ve got a few tips to help you find budget-friendly wedding vendors. Plus, these tips will hopefully lessen the stress of your search!

1. Hire a wedding planner.

Sometimes going 100% DIY isn’t always the most cost-effective solution. A good wedding planner, along with their experience, advice, and amazing stress-lessening powers, will come with connections. Even better, if you know someone who works in weddings, hiring a friend is a great route! A well-connected planner can connect you with highly recommended vendors or make recommendations that are within your budget. They may also be able to secure you discounts from businesses they work with regularly. Sometimes, a wedding planner can actually save you more money than you pay for their services. Trust us, planning a budget-savvy wedding does not mean you have to do it all on your own!

2. When it comes to food, go all-inclusive.

There are definite advantages that come with having a reception venue that does their own catering. There are many things that restaurants have that you would have to pay to rent if you were to go with a separate caterer and venue. If you’re paying for catering as part of your venue cost, you might actually be meeting a food and beverage minimum which includes the use of the space.

It’s important to make note of all the inclusions in any package to be sure what’s the best deal. But if your venue is providing tables, chairs, plates, silverware, glassware, napkins, serving supplies, etc. at no additional charge, that’s a major value. They already have all of these things and because you are purchasing their food, you get to use them! It’s not only saving you a lot of money in rental fees, but it also simplifies everything. Simplicity saves worries and stress because you know that they’ll have everything you need!

3. Hire individual vendors instead of companies.

If you’re looking for budget-friendly wedding vendors, focus on independent small businesses. Bigger companies, such as large florist chains, bakeries, or photography studios, can do great work. But, they often have more employees and a much greater cost on their end than an independent vendor would have. Because of this, they tend to be priced significantly higher. An independent vendor can be just as talented in their craft as those bigger businesses. However, they will not only be much cheaper but will also provide more personalized service than a large company. You will most likely be their only client of the day and they’ll be able to take the time to get to know you and find out exactly what you want.

4. Use your referrals.

Many vendors in the wedding industry have built relationships with each other as they’ve worked together on different events. A lot of vendors will refer you to others they trust and have worked with before. This sometimes means a better rate. For example, a photographer might give you a discount for booking them at the recommendation of a planner they work with regularly. Using a referral is a great way to get both a reliable vendor and a better deal.

5. Be upfront about your budget.

If you’re working within a limited budget amount, disclose that upfront with any vendors you speak with. You’ll save valuable time and energy for both you and the wedding professional. If a vendor wants to meet with you before you have a full picture of the involved costs, that’s a major red flag. Let them know what you’re working with so you can avoid spending precious time meeting with pros who are way over your budget. And anyone who is disrespectful about the amount you’re hoping to spend… doesn’t deserve your money anyway.

6. It never hurts to ask.

Many vendors will work with you to provide the service you need within your budget if you only ask. If you love someone’s work or service but their set prices are out of your budget, be honest with them about it and see what they are willing to do. You may not get a huge discount, but they might be willing to work something out. Sometimes vendors can customize their packages or deliverables to provide a product or service at the price point you’re able to afford.

7. Consider alternatives to traditional vendors.

From hiring a friendor to renting your wedding flowers, there are so many options for budget-friendly wedding vendors that are non-traditional. Hire a food truck for your catering or set up a DIY DJ booth with a self-curated Spotify playlist. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box for your wedding vendor decisions. It will not only save you money but also make your wedding even more unique and memorable!

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