Your wedding day shouldn’t be about how much money you can afford to spend; it should be about celebrating your union with the people in the world who mean the most to you. However, whenever you’re planning a wedding, there are sure to be costs and you’re going to need a budget. Sometimes, wedding suppliers will help you stay in your budget, but sometimes they end up costing you more money than their services are worth. Here are some time-tested tips gathered from brides who’ve been through the whole wedding experience to help you figure out when it pays to pay wedding suppliers, and when it doesn’t.

1. Haggle, Haggle, Haggle

Don’t be afraid to boldly request a discount, especially if you’re planning on paying cash.  Many brides swear by haggling, saying that it definitely works. But it only works if you actually ask for a discount; just wishing that wedding suppliers would offer a lower price won’t get you anywhere. Don’t be nervous; the worst that can happen is they’ll say no.

When you start haggling, go into it with realistic expectations. You’re not going to get the services you want for a quarter of the original price, so don’t expect that. Instead, keep in mind that many wedding suppliers will offer a 20% discount, or less, so keep that in mind when you’re making counteroffers on their pricing. When visiting wedding events, some wedding suppliers can be coaxed into offering last year’s pricing if you make a deposit at the event. Wedding suppliers are also more likely to offer discount pricing during the off-season.

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