by: Lauren

Hi friends! Alright, so last week’s Thursday Tips was short, sweet, and to-the-point. (If you missed it, hop on over and catch up.) In a nutshell, we talked about the average price for wedding photography. Because really- how on EARTH are all of you supposed to know what things cost for a wedding?! I mean, it’s not like you’ve ever planned a wedding before!

Well, I was in that exact same position when I was planning my wedding. I had never planned a wedding before. I was the first person out of all my friends to get married. And I couldn’t find anything that told me what things should actually cost for a wedding! I know some of you out there are either newly engaged or are starting to plan right about now, and you are BOUND to be in the same situation I was in. Because let’s face it- one of the very first things that you want to know is what things are going to cost- right? Which leads me to today’s topic- how exactly do you find out vendor pricing?

{Thursday Tips} How To Find Out Wedding Vendor Pricing via TheELD.comPhoto by Paul Johnson Photography, Via ELV planner, It’s A Shore Thing

It’s so funny to me, because in 2008 (when I was planning), email wasn’t quite the sole means of communication for people like it is today. I mean, the iPhone wasn’t even in existence yet! <gasp> (Funny, yet kind of sad, right?!) What’s even more funny is that the other day, I had the realization that I was *afraid* to inquire with wedding vendors. So there I was, completely clueless about weddings and what things were supposed to cost, and yet I wasn’t able to find out anything because I was afraid to inquire. I suppose part of my thinking was that if I couldn’t find pricing on their website, I wouldn’t be able to afford them. Which is totally NOT TRUE! I’m pretty sure that if I had just sucked it up and called or emailed people, I would’ve probably had a much better wedding. But yeah… so clearly, information wasn’t quite as readily available then as it now.

Luckily, we now live in a world FULL of information and communication. Most every vendor will have a contact form that’s easy to fill out and submit. Some vendors have their pricing on their websites. Some don’t. [And that really doesn’t mean anything- trust me, it’s a big huge, ongoing debate in the wedding industry.] But no matter what method you use to find out pricing, it’s SO EASY to do- all you have to do is ASK! I mean really- with all of the methods of communication that we have at our fingertips now, you have NO excuse! ;)

{Thursday Tips} How To Find Out Wedding Vendor Pricing via TheELD.comPhoto by ELV pro, Samantha Lauren Photographie

So if you’re looking for info from vendors, here is what I recommend doing:

1. Make a list of your potential vendors. These are vendors that you have already researched. You’ve already stalked their website, read their about pages, and fallen in love with their work. [If they have their pricing on their site, you can stop here if you’re just concerned about pricing. If you want more INFO from them, continue.] They clearly have the potential of you booking them. Thus, potential vendors.

2. Email each of these vendors, making sure to include: when you are getting married, where you are getting married, and that you are interested in learning more about their services/product.

3. TELL them if you are solely looking for pricing information and researching your options! They’re going to be okay with it- but you also want to be sure to get back to them- no matter what. Whether you want to schedule a consult or not, please please please let them know! There’s nothing worse than getting excited about a potential bride and then never hearing from them. Trust me- I know.

[Extra tip: a great way to get an accurate representation of pricing is to ask vendors what their brides spend with them on AVERAGE. Not their starting amounts. This will give you a good enough idea of their pricing. SHAMELESS PLUG: All of the vendors in Every Last Vendor are categorized by what their brides’ total wedding budgets normally are, so you can know if they’ll work with your budget or not!]

4. BE NICE and remember that wedding vendors are people too! Goodness gracious, I can’t tell you how many rude emails I used to get from brides. One liner emails and mass emails to every vendor in a 50-mile radius = rude. It’s so weird- as a bride, sometimes it’s easy to think of wedding vendors differently. I don’t know what it is, but hey, I did it too! It’s really helpful to remember that yes, wedding vendors do what they do because they love it, but it’s also their livelihoods. So before you judge or question pricing, remember that, and maybe even put yourself in their shoes- how would you like it if someone told you that they thought you should make less money? I’m sure none of you would do any of that, but I’m just saying… it’s always nice to have the reminder, right? :)

{Thursday Tips} How To Find Out Wedding Vendor Pricing via TheELD.comPhoto by ELV pro, Dear Wesleyann

 [Please do know that YES, pricing varies for every single TYPE of vendor, and then it varies even more depending on options, what you get, etc etc. So no matter what, it’s impossible to compare “apples to apples”- because not every “apple” is exactly the same.]

While you might not be able to compare each and every vendor against one another, you can certainly educate yourself on their pricing- even if you’re not quite ready to book yet. Because an informed decision is better than… an uninformed decision. (HA- you thought I was going to do something fun there didn’t you? So did I…) Here’s the big huge thing. If you’re just looking for information, then you need to convey that. TELL them that you’re looking into your options. Don’t be shady about it or beat around the bush. Just TELL them… but don’t forget to also get back to them! Finding out vendor pricing really isn’t a big deal… pricing and information are two things that make the wedding world go ’round! :)

 

So brides, how are you approaching finding out vendor pricing? Are you intimidated like I was? Or do you find it easy to get information?

And vendors, if you have any tips for brides that looking for information, please feel free to add them in the comments! :)
 

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{Thursday Tips} How To Find Out Wedding Vendor Pricing via TheELD.com

Lauren

Founder & Editor at Every Last Detail
Lauren Grove is the editor and owner of Every Last Detail. A clueless bride-turned-wedding planner, Lauren uses her experiences and knowledge to educate and inspire brides all over the world.

14 responses to {Thursday Tips} How To Find Out Wedding Vendor Pricing

We love your comments, but please remember to keep them kind and positive, as this is a place for inspiration and sharing information. We have the right to remove or not approve any negative or harmful comments.
  1. Jan

    LOVE this post and tips! Thanks for sharing =) such great info for brides.

  2. Cynthia mcintyre photography

    great tips. you are very insightful and, as a wedding photographer, i appreciate the respect shown us for our time in your article.

  3. Heather Rice Photography

    I couldn’t have said it better myself. I am up front about my pricing with all my brides, and totally understand if I am not in someone’s price range. I am still happy to provide the information. Brides should never be afraid to ask! Thanks for your perfect and helpful insight! :)

  4. Kevin

    Great post Lauren. Plenty of great, encouraging info. Great wedding professionals will be happy to give out this information if asked (average spending, etc.). Unfortunately there is so much “us against them” in the wedding magazines. You have such a refreshing and professional voice in this industry.

    Kevin Lacassin
    Good Food Catering Company

  5. Sara C.

    Great list! I would however add that for all wedding professionals reading, it is SO appreciated when you list an average investment price on your website. There is nothing more demoralizing than spending an entire morning emailing, falling in love, and requesting prices only to find that none of them work for your budget. an estimate of the average investment also allows us to either (a) rethink the amount we would like to budget for that vendor, or (B) not waste someone’s time. regardless of how lovely the photos/cake/etc. may be, if they are $2000 over budget there is no point in inquiring/scheduling a consultation!

  6. Adrienne O'Connor, Ruffles & Tweed

    great tips! And so true that just because pricing isn’t listed on a vendor website doesn’t mean they are over the top expensive.

  7. bridal wedding invitations

    This is a very helpful article and those planning a wedding will surely appreciate those tips that you mentioned and the vendors as well. Oftentimes, we forget to ask questions and that is why the choices that we acquire are often limited. You are totally right, getting information about wedding photography, wedding invitations, souvenirs or catering, people should always remember that respect and honesty would open more options. Thanks. Cheers!

  8. Heather Pile

    As a planner, I find it very difficult to answer solely on “how much do you cost” because we are not a service that can be compared solely on cost. Another planner may say that they do the same job, but when it comes down to it, you really do get what you pay for. I have “starting” price ranges for my services on my page, but until I understand the scope of what is needed, I can’t simply answer with a flat amount because you sent me the date. Just keep that in mind when shopping for planners – we should be weighed on value, not necessarily on dollars.
    -stay inspired!

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  12. Bonnie Marie (a Vendor)

    Thank you for #4: BE NICE! I am a destination wedding planner in Italy and my vendors are showered with one liners without any sort of greeting or salutation, just a message saying ‘how much do you charge’ or ‘send me your pricelist’ (no ‘please’ involved) and when the information is sent, no ‘thank you’ or feedback, they just disappear. What happened to common courtesy? Netiquette?
    The result is that vendors are starting not to answer one liners.
    Quid pro quo.

  13. Karen Zachary

    Experienced caterer here: don’t be embarrassed if you find out that your budget and expectations are very far out of alignment. It is *completely normal* to have a big reality check in the first couple of weeks of wedding planning. Circle back to the caterers you like best even if the initial numbers were intimidating. Either we can recommend less expensive services or we can refer you to someone who’s appropriate. But I’d rather hear from you than wonder what the heck happened! :)

  14. Belinda (a Vendor)

    Such good information! Love your posts Lauren!

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