So a few weeks ago, the topic of an “off season” for weddings came up amongst some of my Twitter friends. Specifically, whether or not discounts occurred during this “off season”. I asked around (aka on Twitter) about whether or not people thought an off season for weddings actually existed, and I pretty much got split responses. I honestly thought that off season discounts were a thing of the past, but apparently we’re not quite there yet. So here are my thoughts on “off season” discounts for weddings…
Does a “season” exist for weddings?
YES, there may be a busy season and a not-so-busy-season for weddings, depending on the area. The truth is, the times that these occur are different everywhere. Here in Florida, busy season is March-June and then September-November. Clearly, that’s when the weather is the best here (In my opinion, anyone who gets married in the months between May and October here in Florida is NUTS!). Up north, I can tell you it’s very much the opposite. So let’s say that YES, wedding seasons do indeed exist for each market. And now on to part 2 of this discussion, what you really want to know…
Do “off season” discounts exist?
This is a tough one. It’s not quite as definitive as a season being determined by the weather and time of year. And like I said before, when I asked around, the answers from wedding pros were totally split. So I’m going to say that it just totally depends on the person you’re dealing with. It also depends on the TYPE of vendor you’re dealing with. A photographer or a service-based professional may be less likely to offer an “off season” discount because they’re doing the same amount of work no matter when and where your wedding takes place. On the other hand, a venue or someone providing a rental product might be more apt to give a discount because of the “off season”. (I think it’s safe to say that these statements also apply to the whole Friday wedding discount thing.)
As a wedding pro, my own answer in regards to giving an off season discount? That would be a big fat NO. Because service is service. A wedding is a wedding (YOUR wedding at that!) and I’m not going to work any differently just because I don’t have a wedding every weekend of that month. Yes, I know the argument of, “Oh well if they don’t have anything booked, they want to make money don’t they?” But the reality is that wedding professionals know that there are busy seasons and slow seasons. And if they’re experienced professionals, they plan and prepare for that. Most actually take their family vacations, attend conferences, or work on personal projects during “off season”.
So with all of that said, my wedding planner alter-ego needs to say that you should never expect an “off season” discount for that very reason- service is still service, no matter what.
Whenever speaking in terms of money for weddings, I always like to put things in context of another “normal” situation (Since for some strange reason weddings are often seen as being “outside” of normal situations).
If you’re at a restaurant on a weeknight and it’s empty (Sidenote: surprisingly, my husband and I went out to dinner Tuesday of last week and it was packed!), do you ask for a discount on your food? Or do you get your bill and tell the server that you want to pay $10 less than what it costs?
Probably not, right? So in all honesty, why would it be okay to do that for your wedding?
I’m sure some of you have experienced special discounts for “off season”- I’m not saying they don’t exist. I’m just saying don’t bank on it. Don’t choose a wedding date just because it’s during what is said to be the “off season”. Choose your date because that’s when you want- and if it happens to be during off season, then I guess you’ll get to test the theory!
Alright, so now that you know what I think of “off season”…. brides, have any of you had any experience with “off season” discounts? Wedding pros out there, what do you think of off season? I want to hear all of your thoughts on this!