Hello friends, you know it may be a surprise to you that the wedding industry here in the Roanoke Valley is a $51.3 million a year business according to the National Wedding Report that annually published by WPA each year.
Well it’s true, in fact the average cost of a wedding spent in our region is about $25,300 (compared to $27,300 last years figures) here and couples alike will spend lots of money from everything like the venue to wedding filmmakers like me.
Well, it’s also no secret that there are many ways to save money on vendors like myself and if you’re a regular on my blog, then I’ve explained to you the importance of the things that I’ve taught you to do in order to save money. On average, couples getting married using my techniques can save about $3,000- $5,000 depending on which steps they take.
The best part, it’s just common sense thinking and a smart approach to it too.
Well, today I’m going to share with you those money saving secrets that can help and even provide you two new ones that I’ve never told anyone until now. So, let’s start so I can send you off on your way to start saving money and help relief some stress off your plate in the process!
The Biggest Weapon in Your Money Saving Toolbox, the Wedding Planner
Believe it or not, hiring a wedding planner is by far the best thing you can do for your wedding and there are two reasons why, first they can save you more money than you invest in them typically plus they take a huge amount of stress off your plate.
Think of them as like a coach that guides you through the waters of the wedding industry. These are people that have a wealth of knowledge within the business, they know who to turn to for your needs, where to save the best amount of money and they also have a wedding secret that people don’t talk about, they are your negotiator for your wedding too.
Yup, in fact, having a wedding planner reach out to vendors that you like or want will often get you a better deal financially or give you some added freebies if you hire them.
Here’s my best advice I can give anyone getting married (and it sort of sucks because I’m not a planner):
Hire a wedding planner for your wedding and not just the day-of-your wedding coordination either. Invest in them so they in turn can invest in your wedding day. There are great wedding planners out there, so find one with experience and hire them to meet on a regular basis (a monthly meeting minimum) to help make plans, negotiate with vendors like me and you’ll really thank me for that piece of knowledge too.
Another weapon in your tool chest is off-season discounts for areas like Roanoke that have them. (Not all markets have an ‘off-season’ per say.)
By booking your vendors during the off season, even if your wedding is not during the off season, can help save you anywhere from 5-20% in some cases.
Take me for example, I offer a 25% discount if you’re getting married November through March typically, but you have to ask for it or know about it.
The main reason why vendors offer an off-season discount is because they still need to work and getting a deposit during the off season is a big source of income if they’re not doing a large amount of work. Most vendors in off-season markets typically offer a discount or upgrade of some sort and wedding planners often times know this. In fact, some wedding planners will connect with vendors like me to offer special discounts to their couples.
The Two Untold Wedding Secrets You Should Know
So, you know about the wedding planner and off-season discount bits but there are two other secrets that I’ve never told before, until now that will help YOU save money.
Look for Vendors in a Neighboring Marketplace
This is a very common but mostly overlooked item, your wedding budget. See, when you first with down to get things started with your wedding, you most likely will create an overall budget, at least, I hope that you have.
Well, one thing to consider is your average prices of wedding vendors in a certain marketplace, such as Roanoke, Richmond or Charlottesville. Each region has different price ranges based on the marketplace and that in turn can help you out greatly.
Here’s what I mean.
My average price for a wedding film is about $1,600 with lots of belles and whistles. In the Charlottesville market I’m VERY affordable as counterparts just a couple hours up the road are more in the $3,000+ range for a basic video, so it makes a lot of sense to hire me, even with a few hundred bucks in travel fees (fuel and hotel) than it is to hire someone local.
$1,800 vs $3,000 is a pretty large spread and what I offer and what others in the Charlottesville wedding market offer are pretty much the same thing. Similar gear (Panasonic GH5 and G85’s here), I have 20 years’ experience and I travel. You’re saving $1,200 by having me drive into Charlottesville and film your wedding.
Roanoke for example is typically a lot less in vendor costs because it’s much more rural than Charlottesville for example, so wedding vendor pricing is usually a LOT less. The same model applies to just about every region of the US too, you just must literally think outside the box (or region in this case).
I’ve seen couples take that extra savings and put to it things that they wanted but couldn’t afford, apply it to the honeymoon or simply save it. It doesn’t hurt that I’m also in high demand because of my low price point and great quality, but that’s for anther blogpost.
Bundling Vendors Together
This little trick is something that you can do in order to help save a few extra dollars. When you’re hiring a wedding vendor and before you sign up, ask them if they offer any discounts if they work with preferred vendors. Many wedding companies will have a list of vendors they love working with and sometimes you can find that list on the website they have. Now, sometimes these vendors will have a small enticement in order to work together and it goes something like this.
“Book your wedding video with me and if you also book XXXXXX Wedding photographer, I will discount your wedding film 5%.”
Simply ask them about any small discounts if you bundle vendors together. Some do, some don’t but here’s the thing, as a vendor I have professionals that I LOVE working with and I will slightly discount my services if you book us together.
This is something that I’ve done for many years with various wedding planners, venues and wedding photographers too. It’s a way to help get them to promote my services in exchange for knocking off a few hundred bucks. Honestly, it’s a win-win for the vendors and for couples getting married.
I’d say that about 15% of vendors offer something like this so it never hurts to ask about discounts on bundling.
Saving Money on Your Wedding is Easier Than You Think
In order to save money on your wedding you simply need to do some digging around and figure out how the wedding industry works. Those that work in it typically know how to play the sales games and navigate politics too.
If you simply follow these steps you can save thousands on your overall wedding and still get the wedding that you want too.