November 12, 2015

The Biggest Secret in Wedding Planning

Getting engaged is sort of like the first time you're about to walk into your college's cafeteria as a freshman: you're absolutely pumped. You've spent your entire life dreaming of a room filled with endless spaghetti, and now that dream is a reality.

But then you swipe your student card and suddenly, you're completely overwhelmed. Sandwich station? Approved vendors? 24-hour cereal? Cake-cutting fee? Is that ground beef?? If you're not careful, both wedding planning and cafeteria-going can quickly escalate into an all out panic.

But I'm here to tell you that it eventually gets easier. And actually, you even learn a few secrets of the business while you're at it.

In college, I learned that not all that looks like ground beef is actually ground beef. As for wedding planning? So far, the biggest secret of the business seems to be that the best way to get a discount is to...

Ask for one.

Literally. Just ask if you can pay less.

I know, I know; when I first read it in my Bridal Panic 101 manual, I couldn't believe it either. I mean, how could that possibly work? WHY in the world would that work?

Well, I don't know how, but it does. So  much so that so far, I've saved around $500. $500 of discounts just because I asked.

To be clear, I don't even mean that I put on my car dealership face and went through rounds and rounds of greasy-mustached haggling. Actually, I started out saying something like, "I love this napkin set, but it's a little more than I wanted to pay for a napkin set. Is there anything I can leave off the napkin set to lower the price a little?" But nine times out of ten, the napkin seller has said something like, "There's nothing I can really remove from this napkin set, but how about I give you a 5% napkin discount?"

And the next thing you know, I'm choosing colors for my discount napkins.

Now, it might not always work. And sometimes, especially if it's an independent artist I really admire, I don't worry about getting a lower price. But for streamlined vendors (like my venue and my caterer), I figured there's no harm in asking. And surprisingly, it's really paid off.

I guess it's just a lesson that applies to a lot of aspects in life: sometimes, the easiest way to get what you want is to just ask for it. Also, mystery meat casseroles are not your friend.

But I guess that's a lesson for another time.