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10 ways to reduce your wedding spend

One of the most difficult aspects of organising a wedding is to keep the wedding costs under control. Here are 10 tips to assist you in keeping your expenditure in check:

  1. Wedding caterers often take the lion’s share of your overall wedding budget. Instead of offering your guests canapés during the drinks reception, starters, mains and dessert, you may consider having a slightly longer drinks reception with more canapés. You could then skip the starters and go straight to mains and dessert.
  1. Find a venue that allows you to bring your caterers. Unfortunately many venues require you to use their list of preferred caterers. The problem with this is that these preferred caterers often charge more than independent, non-venue affiliated caterers.
  1. Carefully managing your bar tab can also assist in keeping your overall wedding spend under control. Adopting a limited drinks menu – i.e. only offering 2 spirits, 2 wines and a beer option is perfectly acceptable. In the alternative creating your own personalised wedding punch/cocktail to replace a spirit option can also be an inexpensive way to keep your costs low. Finally investing in entertainment through the course of the evening is a way to distract guests away from the bar which in turn can assist in keeping your spend down.
  1. The payment method and payment schedule by which you pay a supplier could also assist in negotiating prices for your consumer. Paying part of your contract price in cash and some by bank transfer could provide you will some scope to negotiate down the price.
  1. There is often scope for a couple to negotiate down with a supplier if you simply just asked. It isn’t uncommon for a supplier to have a margin in which they can negotiate provided you put forward a polite request. If you don’t ask, you don’t get and you have nothing to lose.
  1. The concept of plus ones can sometimes be a sensitive issue when it comes to inviting your friends and their partners. You are advised to make it clear that invited guests are only those named on the invitation. Being ruthless and honest with yourself about how much you value the presence of a plus one maybe a useful exercise in keeping the overall guest list under control.
  1. Don’t be afraid to splash out on artificial merchandise. The truth is that very few people will be able to tell the difference and even if they can – who cares! Whether it artificial flowers, jewellery or designer dresses if it means making a saving – why not consider it?
  1. Weekday and Sunday evening weddings are growing in popularity and it is easy to see why. With up to a third being knocked off the final price of the venue and supplier costs, it may make sense to give some serious thought to when you decide to have your wedding. Further, weddings in Autumn and Winter seasons can result in cheaper hiring costs.
  1. Ditch expensive invitations. It is possible to use social media platforms to your advantage when inviting guests. Creating a quirky video invite and sending the link to guests could be just as impressive compared to the traditional paper based invites.
  1. Lets face it – you will only wear your wedding outfits once, so why end up spending thousands on it. With more companies operating a hire scheme, why not consider hiring your wedding outfits for the big day. This is a far more effective way to look amazing at a reasonable cost. 

For more information on keeping your wedding costs down or assistance with any of your wedding legal requirements: contact: info@theweddinglawyer.co.uk

The 10 step strategy for negotiating the best deal with your wedding supplier

Weddings are expensive. Compared to many other investments you may make in your lifetime, few are as short lived as your Wedding Day. Couples may end up spending between £20,000 to £100,000 on their wedding day, months of planning with all of it to be completed within 12 to 14 hours. Decreasing your wedding spend and obtaining maximum value for your wedding day is the aim and here is our 10 step negotiating strategy to put you in a position of strength.

  1. Preparation, Preparation, Preparation – Preparation is the cornerstone to any negotiation process. Sit down with your partner and/or family and clarify what your objectives are for the negotiation. There key questions you should consider discussing are:
  1. What is your price range – upper and lower limits?
  2. What service(s) are you expecting from the supplier- before, during and after your wedding day?
  3. What are your payment terms, which assist your budget and cash flow?
  4. What factors are important to you?
  5. What are you prepared to compromise on and what is non-negotiable?
  6. Whether the service the supplier is supplying is critical for your wedding day?
  7. Be clear on what your preferred outcome would be?
  1. Research actual costs – You have an increased chance of negotiating costs with your supplier if you have clarity on the actual costs of the service your supplier is offering. Whilst this is not always easy to figure out, carrying out some basic market research could assist. When it comes to weddings, experience has taught us that suppliers have a tendency to mark up their prices with a premium. By figuring out the actual cost to your supplier for the services, you will gain an appreciation of the likely mark up price on the services. In turn you will gain an understanding of your margins for negotiation.
  1. Clear Communication is Critical – Adopting a clear line of communication is extremely important when engaging a wedding supplier to avoid any confusion or miscommunication when negotiating.
    1. As a couple or as a family, nominate a   spokesperson who should be the only person communicating with the supplier.
    2. Be polite, courteous and look for ways to build a rapport with your potential supplier. It is far more effective to negotiate a discount if you have demonstrated your ability to be personable as well as professional with your supplier.
    3. Any communication, however, long or short it maybe should be documented in writing and sent to the supplier. For example, even a five minute telephone conversation should be followed up by an email to the supplier along the lines of

“Dear Supplier x,

 

Thank you for your time on the phone a few minutes ago, just to confirm we discussed/spoke about:

X

Y

Z

I look forward to speaking with you in the near future. In the meantime, should you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact me.

                       

Kind regards

 

Your name

  1. The “Rule of Three” – As a minimum, aim to approach three suppliers who provide the same services as your target supplier and obtain a like for like quote. The wedding industry is competitive and suppliers maybe tempted to offer a price reduction if they know you have researched the market.
  1. Consider transferring as much business to one supplier- The theory behind this strategy is “the more you order, the lower the price”. For example, it maybe the case that your photographer can also offer videography services, your DJ can also offer additional entertainment services, your caterer can also offer bar services. If you can keep your suppliers to a minimum by providing more business to a select few, you not only make life easier for your from a management perspective but you open the possibility of being able to negotiate on price.
  1. Have your deposit ready – cash flow can be as important to a supplier as it is to a consumer. Further, whilst it maybe your dream wedding day, suppliers are running a business and are looking to get paid. Therefore, a way in which you could leverage with a supplier is to be willing to make a larger deposit than they are requesting. The theory behind the strategy is “the higher you go, the more your negotiating power is on the overall rate”. We remind consumers to carry out their due diligence before putting down a deposit.
  1. Don’t accept the first offer – Yes, you maybe talking to your first choice supplier but avoid accepting the first offer that is provided to you. Consider making a counter offer or ask them to get back to you with a better price. Patience and persistence can pay dividends in a competitive wedding industry.
  1. Reign in your enthusiasm – It is often said that the better deal goes to the person who wants it the least, or at least appears to want it the least. Aim to have a backup supplier who can provide the same service which will allow you to walk away should negotiations lend themselves to deadlock. Don’t be afraid to walk away. There will always be more than one supplier who can offer the services you require.
  2. Think creatively – Your target supplier may refuse to budge of price despite your best attempts to negotiate. Consequently, you may need to think creatively about what else you could get from your supplier to add value to your wedding. For example, a caterer maybe less willing to give you a discount but maybe willing to throw in an additional dish to the menu. Don’t be afraid to express your creativity in a bid to get better value.
  1. Find ways to provide value to the supplier – Consider ways in which you could help your supplier advertise their goods or services to your weddings guests as a way to negotiate on price. For example, you could offer the supplier an option to display their business cards on the dining tables at the reception or if you have a wedding website, you could offer to have a link to your supplier’s website from your website.

For assistance in contract negotiation contact: info@theweddinglawyer.co.uk

 

5 steps to follow before booking a supplier for your wedding?

 

Ladies and Gents, with the wedding season nearly upon us, this can only mean one thing! Happy couples are well into the process of what we like to call “WedMin” or Wedding Admin. Among the many important WedMin tasks include sourcing and securing wedding suppliers in preparation for one of the biggest days of their life. These are exciting times but caution should be adopted before one decides to depart with their hard earned cash.

What is a wedding supplier?

A wedding supplier is anyone providing goods and services for the wedding festivities including the pre wedding day events, the wedding day and the wedding reception. Wedding suppliers may include photographers, videographers, caterers, wedding venue representatives, beauticians, DJs, bands, dress designers, chauffeurs – just to name a few!

Your team of wedding suppliers are essentially the people responsible for ensuring your wedding festivities go according to plan. The number of wedding suppliers entering the industry is growing at a significant rate. Whilst, some suppliers are more established and reputable than others, it is important consumers are diligent before proceeding with making a booking. 

The Wedding Lawyer recommends you follow the following steps before booking a supplier:

Step 1

Complete a full supplier due diligence check

Do not underestimate the importance of completing a full supplier due diligence check. Recommendations to use a particular wedding supplier from friends and family are all very well but there is no substitute to carrying out your own checks for your own piece of mind. It is important that you are equipped with as much information as possible about any supplier who will be providing goods and services at your wedding events. After all, it will be these people who may be interacting with your nears and dears and will ultimately be responsible for ensuring that your wedding day goes according to plan.

Click here to understand how you can carry out your own due diligence checks.

Step 2

Obtain a copy of the supply contract

Ensure you have a thorough understanding of what each clause means in the contract. The number of consumers who choose to sign contracts without fully understanding exactly what they have signed is surprising. Consumers are encouraged not to rush into signing anything until they have fully appreciated what it is that they are signing. A tactic that is sometimes adopted by wedding suppliers is to apply a degree of pressure on consumers to sign a contract within tight time scales with the threat that the consumer may lose their booking. Click here to carry out your own contract review.

The Wedding Lawyer has noticed that consumers overwhelmed with panic and excitement end up contracts that at best they do not fully understand and at worst they completely disagree with.

Step 3

Ensure the scope of the services are clearly set out

Within the body of the contract or a document called the ‘Schedule’ or ‘Particulars’ which is a document usually found at the back of the contract, you should expect to see exactly what services your supplier should be supplying you with. It is important to pay attention to both what is stipulated as well as what isn’t stipulated in the contract. If a contract does not clearly list exactly what is going to be supplied, it is our strong recommendation that you go back to the supplier to ensure this is included. We advise you spend some time carefully going through the services you are being supplied. As well as thinking about what services are being provided, also consider what services are not being provided. This will minimise the chances of any disputes about the provision of the services and prevent any unexpected surprises on your big day.

Step 4

Get to grips with the payment schedule

Ensure you have grasped a thorough understanding of when payment instalments are due. Ensure these are inserted into your diaries as soon as possible. An electronic diary (on your phone or computer) is often useful in this regard. Quite often, setting a reminder a week before the payment deadline is due will assist you in ensuring all steps are taking to have the funds ready for transfer by the day of the deadline. If you can negotiate a final payment to occur after your wedding day, that would be ideal. However, in the event of a supplier not allowing this, try to ensure you can pay as much as possible as close to the big day. Click here to see how to save on your wedding expenditure. 

Step 5

If the price is too good to be true, it probably is!

Weddings are expensive and it is easy to be lured to book a supplier purely based on their price tag. Whilst, this is an important factor to consider when booking a supplier for your big day, it is a common tendency to focus more on the price tag rather than on the ability of a supplier to deliver the services for the big day. An impressive price tag doesn’t always equate to an impressive service. Consumers are advised to make an informed decision before booking a supplier with price being but one of the factor to consider along with the steps listed above.

For more information contact: info@theweddinglawyer.co.uk

5 Reasons why you should engage The Wedding Lawyer for your wedding?

Once in a while right in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairytale.

Along with graduations, becoming a parent and funerals, your wedding day is among one of the most important days of your life. The expenditure, preparation and excitement is often magnificently vast. The wedding day is a spectacular investment of emotion, time and most of all finances. It is important that everything goes as smoothly as possible to ensure the big day goes according to plan. Our five reasons as to why you should engage The Wedding Lawyer are as follows:

 

  1. To ensure you the consumer are as legally prepared for your wedding day as possible in a multi-billion pound industry which is virtually unregulated

The UK Wedding Industry is worth over £10 billion and is growing at an unprecedented rate. The irony is that despite the value of the industry, it is largely unregulated and the majority of your suppliers will require full payment in advance of delivering their services. This leaves what we call the “gap of chance”. This gap occurs from the moment a supplier is paid in full to the successful completion of the services. The saying goes that “Power is Money” and consequently once the consumer has made their final payment to a supplier prior to their big day, the supplier’s bargaining power outweighs that of the consumer. It is then left to chance that your suppliers deliver the services that you expected and contracted for. It is therefore, of great importance that you make the right decisions when choosing a supplier.

  1. Take the stress off your shoulders.

No one really likes thinking about what would happen if things do not go according to plan on your wedding day. There are multiple aspects involved when organising a wedding. Quite often, it is the legalities (i.e. the boring but important aspects) get forgotten about until unfortunately it is too late. Weddings are stressful enough without having to worry about being diligent and legally compliant. We therefore take this stress off your shoulder. Our team of lawyers, risk consultants and wedding planners can assist you to ensure that all the legalities, risk assessments and precautions are taken to ensure your big day runs as smoothly as possible.

  1. Resolve any disputes with your suppliers

Unfortunately, the wedding industry has seen an increase in disputes taking place between suppliers and consumers. Following a recent survey conducted by The Wedding Lawyer, a growing number of consumers are missing out on possible compensation or the full provision of services they have contracted for as they either feel unable to contest a substandard provision of services or do not feel they have the energy having just organised a wedding.

  1. Ensuring you obtain the full value from your wedding spend

With the average cost of a wedding being in the region of £25,000 (£45,000 for an Asian Wedding), consumers who are about to embark on their big day should be able to command the very best service given the amount of money spent in preparation for it. The Wedding Lawyer is committed in ensuring that all your agreements with your suppliers are maintained and if not, ensuring you obtain recompense to reflect your disappointment. Your expenditure deserves the very best service and The Wedding Lawyer is here to maximise the value you get from your suppliers.

  1. Complete you wedding celebrations on a positive note

Couples who find that they have entered a dispute with their suppliers sometimes feel that by raising disputes, they will turn a positive wedding experience into a negative one. Whilst, this maybe the case, we at The Wedding Lawyer take pride from taking over the negotiations and dispute resolution processes meaning you will not have to let disputes or misunderstandings dampen your mood.

For more information please contact: info@theweddinglawyer.co.uk