It’s a fairly well known amongst the engagement-ring-wearing community that off-season wedding discounts can “save you hundreds, if not thousands” but is this actually more myth than fact? The answer is… well… somewhere in between. Yes, sometimes you can find a vendor that offers off-season discounts on a product or service but it may come with strings attached (whether they are visible strings or not) while other vendors opt for full price year round. Before you go planning an off-season wedding just to save a few pennies, please read the points below carefully and discuss any questions you have with your vendors before signing a contract.
Service is Service – no matter what the time of the year: This holds especially true for vendors whose entire job is to provide a service (like photographers!). A photographer will put the same amount of work into each and every wedding regardless of whether it occurs in the summer, winter, a weekend or a week day. Since they are providing the exact same service, regardless of the date, it is not reasonable to expect a discount.
A well established vendor is in demand year round: Yes it’s true that fewer couples choose to get married during the less-desirable months of the year but the well established wedding vendors in your area will be sought after for these weddings and remain popular despite the season.
A professional vendor manages their money properly: Experienced business owners are aware that there may be a slight dip in services throughout the year and they budget accordingly for this. Even if an established photographer goes 8-weeks without photographing a wedding, they can still put food on the table. This makes the “wouldn’t you rather work for less than not work at all?” argument totally invalid.
A vendor openly offering discounts can be a bad sign: If your vendor is advertising discounts right away then it can be a pretty bad sign. Vendors openly offer discounts is their desperate for the business, inexperienced in the industry or are financially unstable and need income asap. Either way, it can absolutely be a red flag that indicates that you should ask more question…
Discounts have to come from somewhere; so what’s being cut? Remember what I said above? About asking questions? Well, this is what you need to be asking. What is the vendor changing to accommodate the discount? Surely they aren’t just taking the discount out of their personal profits (or at least not entirely). Are they hiring less staff? Are they bringing less equipment? Are they giving you as much product? Trust me, there will be something cut if the price is being cut; whether they want to admit it right away or not.
The moral of the story here? Service is service no matter what season or day of the week you’re getting married and for that reason, you should never expect a discount. If you happen to be getting an off-season discount, make sure all the details are outlined in a contract so that you get exactly what it is you’re expecting and aren’t disappointed come your wedding day.