One of the best strategies for getting discounts from wedding vendors is to find a sister, friend or co-worker who is getting married during the same year. Go together and interview 4 to 6 professionals from each service you will require.
Ask bakers, for example, if they can give you an extra discount for two wedding cakes instead of one. Can they make it better if both brides also purchase groom's cakes? If you know several people getting married, the potential for discounts is even greater.
The bride will not get any discounts if she does all her shopping at large retail chain stores. Privately owned bridal boutiques, individual photographers, local bakeries and florists that are not found in supermarkets, may all give the bride a reduced price to obtain her business. Offering to buy the wedding gown, veil, headpiece and jewelry in one local boutique, instead of just the veil, may encourage the owner to look at the big picture and give a 10% discount off the total purchase.
If the bride and groom are being married in the off-season or during the weekday and no discount is offered, they should ask for it anyway. If either the bride or groom is in the armed forces, they should ask for a military discount. If either is over 50, a senior discount may be applicable. If you use flowers that the florist has left over in your flower arrangements, will there be a reduced price? Would the jewelry be willing to lower the price on certain wedding bands that he/she has had in stock too long? If the bride and her six attendants need their nails done, can they receive a discount at one salon instead going to several different places on their own?
All these strategies for spending less of the wedding budget will work and there are many more. Don't be afraid to ask!