As I planned my own wedding, many of my vendors did not know that I’m a wedding planner. So I was really able to see what my brides are experiencing as they learn more about vendors and their services and practices. And here is the biggest thing I want to share with fellow brides based what I saw when I was in your shoes: Don’t just go with everything a vendor tells you. Ask questions. If something doesn’t seem right, bring it up! If you’ve already hired a day-of coordinator, ask their opinion.

Here’s what happened for me: We were renting chairs for our reception and selected a rental company that seemed reasonably priced. When I went to pay our deposit I wanted them to update the pick-up time (they had it at 6:00 PM on wedding day – um. NO!, big conflict with my ceremony and reception). So when I asked them to pick it up after the reception they said there would be a late night pick-up fee, but if we could work with the venue to have it picked up the next morning they would remove that fee. So we went to our venue and worked it out so that the rentals could be picked up Sunday morning. Perfect, right? NOPE. When we went to update the invoice to remove the fee and pay our final payment they said not only was Sunday still considered an after-hours pick-up, but they also needed to charge us a Sunday pick-up fee.

BRIDES, this is when you need to stand up for yourself!

If you didn’t originally agree to it or fees keep being added and they aren’t being clear, bring it up. Express your frustration and see if they will discount the fee for you. The worst they will do is say no. I was able to get myself a discount by doing just that. Give it a shot, don’t be afraid to negotiate!