Lifestyle Magazine

Wedding Supplier Discounts — Do You?

By Claire

wedding discounts discussion

Orig­i­nal photo credit: Tony Gameiro. Click to see the full wed­ding feature

So — as a bride or groom-to-be, or as a wed­ding sup­plier: what do you think of discounts?

Are dis­counts great, a way to save on qual­ity wed­ding goodies?

There’s no get­ting away from how hideously expen­sive wed­dings can be. For cou­ples choos­ing to have all the bells and whis­tles to help cel­e­brate their mar­riage, bud­gets can eas­ily grow and get out of con­trol. All too often a wed­ding bud­get which starts at £8,000 can leap to £12,000 by the time your big day comes around.

If you’re on a tight wed­ding bud­get, and a top sup­plier who is just out of your price range offers a great dis­count, then you’re in luck. Dis­counts like this are a way to get wed­ding acces­sories and treats you couldn’t oth­er­wise afford.

For wed­ding sup­pli­ers too — offer­ing a dis­count on your prod­ucts helps brides and grooms. It means you can share your wed­ding good­ies with a larger audi­ence, get more cus­tomers and help peo­ple in the process.

At qui­eter times of year — for many wed­ding sup­pli­ers over the win­ter months — offer­ing a dis­count can encour­age more cus­tomers and often prop up a wed­ding busi­ness which might oth­er­wise strug­gle to make it through to the next wed­ding season.

It seems like a win­ner for everyone!

Do dis­counts cheapen a wed­ding busi­ness and dam­age brand image?

The other side of the argu­ment is that offer­ing a dis­count can make your wed­ding busi­ness look cheap. There’s an ele­ment of truth in this.

Con­sider major brands: Tesco and Asda dis­count furi­ously, con­stantly and loudly. Prada and Gucci don’t. Where brand image is key, pro­mot­ing dis­counts is never pop­u­lar as it’s claimed it can dam­age a brand.

Wed­ding busi­nesses who are actively pro­mot­ing to brides and grooms on a bud­get will often dis­count their wares. Wed­ding design­ers do this rarely — although there are reg­u­lar designer bridal sales, you’re less likely to see a whop­ping “50% SALE GET IT WHILE YOU CAN” ban­ner in a lux­ury bridal store.

(I have heard that the bridal designer sales can be incred­i­bly busy and even rumours they can get nasty! The best offer time slots and appoint­ments — just a tip!)

I do agree that if a lux­ury wed­ding busi­ness sud­denly started pro­mot­ing big dis­counts it could have a neg­a­tive impact on brand­ing. Con­sider Jenny Pack­ham for exam­ple: if Jenny’s web­site was like Argos with a new dis­count every other week, would it still have the lux­ury feel it’s famous for?

The mid­dle ground — dis­counts are use­ful and nice

Writ­ing this arti­cle, I’ve con­vinced myself there’s a mid­dle ground. Dis­counts are a good tool; nei­ther an evil neces­sity or a dam­ag­ing prac­tice for any wed­ding business.

For the vast major­ity of wed­ding busi­nesses, brand image is quite impor­tant. It’s not the holy grail; nei­ther should it be the business’s pri­mary con­cern. Offer­ing an occa­sional dis­count on a tac­ti­cal basis won’t harm a wed­ding brand. (Dis­count­ing on the scale of SafeStyle UK or Farm Foods isn’t advis­able though!)

What do you think?

I’m really inter­ested in your opin­ions though — whether you’re plan­ning your wed­ding or man­ag­ing your wed­ding busi­ness. Have you bought some­thing really spe­cial in a sale? Have dis­counts helped you get the wed­ding dress of your dreams? Has dis­count­ing your prod­ucts helped your busi­ness through a quiet patch?

I’m lis­ten­ing — avidly — to your thoughts. You can also share on my face­book page — I’ve been think­ing about dis­counts on there as well!


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