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What should you know when it comes to paying wedding vendors? How to pay, when to pay, what retainers/final balances are…and more! Everything you need to know will be briefly explained in this blog and further explained in my YouTube video embedded in this post.
Set Your Overall Budget
Most importantly, set an overall budget. Be sure to include often forgotten items like alterations, the weekend hotel, postage, etc. Don’t book a single vendor until you’ve set an overall budget then determined loose budget percentages for each vendor category.
How Paying for Wedding Vendors Works
Most vendors will charge a non-refundable (but transferrable) retainer of a set amount or % to book and secure your date. Usually 14, 30, or 60 days before the wedding, the final balance will be due. Depending on the vendor type and the balance amount, you might be be able to utilize a payment plan for more than 2 payments so that you pay more often but less each time (retainer might have to stay the same).
Vendor Payment Methods
- Credit cards – Some vendors offer credit card payments, and while perhaps that is what you prefer for points, many vendors do not take cards because of the high fees (1.5-3%).
- Bank transfer – Essentially a digital debit.
- Venmo/PayPal – You might be responsible for the fees if using a credit card to pay through these apps.
- Checks – Always make sure you have the money in the account so it doesn’t bounce.
- Cash – Some vendors take cash, though don’t assume it will always come with a cash discount.
Credit Card Warning
So many times, I had or have had brides at my San Diego bridal boutique experience a block on their credit card when purchasing their gown due to high activity. You’re spending a lot of money in a short amount of time for your wedding and your card company might decline transactions.
To avoid this, make sure the credit card owner is available to call the card company while you’re shopping to remedy this asap. Definitely keep this in mind when paying for wedding vendors!