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Couple Uses Bartering to Afford Santa Monica Dream Wedding


How do you get a $40,000 wedding for $3,000? If you're Jennifer Mae Fletke and Chris Watters, you barter, borrow, and bargain your way there. The couple traded the videotaping and editing services of their production company for other vendors to sign on for their wedding day. When it came to getting a photographer and videographer, they offered to simply take some projects off their competitors' plates after the wedding.

While the couple used their creativity to trade their time and skills, some aspects of the wedding couldn't be handled through bartering. Jennifer brought out her bargaining guns to get the venue she wanted for half its usual price and negotiated a rate for out-of-town guests that would put most Priceline deals to shame. She was able to get her guests a four-night-stay for $150 from the typical nightly rate of $200 to $400, and at the last minute a bridal salon agreed to lend the bride-to-be a wedding gown that she loved.

The events design firm they hired commended the couple's efforts and said, "To stay on top of the economy, you really have to put yourself out there. You have to have the right tools to promote your company and your services." If you're not in the industry like Fletke and Watters then your bartering success rate would likely be much lower, but it doesn't mean you couldn't try in some areas.

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