Make a list. Time to play Santa. You need to make a list and check it twice. List all of the things you have to offer. Include everything from job skills to extra furniture you're looking to unload. Don't forget to include the assets of others involved in wedding planning including your husband-to-be and your parents (if they are assisting financially).
Highlight marketable assets. Just as you would before heading out to a job interview, review your marketable assets and think about how the things you have could benefit your vendors. If any of your wedding planning group includes a business owner, think practically about what they might offer. For example, if your father's company sells paper, perhaps you could strike a deal with your invitation designer by bartering for the invitations using your father's supplies--which he will have purchased or produced at cost. If daddy's paying for the wedding, he's just saved some money.
Don't forget advertising. For single items such as cakes or tiaras, consider trading some ad space. That's right--advertising. You can barter for ad space on the back of your wedding programs or even on your wedding Web site. Let the vendor know how many guests you're inviting to accurately describe the advertising range.
You can find local businesses on the South Jersey Craigslist page. Small businesses advertising here may be more open to ad exchange and bartering for free or discounted items. Don't forget to check Central Jersey, Delaware and Philadelphia Craigslist pages for other businesses located in the Atlantic City region.