Also known as "intelligently using my resources," depending on whether or not you are inclined to be charitable.
This is pretty much my MO for wedding planning--step one is always asking, "Do I know someone who does this professionally?"
In several cases, I do. Most of them I wouldn't exploit, exactly, but if, in asking advice, they offer tips on getting better prices or offer freebies, wonderful! The best example of this is my tiara. I was prepared to pay through the nose for a really nice custom-designed, crystal- & amethyst-embellished piece, as I don't plan to have too many other accessories. And that's what most people will see of me, anyway (I'm a bit short). Also, I like tiaras.
So my first* step: ask my crazy Welsh friend who makes tiaras for Halo & Co. what my best option would be. My best option, she explains, is for me to sit tight and wait for her to send me a CD of the new collection photos, among which will be the perfect tiara.
On this CD is a price list, which has wholesale prices. Score! I say to myself. Wholesale! I e-mail her my order. "Wholesale? Pfah!" she says. "At cost! I'll let you know next week after I make it for you."
Considering the fact that the pound is just under two dollars at the moment, it's quite a relief. I'm doing little happy dances here at my desk.