Wedding vendor guide: How to negotiate with vendors

In order to get the best deals for your weddings, in many cases you would have to negotiate with vendors in order to get the most value for your money. Many people are hesitant to ask for discounts and are afraid to lose the good relationship with their vendors. The truth is that all wedding vendors have some space in their prices for some discounts, they just do not say it out at first.

Below are a few tips in order to sharpen your negotiating skills and gain the best deals for your wedding.

Do not let them know it is a wedding

Wedding is a very lucrative business and vendors know that brides and grooms are in a “spending” mindset. That is why they possibly give you a high price if they know from the outset that they are servicing a wedding. Avoid the word “wedding” if possible when dealing the prices, call it a party or a celebration and only mention the word “wedding” once the price is already set.

Choose an off peak date

Vendors’ prices will certainly go down if they need you more than you need them. Instead of picking Saturday as your wedding or reception day, choose a weekday or a Sunday afternoon. Most of the time the vendors are not booked for these days and they need something to fill up their time. You might get the most discounts from the venue if booking on an unusual date.

Tell the wedding vendor your spending limit

Be honest with your vendors about your budget. Tell them that you cannot spend more than this specific amount. If the vendor is not giving you a discount, they could still be flexible and alter their service packages in order to meet your budget.

How to ask for discounts from a vendor

wedding vendor negotiations
Negotiate with vendors to get the best value for your money - Photo by thepinkbook.com

Everyone likes to know that their work is appreciated and admire. Many times you will have to rephrase what you are saying with the vendors so that it comes out the most pleasing to the ears. If the prices are over your budget, you can tell them that “I am a fan of your style and your work is beautiful, however we could only afford ______ (the price level) and cannot really go over that. Our budget is only _____, is there any way you can work with that?”

Let them know you are looking at other wedding vendors

Do a little research. Shop around so that you know the prices of different vendors. Let your vendor know that you are also looking at other vendors and their prices are lower for the same type of product / services. Many vendors will consider cutting down their service fees or waive some small fees if they know their competitors are working with a smaller fee.

Ask for a simplified package

Many caterers, photographers, videographers, bakers would be willing to charge you less if you want fewer services from them. Even though usually vendors have some fixed services to offer, you could always ask for some service modifications so that it can meet your needs and your budget.

You could also offer to make their work easier for a discount. For example you can tell the florists that you will supply her with your own vases, and bring the ready centerpieces from the florist’ to the reception venue yourself.

Lastly, just speak up and ask your wedding vendor. They have been in their business for a long time and they would not think any less of you or give you any less service quality if you ask for a discount. However, be reasonable and do not go over the board. A 10% off on the flowers is reasonable, but not a 50% discount. Remember that a vendor is a business and they need the profits in order to survive.

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