When it comes to your wedding...
"negotiation" should be considered a bad word!
Budget-conscious brides- and grooms-to-be may have come across tips on blogs and in social media forums telling you to negotiate pricing with your vendors. Our take...don't do it!
Here's the logic behind it: When vendors hear the word "wedding," that $500 portrait shoot becomes a $5,000 wedding shoot. That $50 bouquet becomes a $250 floral arrangement…and so on.
So should you negotiate pricing with your vendors? Absolutely not!
Why? Ask yourself how you would feel if your boss came to you asking you to work more hours for less pay or to give him or her a portion of your next paycheck.
You're paying more ... for a reason.
Similar service may be priced differently for a wedding because that vendor is being asked to provide a different product and level of customer service. More calls, More emails. More attention. For example, you expect more from your caterer than they would deliver for a call in & pick up order…right?
They are running a business, not a charity
Vendors base their pricing on
Their experience and the work they produce
What it costs them to cover all of their expenses (staff, materials, equipment, insurance, transportation etc.)
The ability to generate a profit that they can use to grow their business and provide even better service
The income they need to produce to support themselves and their family
The Vendor-Client relationship is important
The fastest way to essentially get fired or ghosted by a vendor is to start off the relationship letting them know you don't want to pay for what you expect from them. When you ask for a discount or try to negotiate with wedding vendors, the messages you unintentionally send are…
“I don't value your product or service enough to pay you what you're worth”
“I'm expecting a lot for a little, so I am likely going to be difficult to work with”
Kick off your client-vendor relationship on the right foot by showing you respect the price of their invaluable services.
SO WHAT'S THE SOLUTION?
Very simple, actually!
Manage your budget, not your vendors prices
Prioritize vendors based on how important that product or service is to you. So if lots of lush florals are hugely important and that florists work that you love is a little out of your price range…now is the time to circle back to your budget and see if there’s another area of the wedding that you can cut back to make that achievable. This is where we can help! We assist our clients on managing their spending so they don't get sticker shock.
Don't shop like you have unlimited funds
It should be common sense that when you are working within tighter budget parameters, that award winning or high demand vendor is most likely going to be a long shot when it comes to affordability. This falls true for vendors that are located outside of your immediate area as well. Stick with local vendors that are a little less well known but more within your desired price point. This will prevent spending valuable time (for you and the vendor) seeking quotes that are going to be out of your financial reach.
Being Upfront About Your Budget is Okay
Couples think that vendors ask what their budget is, so they can potentially charge them more because they think they can handle it. This is one of the biggest myths in the wedding industry. They ask this so that they know if…well, to be frank….so they know if you can afford them before they spend hours building a quote for you. If you love a particular vendor’s work, you can reach out to them and be upfront about what your budget is for their product/service. Often times, they can quote you by a “here's what we can do that is within your budget” method but if they simply aren’t able to meet your budget, they might be able to recommend another vendor with a similar style.
You will have the highest potential to get better pricing from your vendors by having a wedding planner!
Your planner will have the rapport and relationship with the vendor that you simply don't. Most vendors also prefer booking and giving price breaks to clients that have a planner because they know that the planner will streamline the quoting and communication process.