What is the Process in Negotiating With Wedding Vendors?

wedding catering

Wedding costs have risen from $27,000 in 2017 to $44,000+ in 2018. These costs are often unplanned and 40 to 50 percent higher than the original budget set aside by wedding couples. But what if you can negotiate better deals from wedding vendors? It’s possible. And it’s just as important as choosing the right suppliers.

Prepare for negotiations

Knowing your budget, researching on current market price, and getting vendor proposals are your first steps to successful negotiations.

Know your budget allocation, priorities, and negotiables. Your wedding budget shall be your guide and inspiration when negotiating. Have a budget range for each vendor. Be firm on the maximum amount you can spend and know your priorities.

Know the current price range of services, so you’ll have a solid basis for your negotiations. Some vendors would charge you a la carte, e.g. photography services by the hour, while others charge per package, e.g. photography with video and photo album package. Instead of comparing these two types of rates, examine the prices of same services.

You can also ask for itemized quotes from several vendors. Itemized quotes are more helpful. It’s easy to single out services you need or do not need, so you can negotiate from there.

Ask vendors if they can adjust to your needs

You’ve found several vendors, but some give you unnecessary add ons. And yet you are tempted to pay a downpayment for your dream wedding venue. If you find items that you do not need in a wedding package, ask the vendor if they can switch it up for a different service; for something you need.

For example, your wedding photo and video company has an affordable package, which includes an engagement photoshoot but not the videography service, which you prefer. Ask them if it’s possible to switch it up, and if the costs don’t match, maybe agree on a reasonable add on fee.

How can we downgrade the package?

The price tag on your dream venue is twice your budget allocation. Ask the vendor for ways to downgrade the package. Are there days or times of the day when rental rates are lower? Find out what inflates costs, like overtime pay or subcontractors hired.

Upgrade your package with a trusted vendor.

Holding Wedding Planner Checklist

You are considering a different vendor for food, beverage, and wedding cake. But you’re willing to give all three to one caterer if they’re willing to lower their price. Why not ask them to bid with a package that’s cheaper than the sum of all three?

Ask them to match the competitor price.

You like the work of an expensive videographer but you need to cut down on costs by 10 percent. Explain to him your dilemma: You want to hire him, but your budget is limited. Could he adjust his rates a bit to make it more competitive with your second choice supplier?

Strike a deal

Finding a win-win scenario for you and your vendor is the key to their “yes” to your proposal. Just remember to be polite and appreciative of their craft when negotiating. Ask, rather than demand. Then you can expect good things to come out of it.

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