One of the most stressful things about wedding planning is sticking to your budget! You start out with the best of intentions, but as soon as you see the glossy pages of vendor proposals painting a perfect picture of how your wedding could be, they get you hook, line and sinker. Fear not, I have 8 tips to help you negotiate with your wedding suppliers.
1. Strike up rapport
It’s a no brainer – people go out of their way to do things for people they like. Make sure you are pleasant when emailing. Show interest in your contacts with a simple “how are you?”. Be pleasant when you are talking to them on the phone. Flatter their work – it can go a long way, and get you in their good books! And, always use your manners and show your appreciation.
2. What’s in it for them?
It’s all very well and good to want a discount, but a vendor isn’t just going to do it out of the goodness of their heart. What can you offer them in return other than the business of your order? How about writing a good review for them on Yelp or TripAdvisor (depending on what kind of vendor it is)? Could you refer their business to your other friends getting married? Will you be able to offer them repeat business in the future?
3. Compare apples for apples
It’s absolutely essential to ask multiple vendors to quote for exactly the same thing. If they miss something out, send it back and ask them to requote. And if your brief changes, you’ll need to ask all of the vendors to quote again so that you can accurately compare all of the quotes against each other to get a feel for a fair price.
Remember, you are not only comparing cost; you should also be assessing the creativity of your vendors and getting a feel for how they will execute your plans and bring your dream wedding together.
4. Leverage competition
If you have quotes that come in cheaper, but you want to work with a more expensive vendor, try to leverage the cheaper quotes. But note, that they may be cheaper for other factors such as less experience. So, consider why there is a price difference, to begin with.
5. Purchasing power
Are you able to work with your wedding venue to leverage a discount by working with the same supplier for multiple weddings?
The world over, people are lured by cash deals. The transaction is immediate and appealing. See if you can get yourself a discount by offering a cash payment.
7. What else can you get?
Don’t stop with just negotiating on price, try and negotiate the terms of sale. See if you are able to reduce the deposit required and negotiate on payment dates to suit your schedule. You can even see if they can waive or reduce the cost of set up/ shipping etc. The world’s your oyster – get creative!
8. Don’t squeeze too much
At the end of the day, whilst it is great to get a bargain, the bottom line is businesses need to make a profit to stay in business. If you squeeze them for everything and they don’ t make money, they will eventually be forced to close down. So, ensure your price is fair to both you and the supplier.
Also, make sure you choose someone you want to work with. It shouldn’t just be about cost. I look for suppliers that are friendly, accommodating, creative, talented and cost-effective.
I hope these negotiation tactics help you strike up some great deals for your wedding and help your budget stay on track.
Until next time, safe travels and happy wedding planning!
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