Post # 1
So there is this photographer that I am interested in getting. Only problem is she’s a bit out of the price range that we budgeted for. It made me wonder if anyone bargained hard with their vendors to bring down prices. If you did, how did you go about doing it? Since I am getting married in an “off-season” month, I’m hoping that gives me some leeway. At the end of the day, isn’t it true that they need our business more than we need theirs? Or is that what people say just to make themselves feel better? 🙂
Would really love any input/advice on this topic, thanks!
Post # 3
@Diamond84: the really talented/busy/not desperate photographers not only won’t negotiate price but are are able to be choosy about their clients as much as you are about your photographer. You run the risk of them writing you off/not even responding to your email so if you really want this person I wouldn’t risk insulting them.
Post # 4
The only vendor we bargained with was our equipment rentals company. We did NOT negotiate the price down; instead, we got them to ADD a few extra items at no cost.
You might believe a business is desperate to have you as a client, but I have a feeling that for the price your potential photographer is asking and their skill level, they won’t have any problems finding a full-price customer to fill that date and tell you NO.
Our photographer was about $250 over our original budget, but we educated ourselves on his potential profit margins and level of service. We quickly realized that he was worth what he was asking, and we paid him his full asking price without negotiating. With the resulting photos we have received after only a very short time of waiting, we would have happily paid him $250 MORE than what he currently charges!
Post # 5
- Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA
@Diamond84: We did with our photographer and she lowered her price by ~15% to match another local photographer. It can’t hurt to try, as long as you do it in a way that’s respectful of their process for setting prices.
My husband’s band always aims pretty high for wedding gigs and is willing to negotiate on the cost (but a lot of people just accept their high-ball price!)
Post # 6
@PassionatePhotoLady: I really agree with this. If the photog is good and not trying to build a portfolio, they have no need to drop their prices because they are in demand. I don’t think I’d book a photog who was really desperate for a job. I am happy to pay more for someone I am confident in (though I do acknowledge I am paying A LOT).
We did customize a package with our photog and he gave us a “winter” and “off season” discount. And it is still a lot 😛
Post # 7
Do you have a backup if this backfires? Like PP mentioned, if they’re really good they can be choosy about who they accept as a client, even if the off season. If they do take offense, I would just make sure that you have a second choice that you like just as much.
Post # 8
No, we didn’t negotiate much with “talent” vendors for reasons those above described. The band we booked gave us an “off-season” discount though.
Post # 9
Nope! It’s true that certain vendors have no reason to bargain with you. My photographer books X number of weddings a year and then turns people away. She has no reason to lower the price as she can just book someone else! I’d be weary of someone who was that desperate for a job!
It couldn’t hurt to try though. You might consider asking what you can get for $X (your budget). Sometimes they might offer reduced hours or take things off of their packages to meet your budget. I certainly don’t think it hurts to ask if they do an off-season discount.
Post # 10
@Diamond84: So, I negotiated with every. single. vendor. Some tips that worked for me:
1. I am getting married in a very popular month, but on a Sunday. This still helps.
2. I was willing to pay cash, and put down deposits immediately.
3. I was willing to cut certain things/times (example – my videographer is staying for 7 hours – not 8.)
4. I used recommendations by people that my vendors either knew or wanted to work for (example – my videographer wants to do more weddings with my photographer, hence – more flexible on price).
5. BOOK EARLY. I booked everything way in advance.
6. This is the biggest – book ‘up and comers’, but BE SMART about it. You don’t want total newbies, but look for those who have been doing this for a year or two, have solid reviews/reputation, but aren’t quite ‘stars’ of their industry yet. They will be significantly cheaper than the ‘stars’. But please – for the love of pete – be smart and trust your gut. Look for professionalism, enthusiasm, and look through their work history/testimonials.
Doing this, I saved 66% off my DJ, 20% off photography, 50% off videography, 25% off day-of coordinator, 10% off flowers, 20% off coffee service.
Post # 11
@PassionatePhotoLady: I’ve already contacted the photographer and was honest in saying that the price was out of budget even though we love her photos. She said she would be willing to be a little flexible for an off-season wedding. Now I’m not sure what price to give as I don’t want to insult her.
Post # 12
@beeintraining: Yes, I do have a backup just in case.
Post # 13
Pretty much the only negotiating we did was asking what the “cash rate” was. Whether it be wedding vendors, or any other service, you can generally get a deal by paying cash over other means.
Post # 14
No I didn’t try to negotiate because they (my photographers) were very sought after, plus my wedding was on a sat night in Sept and they were already almost fulled booked, even a year in advance!
My photographer did discount our engagement photos and may have thrown in a coffee table album, but that’s about it. The DJ company discounted their package from $1500 to $1300, only because it was an “early bird special” and I did book them a yr in advance.
Post # 15
- Wedding: February 2014 - Windstar on Naples bay
I found most vendors were willing to negotiate price if it was a Sunday. I basically went into every interview, heard them out and then was completely honest about being on a tight budget and left it up to the vendor. If they were interested in the buisness, the second they heard budget their next question was “well what is your budget?” and I would tell them. Some would agree to work with us, others said they could only do little things to cut costs while the more pro guys simply glided over the word budget and continued with the interview knowing someone with more money would come along. So I didn’t openly haggle but allowed the vendor to make the choice. In turn I think I found more vendors who were more concerned about their clients then the money and were all happier for it!
Post # 16
@Diamond84: I did, but it was due to a genuine lack of funds overall & not just “a bit out of the price range that we budgeted for.”
I expected to have an amateur photograph our wedding for around $300, but when I ran across out photographers website, I emailed her & told her that I was absolutely in love with her photography, but that we are marry young & cannot afford her traditional rate. I told her that she is worth every penny that she is asking for her going rate, but that I really just couldn’t afford it & I was curious if she would be willing to create a package in our price range.
She was sooooo sweet! She said I was the first person who asked her to drop her prices (for a legitimate reason) who did not insult her prices being too high, & that she could tell I really would have paid full price for one of her packages if I had the money. We created a package that worked for my budget, although she discounted that as well. After the wedding I gave her a $150 tip with the help of our wedding gifts.
We also got our venue to come down on their prices by asking them to create a special package for us. Their traditional rate is $1,650 for a Friday night reception with a maximum time of 8hrs. We got our package down to $1,350 for a 5hr reception & they threw in our ceremony for free (which usually costs an additional $350).