Post # 1
What techniques have you use or planning to use when asking for a reduction in price with your vendors?
I’m working with my first vendor (the biggest chunk – the ceremony/reception venue & associated catering) and I’m not sure how to go about it.
Do you just ask if there is anything that can be done to reduce the fees – or do you focus on different aspects of the cost breakdown.
Would love to hear any success stories and how you went about reducing fees.
Post # 3
We usually started the conversation with, “Is there anything we can do to reduce these costs? The prices are over our budget but we really like these flowers/this food/this reception venue/etc…” We also asked most of our vendors if there was a local’s discount. One thing you can do is ask if any of the fees are negotiable (i.e. they might drop a delivery fee) or if they have a substitute for pricier items (i.e. filet mignon might more expensive than beef wellington).
Post # 4
So far, I’ve been just asking if we can break the deposits up into seperate pymts since most of our wedding money won’t be coming until at least Oct. Everyone has agreed to either break it up or give us first right of refusal, meaning they’ll hold our day for us w/o a deposit until someone else inquires about that day. I will be negotiating when it comes to food & decor with our venue. Their costs for chairs, chair covers & tablecloths is pretty high and I really want the room to look good!
Post # 5
I’ve just been asking them straight out. I usually start by saying I really like your venue but it’s a little above our budget (pertaining to site fees). Most places either immediately offer me a discounted price or ask what I’m looking for. I tell them what our budgeted number is.
Once we actually have a place we want to book I”ll def negotiate pp price before signing a contract while making sure it’s the caliber of food we want as well. After that then I’ll start negotiating different food items.
It never hurts to just ask!
Post # 6
From a vendor…
Let them know what you’re willing to spend, and find out what you’re able to get for that price point.
Also, some vendors are wiling to barter (maybe not a venue or catering, but possibly photographers, hair dresser, etc). I know we’d offer extras or lower our prices for a professional service-like massages, taxes, haircuts, etc.
Post # 7
What I did in a few cases was to identify my “dream vendor” and my back-up… then I’d go to the vendor and say, “you’re the vendor I want to work with, but your price just doesn’t work for my budget… I’ve been quoted $x for the services I need from another vendor, and I understand if you can’t match that, but I wanted to ask whether it would be possible before making my decision.” It worked for competing bakeries, it didn’t work for photographers. (EDIT: There was a first round of photographers before I found my fabulous photographer. I was about to contract with the back-up, then he cancelled, then I found the photographer I ended up booking.)
Another thing that worked for getting “extras” (RD photography, groom’s cake) was setting how much I could pay, then approaching the vendors to say “We’d love to be able to do x, but it’s a nice extra, not an essential, and we can only budget $y for it. Would that work for you?”
Vendors won’t take a loss to cut you a deal, but they’d rather do business with you than have you walk away over a relatively small amount of money… And if another vendor quotes a lower price for a similar product/service, your vendor might be able to match it.
Post # 8
Be firm! Let them know that you would LOVE to use them BUT! the price isnt quite where you want it. I have yet to encounter a vendor I havent gotten to reduce their price for me.I like to play up what a large guestlist we have, and how many are young couples who will have their eyes open for their own wedding vendors, etc
Also, comparison shop. Not one vendor has refused to price match for me.
My biggest sucess story is with our venue/caterer. Our wedding will include 320 guests so they really didnt want to lose my business. After I negotiated back and forth I managed to get 18 dollars off the price per person. They knew that if they lost us they probably wouldnt get a wedding that huge so it was worth it.Since my father is paying for the wedding and a salesman I sent him in to finish negotiating. He offered to pay in cash and the vendor took another 20 dollars off per person! Its insane how much money talks to some business men.
Post # 9
I agree with goosegg 100 percent! Say you’d love to work with them, BUT …
The thing you have to understand about bartering is that you NEED to be willing to walk away if they can’t meet your budget requirements. Some vendors WILL NOT DISCOUNT because they already offer the lowest prices they can. If so, you need to respect that.
I only negotiated with our caterer, and in the situation, it was the most natural thing. They really were $300-$400 over our budget, so I just told them what our budget was and he answered right away that he could make his price work for me.