Post # 1
I’m a bride with limited time available after work, and I’m running into something that seems odd with all of the vendors I contact. It seems like no one I contact (caterers, florists, planners, DJs, ANYONE!) will give me any idea of the price range for their services without sitting down for a complimentary consultation first!
As much as I enjoyed the first few of these that I went to, we now have less than a year before the wedding (11 months) and I’m just trying to narrow down the vendors that are within our (limited) budget and worth meeting with. Is it normal for vendors to not reveal their price range until they’ve met with you? I’m just trying to avoid wasting both of our time if we can’t afford their services.
Any tips on how to get pricing info out of vendors without having to spend an hour or more consulting with them?
Post # 3
Hmm …. I didn’t have that problem. My biggest problem with finding out prices was if they didn’t have them on their websites (I’m a huge googler!) — but as soon as I emailed or called they all came back with price lists. Maybe if you explain your limited time frame they might budge — or a phone call versus an email might help.
Good luck! Yay for 11 months 🙂
Post # 4
When I first contacted vendors I would be up front and tell them what I’m working with. Generally I would low ball it like if I knew I had $2K for flowers I would contact a vendor and say "I have $1750 for flowers, what could you do for me?". That way they will either scoff at your price and not bother with you (if they’re expensive, they know it) or they would give me examples of what they can do. It worked for me!
Post # 5
That doesn’t seem normal. It may be that they want you to see their work before they tell you the price, but that still seems silly if you can’t afford them. Have you been telling them that you only have so much money for their services? If you do that, maybe they will tell you that they are either in your price range or are not.
Post # 6
No, that is not normal. Some vendors might not blatently display their going rates on their website, but they should reveal this information immediately if you ask them over the phone or via email. If they are being difficult you can just be upfront and tell them that you have a budget and limited time, so if they can’t let you know the price ranges beforehand, you don’t have time to meet with them.
Do you ask the question and they avoid it or indicate that they won’t discuss rates unless you meet?
Post # 7
I didn’t have that experience at all. Most vendors wouldn’t volunteer price information on the first call themselves, but if I asked for it, they always told me. (And, asking about the prices was one of the first questions out of my mouth!) I agree with some of the above posters that maybe if you say you only have $X amount to work with, then they will tell your their prices. Meeting for a consultation would be silly if their prices aren’t what you are looking for. Good luck!!
Post # 8
I’ve run into this, and it’s ALL been here in the very recent past, and my only assumption is that the economy is taking its toll on our vendors just as much as its taking its toll on everyone else, and they’re more willing to work with you, but don’t really know how hard the economy has affected their clients.
Post # 9
I’m had the same issue at first. My solution was to be very up front and tell them I had very limited time and I wouldn’t not waste what little time I had. I let them know if they couldn’t give me a price range before we met, then I would find someone that would. They would eventually give me a range when they didn’t hear from me to schedule that "consultation". I made sure I was nice when I told them my position on this and most would cooperate but not all.
Post # 10
- Wedding: August 2008 - Vineyard on the Delta
i ran into the same things but i kept searching to find vendors that were willing to communicate with us a bit before meeting. i mean, we work! wedding planning can’t stop work! if vendors don’t get that then they don’t deserve my business. i don’t think i met with any vendor without some kind of pre-quote quote. so i guess my suggestion is to do a little more online/phone ‘leg’ work 🙂 GL!
Post # 11
Tee thats a great idea on telling them how much you have! i agree that its not normal. I called our reception/ceremony venue and asked what their prices were and they just told me! I havent really called much else. But it still doesnt sound normal. I hope you find what your looking for…or like Tee said just tell them how much money you have for such an item and they will let you know if you cant afford them.
Post # 12
Thanks for the tips! I haven’t tried starting out with the budget off the bat, which I guess is because I’m working with about 1/2 – 1/3 of the "average" budget for Atlanta. I’ve done a ton of emailing back and forth with vendors, but I guess I’ve been tooh passive in my requests for pricing ideas.
I like the idea of lowballing just a little and seeing what they can do! Thanks!
Post # 13
I never had a problem with this, if I asked on the phone and explained what I was looking for they were able to. I think maybe your vendors want to sit you down so they don’t tell you one price, and then when they find out what you really want, have to give you another (they are covering their butts).
Post # 14
Good point, Maureen! I feel like so many vendors want to get the opportunity to wow me in person, which I’d love for them to do, but I don’t want to be wowed by something I can’t afford. 🙂
Post # 15
That’s not normal at all. Most of my vendors have their prices listed on their websites. Some vendors do want to get to know you and make a custom package for you, but if they can’t provide you with some basic pricing information, then I don’t think they’re worth meeting!