(Closed) Did you actually NEGOTIATE with your vendors?

posted 8 years ago in Money
  • poll: Did you negotiate with your vendors
    Each and every one of them : (12 votes)
    19 %
    Some of them : (26 votes)
    42 %
    Only one : (4 votes)
    6 %
    Not at all : (20 votes)
    32 %
  • Post # 3
    Member
    3219 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: November 2010

    The DJ- I told him I heard great things about him but had not budgeted spending that much. He went down to $650 from $950

    Post # 4
    Member
    151 posts
    Blushing bee

    We bargained with the reception venue, DJ, photographer, limo, and invite designer!

    Reception Venue/Caterer: Since we had our wedding on a Friday, the cost went down. We also shaved off a few food items to make the cost go down. Save $20 pp.

    DJ – He’s not a true wedding DJ (He spins at a local bar/club), but we told him we had a tight budget. Saved $400

    Photographer – Did a TON of research! Found 2 photogs that will shoot ALL day. Didn’t need the albums. Saved $500.

    Limo – We looked around a few companies, and we found one that was going a short distance (25 min) from their location to the ceremony. Also, the limo company is based out of the city where the reception is. Saved about $500.

    Invite Designer – Did an alchemy request through etsy. Invites were about $2.50 each. Included printed and addressed envelopes, unique coaster design, and stamps. Saved an extra $2 per invite by going through etsy.

    For most of these vendors, we told them that we were targetting a certain price. We talked to many vendors that were out of our budget, but were willing to work with us. We also let them know that we really liked their talent, and would consider booking them if they could meet our budget. Believe me, we didn’t think it could happen…but it did!

    Good luck!

    Post # 5
    Member
    151 posts
    Blushing bee

    double post

    Post # 6
    Hostess
    16195 posts
    Honey Beekeeper

    I didn’t. And now I wish I had!

    Post # 7
    Member
    1260 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2010

    We approached vendors and told them our numbers, and pretty much said we would love to work with them if they could work within our budget. Our photographer was our biggest negotiation. If they would budge on price, great, if not, we moved on. I guess the key is determining what you can spend, and what a good price is for their services (which requires shopping around). The worst they can do is say no.

    Post # 8
    Member
    652 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: July 2011

    Everyone so far.  Except the venue.  It was our first wedding transaction, and they actually reached out to us and offered us a break, so it didn’t feel right. 

    What I’ve learned is:

    Be honest about your budget.  

    If something doesn’t work for you, speak up.  Especially if that something is cost. The worst they can say is no.

    Be willing to walk away and find another vendor. 

    Be polite, but don’t be a pushover. 

    Offer to pay cash, if you can (because in the end that sometimes makes all the difference).

    Post # 9
    Member
    4546 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: September 2010

    We negotiated with our minister, DJ, and photographer. We let the photographer know what our budget was and she worked with us. Our minister, my Fiance talked her down to almost half her price by letting her know we really wanted her to officate our wedding but we couldn’t afford her original fee. Our DJ told us his price was $1500 and we said that was way out of budget. He said he’d give us the family discount (because Future Sister-In-Law had him as her DJ) and said he’d do it for $850!

    Post # 10
    Member
    2532 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: August 2010

    Future Mother-In-Law negotiated with our florist and actually got a much better deal! We negotiated with our venue because some of the things they were charging for were ridiculous. I am going to negotiate with our DJ to get an extra 1.5 hours outside of his contract through the company that is providing the service.

    Post # 11
    Member
    2186 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: September 2010

    we havent – our venue gave us a deal without asking though since we were booking a year out. we only had to pay for food and alcohol – no minimum or facility rental fee.

    Post # 12
    Member
    610 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: July 2011

    Fiance and I are bartering our skills.  Our venue is using fiance for computer upgrades.  Terms not settled, but best scenario is comped.  Am working with a colleague who DJs on the side, and a TV camerperson who freelances with a local station.  May be setting up potential cake designer with new marketing brochure and social networking presence.

    I guess it can never hurt to ask if you really love the person’s work.  Don’t just ask for a discount for the sake of getting it, though.  This is bread and butter work for a lot of vendors. 

    Post # 13
    Member
    98 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: July 2011

    Yes, I did negotiate with some. For example, I knew before going into our venue that there was a non negotiable minimum. However, for our ceremony location, there were extra fees I negotiated out of.  We tried negotiating with our band, but they wouldn’t budge, and we loved them, so we reconsidered. I’m not a good negotiator, so I just was honest and said “this doesn’t fit in our budget”.

    Post # 14
    Member
    1701 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: October 2010

    I used to be a retail buyer so my first question is always, “is this the best you can do?”  I recommend starting out by complimenting the person’s work first such as, “I attended so and so’s wedding and you really made it a fun event” or “I work with so and so and couldn’t believe their wedding pictures!”, then say I would love to work with you but your packages are out of my budget.  Do you have any flexibility? Almost everyone does. Plus, they really garner business by word of mouth.  They do not know that someone with a much larger budget isn’t going to be at your event.  My venue is the only place that won’t negotiate.  There are $300K worth of weddings that will be attending mine (older cousins with engaged children).  None of those weddings will be at my venue but I betcha they all use my photographer, cake person, florist, etc.

    Post # 15
    Member
    19 posts
    Newbee

    I agree that you need to let people know what you can and cannot do.  Always start with a compliment.  It makes for a good frame of mind.  Don’t whine about your budget, everyone thinks they have no money, but be honest.  This truly is taking every bit of our savings, and I’ve told a few people that.

    Your goal might be to build relationship with your vendors.  Talk with them about what you’d like and keep in touch with them without bugging them.  Let them feel like they know you a bit and they will want to be more invested in your day.  Run ideas by them, who knows what might cost them nothing… like my daughter wanted jewels in the bouquets.  I mentioned it.  She shushed me and said we could buy them ourselves.  The florist said, “No problem – no charge”. 

    As I emailed with one vendor, I was honest about almost going with a person said to be untrustworthy, but with a great price.  She came back with an offer.  I took it.  She offered something else, I was very appreciative but honestly told her the Mr. would not go for it, we just don’t have the money.  She found a vendor within our price range and subcontracted with them.  We are sworn to secrecy on the price, but asked to speak kindly of her here after the wedding.  Of course!

    Don’t be shy about posting what you’re looking for all over facebook and to all your friends and family.  Your community of friends and family have their own communities and who knows what they will come up with?  We ended up with a great price on one important thing as the groom is a friend of a friend of the vendor.

    If you get a great price or great service, don’t tell everyone the deal you got, as the vendor may not be able to make that deal with everyone, but DO tell everyone how happy you were with the product or service.   

    It is true that you should always ask “Is that the best you can do?”  Tell them honestly if you just wouldn’t be able to afford them, but that they would absolutely be your first choice and you’ll be sad not to have them.  People need work these days, and they want customers that want them.  Sometimes it’s a matter of a small discount or no work for them, so they’ll help you out.

    Post # 16
    Member
    8353 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: March 2011

    I have bargained with every vendor. And I have gotten some really good deals, just because I asked.

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