How much did you negotiate on your venue (or other vendors)?

posted 4 months ago in Money
Post # 16
947 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2018 - UK

We didn’t negotiate with any of our vendors. I went into the venue meeting expecting to have to, but they quoted a lot less than I was expecting, and offered a really good value package deal for us, so I didn’t need to. Similarly, our photographer was cheaper than we anticipated.

Post # 17
195 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2020 - Concord, Ontario

We didn’t negotiate anything 

Post # 18
211 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

We didn’t negotiate anything and I’ve never heard of anyone doing this. It may be regional? In my area, the decent wedding vendors have more work than they can handle.

Post # 19
754 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2018

I negotiated some things with my florist after she came back with her original bid. However, that was expected I’m sure because that’s what she does. We had our consult and she said “I’ll put the bid together and we can meet again to talk about it and make adjustments”. Because we changed some things it obviously affected our pricing, but idk if I’d consider that negotiating? 

We did negotiate with the party bus service. They typically have a minimum you book for, but we booked for the minimum time and got like 2 hours free because of how we wanted to use the bus in accordance with our schedule for the day. 

Otherwise, nothing else was negotiable. 

Post # 20
4672 posts
Honey bee

-I should have elaborated that my following vendors had fixed discounted rates for Sunday weddings to begin with (no need for me to ask for discount): DJ, photo booth, photography, videography

-Our all inclusive venue was basically the only one I asked. They ended up customizing a package for us based only on what we need plus added 15% off total bill.  

-I ordered 2 dresses from my bridal dress boutique. One for our civil ceremony (California) and a second one for our church ceremony (SO’s country). I was given 10% off for both dresses since I got 2.

-My florist had the same price for weddings whether it’s weekday or weekend.

-My day of coordinator and hair/makeup vendors were really cheap to begin with so I didn’t ask. 

Post # 21
3587 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2017 - City, State

I negotiated packages, not exactly price. My photographers standard package was for 8 hours and we only needed her for 4, so we negotiated a package for that amount of time. Similarly, for my dress I bought the sample I had tried on rather than ordering a new dress since it was in my size and needed the most minor amount of altering, and the bridal shop worked with me on that price since it was a sample. With my wedding planner, we eliminated some of the tasks she normally does because we were pretty far along in the planning process when we hired her, so that was a negotiated service was well. So none of the negotiating was “do what you normally do, but for less”, it was “I’m happy to pay for this altered version of what you normally offer”. 

Post # 23
888 posts
Busy bee

Like many PPs, I didn’t really negotiate vendor prices, but I did look at contracts and try to optimize for my budget and needs.

For example, if the florist quoted me “A bridal bouquet is $200” I might ask “If we used more greenery and less flowers is it possible to do it cheaper?” not “Can I have it for $180 instead?”. Sometimes the vendor would say yes and sometimes they’d say no, 

Does that make sense?

I think overall the “If I call it a wedding the price goes up” is kind of a myth. The price goes up because the service is different. Maybe it’s true in some fringe cases, but ultimately I think vendors are trying to get paid fairly for their work and weddings are kind of a unique event

Post # 24
477 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2019 - York, ME

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gatsbygirl :  I negotiated with our photographer, because she had a lot of packages but none that suited what we wanted or within our budget but I loved her work.  I was honest with her that we loved her work, gave her our absolute max budget, and let her know what was most important to us.  She came back with what she was willing to do for that, and we booked with her.  

The only negotiating with the venue we did was taking off $2 per plate because we were providing our own dessert.  

I think negotiating can come off as not valuing someone’s services and can be disrespectful.  We don’t haggle on the clothes we buy or when we go out to eat.  When we approached our photographer I was very clear that I respected her work and was only asking her about a custom package because I was really hoping to do business with her, but would not pressure her if she said no.  We were also fair – paying 65% more for the same hours of photography in another package, but with things that mattered more to us (rights to the photos instead of print credits/albums).

Post # 25
231 posts
Helper bee

We did not negotiate our venue (a non-profit, the city’s Botanical Gardens) — the fee was just under $4000, but we believe what we paid was fair and it is within our budget.


Considerations we made regarding the value were not just how beautiful the venue itself is and what it would offer to our wedding & our guests, but also what it personally meant to me to be married there, and us being happy to contribute to its long-term preservation within the city and the communities surrounding it.

Post # 26
7171 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

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gatsbygirl :  It’s just I feel like as soon as the word “wedding” is mentioned, the price increases 200%.

Of course it does. We’re **contractually obligated** to alter our lives for you for up to a year (often times, more) in advance. Once I book your wedding, I’m not able to get pregnant and have a baby anytime around then that might interfear with my ability to be there and do my best work. I’m not joining my family on the last-minute vacation they plan. I’m not going to my cousin’s surprise bridal shower. Sure, every working person has times when they have to miss things because of their job. And while being a wedding photographer has plenty of perks the reality is because we book 12+ months out there are SO MANY special events we miss out on. That kind of service comes at a premium.

I most certainly don’t mean to get on a soapbox, but whenever I hear people use the phrase that everyone jacks up the prices as soon as they hear “wedding” – it triggers me..ha! I think this is often a concept that’s lost on so many people and they think the wedding industry is just a bunch of vendors screwing people out of their hard earned money. 

For the average person (obviously I know this doesn’t apply to everyone…but most), when you’re at your job and you are sick you can call in and use a sick day. Either there is someone there to cover or maybe your work just doesn’t get done that day. When I’m sick I don’t get a sick day. I’ve shot weddings with the flu, major colds, food poisioning. I shot back to back engagement sessions two days after getting out of the ER from an ectopic pregnancy (of a very much wanted child). I had a panic attack and cried the whole way to my session and once I got there, I pulled it together and shot the session and my clients literally NEVER knew what was going on in my personal life. I’ve missed countless special events because they were planned well after I’d already booked a wedding for that day.


Post # 27
251 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2016 - City, State

View original reply
gatsbygirl :  We negotiated pretty much all the vendors that didn’t have their prices upfront on their website.I feel that in that case it was justified as they pretty much adapt their prices to the clients (one place gave us 2 different prices because we talked to 2 different persons, a couple of weeks apart). At the time we were also both grad students so we also mentioned that during the email exchange/discussion.

We negociated the venue rental + catering price per person (same company provided both). This was because they initally quoted me for a weekend and we ended up moving the wedding to a weekday so I got a reduction in price. We guaranteed a minimum number of guest and they  included a clause that the price pp would decrease if number of guests went beyond a threshold (this was something they proposed, but that’s a clause to include if you can in case you get more RSVP than anticipated).

For the DJ I contacted one I liked with my budget. She said she couldn’t do it for that price but put me in touch with a friend of hers who would do it.

The florist was the DJ wife. We agreed on a price for a chuppah (didn’t negotiate that). Then, she gave me a quote for the centerpieces that was more than I was willing to pay so I told her no thanks, we’ll figure it out on our own. Since she was already coming to set up the Chuppah and help her husband, she agreed to work within my budget (I wanted something super simple tho). 

I also negotiated the dress but that’s because I bought it secondhand from another bride.

We didn’t negotiate the photographer, the videographer, and the make up/hair artists because we just picked people in our budget. Also, they were the only ones with upfront prices on their website.

Post # 28
564 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2019

I didn’t even think to negotiate price. The only thing I negotiated was with the venue – our cost included having the ceremony there. We weren’t having our ceremony there so I asked if we could have an extra passed hors d’oeuvre instead. Which is a small thing, but I didn’t want to ask for something bigger and be turned down. They agreed.

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