Post # 1
I read this article this morning about why you SHOULDN’T negotiate with vendors, along with some of the vendor comments below. I was surprised by the very strong reaction I had to it. I’m curious, what do you think?
Post # 3
I think her comparisons are off. The venue I work at at least is piriced to be negotiated with. If a bride wants to pay full? Great! If not, we can give up to a 35-40 percent “discount” and still make a good profit. A lot of vendors have this mark up, it’s purely psychological to make th coustome feel like they scored a deal. Sometimes we even throw in a cold veg app for fee ( 110$ value, costs 5 dollars to create.)
I have discovered this even more so with my own vendors. They tell me a price and I am like… Excuse me? I don’t think so. I know how much it costs and how much labor goes in to it. So far once they figure out i know. How this game works, they drop the bullshit and give me straight up prices.
Post # 4
::rolls eyes:: I think that article is ridiculous. People negotiate all the time for stuff – especially big ticket items, such as cars, houses, apartments, and furniture. And a wedding is a big ticket item. I haven’t done much with my florist or baker yet, but I definitely negotiated with venues/caterer. At every place we visited, I asked about getting a discount if we guranteed X number of people or if we wanted to order X number of appitizers and late night snacks. And more often than not I was always able to get some sort of deal. The venue/caterer we went with ended up giving us a late night snack for free, let us swap a 3rd entree for a hot appitzier, and is only going to charge us for guests over 21 if we want to upgrade the bar (normally they charge X$ for every guest regardless of age). I work hard for my money and I’m not going to blindly hand over thousands of dollars just because the vendor says so.
Post # 5
- Wedding: August 2013 - Brookfield Zoo
I think it depends what vendor you want to try negotiating with… big businesses that don’t just do weddings and work other kinds of events (ie venues, caterers, florists that work an actual shop), I can see negotiating with. The wedding markup is true, and those larger companies can (usually) afford to cut down on the price because they make their money other ways too. Small boutique style or self owned businesses (ie photographers, videographers, could be caterer or florist depending on what their business is like), I do agree with the article that it is their livelihood you are trying to cut them short on.
That said, I don’t negotiate, I am just bad at it!!
Post # 6
I negotiate for a lot of stuff. I ask, if they can’t do it, then that’s okay. If I negotiate for cars and houses and other items, why not my wedding stuff? I negotiated my dress, alterations, venue, flowers, photography etc. I don’t pit folks against other folks though because if I saw a videographer I liked, I can’t say ‘Oh, the other guy is doing it for this amount, can you beat it?’ because some things are very subjective. I’m not the best at negotiating but I grew up in Africa and it’s a way of life. Some things I negotiated, others I let go. My officiant was $175…there was no need to negotiate that.
Post # 7
People (and this editor is no exception) are often uncomfortable with negotiation, but negotiation is part of any business, the wedding business no different! With each of my vendors, I sought out multiple options, priced everyone out and was COMPLETELY transparent in this manner. If one vendor was after me “following up” I would say to him, “I spoke to _____ and he quoted me at $$, are you willing to match that price or better it to obtain my business?” They are competeing for OUR business as opposed to our being graced by their services. If a business wants to be competitive in their market 9 times out of 10 they are willing to negotiate for it. NO shame in that game.
Post # 8
Thanks for the feedback. I am on the same page- and like I mentioned earlier was surprised I had such a strong reaction to the article. I have negotiated with a few vendors because our wedding is in November and because I am on a budget. I’m aware of mark-ups etc and I have choices as well.
I felt like the author, and the subsequent commentors, were addressing a different issue. It wasnt about negotiation it was about how certain brides might treat the vendors or approach pricing. I don’t think it necessarily has anything to do with the act of negotiation but rather the person and who they are by nature.
Post # 9
- Wedding: July 2014 - Barn
Was really interesting to read both the article and see all the responses. My Fiance and mother are both strong negotiators….I can be as well, however last time was intimidating for me as the guy was HUGEEEE and grumpy! lolz
Definitely helps for when it’s time to start looking into vendors and gives me ideas of what kind of questions I can ask for better prices!
Post # 10
When the wedding business decided to make everything 3x’s what it would normally cost then those vendors opened themselves up to negotiation. Honestly I didn’t purposely try to negotiate, but my budget was so low that sometimes I had to just come out and say that I was having a tough time fitting them in because of budget. That did cause some vendors to lower their prices and meet me in the middle. I see NOTHING wrong with this.
@Soon2bSykes – I think you are right. It reminds me a bit of a friend I had in high school. Everytime I went somewhere with her family, her mom or dad would complain about something so that they could get a portion of (or at times the whole thing!) the meal for free. That type of attitude – the the-world-owes-me-I’m-entitled kind of attitude – is something that I think most people find distasteful.
Post # 11
I feel that article was ridiclous. People should negotiate with thier vendors. I do all the time at work and I plan on doing it for my wedding. Certain things cost what they cost but with the amount of markup that does exist for a lot of wedding things there is plenty of room to make deals. I think the issue is with those penny pinching customers who want a discount that isn’t fair in anyway to the vendor.
Post # 12
We haven’t had to negotiate anything related to cost with our wedding due to the pricepoint (ceremony and reception for under $1000–so we paid brochure price), but I think it’s a good idea to try if you’re having the traditional wedding with all of the usual trimmings (caterers, venues, photographers, etc). I travel internationally a lot and we (the US) are one of the only countries where bartering and negotiating are treated as big no-nos, unless it’s for a car or house. I also feel like a PP, that if you’re going to spend the equivalent of a home down-payment on your home, than you should try to negotiate.
We have only had to negotiate substitutions into our contracts, like two bouquets instead of a bouquet and a bout or a fruit tray instead of canapes, but we’ve been pretty successful with that.
Post # 13
This may be related to an article I read last year about why wedding photographers aren’t overpriced as written by a wedding photographer, of course.
I agree that the comparisons are off…
Your boss asking for part of your paycheck? That doesn’t even make any sense.
Ordering a steak, okay you don’t really negotiate one steak, but if you’re the restaurant and you’re talking to a butcher you Do negotiate the price of one hundred steaks.
A sales woman at Kate Spade, eh probably not, but sometimes if there is an upcoming sale at the store they will give you the sale price but most things wedding related probably cost more than $300…
The way that I personally view wedding vendors is as contractors, they get paid for each job that they do, there is no yearly salary, so when I ask if they give ‘off-season’ or ‘non-Saturday’ discounts I don’t feel badly about it. I am still providing them with income and during a time when they probably won’t get any other offers. Of course it’s still up to them if they want to do that.
Post # 14
@dodgercpkl: I think when wedding vendors decided to jack the price by infinityx’s they also opened themselves up to deception as well. When my cousin was getting married he and his ex-fiancee met with our family’s cake lady who quoted them $500 for a three tier cake with white buttercream frosting and hints of purple in the piping and trim. When my brother and SiL got married, we told her that it was for a birthday party and that they wanted three tiers with white buttercream and hints of purple in the piping and trim–$50. Same exact product at 1/10th of the cost.
Also–an example of price jacking–For us to get married in the embarkation (leaving) port so all of our family and friends could come it was going to be over $4000 (not including cruise fares) when all was said and done. By getting married while at-sea in a vow renewal ceremony (which is what we would have had in the port and we get the intimate wedding we wanted) it is less than $1000 and we get extra goodies.
I hate that by using the word “wedding” suddenly things are more expensive because of the extra “attention to detail” your vendors will have to pay—that excuse it pretty much bs.
Post # 15
@Mrs.Darling: Yeah I agree with you on that. Especially in that things are up so much higher for anything wedding associated! How did you stop yourself from saying something to that baker about the price differences in the same exact cake?!?
Post # 16
I think some vendors expect negotiations, especially the larger ones like caterers and large venues (e.g. hotel). They have a ton of clients and can afford to throw in a freebie here or cut the costs here. I’m not a haggler at all and neither is my Fiance. That being said, for a few of our vendors, I told them, “What can we do without?” or “What is the least amount we would need (e.g. lights, desserts, etc.) that we would need for our guest count?” It’s not directly haggling as I’m still willing to pay FP for everything, but just trying to eliminate things I don’t need. When I would say this, some vendors would say, “I can cut the cost of x” or “I will throw that in for the price of y (less robust package/deal.” Some would work with me and say, “Let’s get rid of this then or we can swap this for that since you like that more anyway.”
I don’t feel too bad negotiating with my caterer and my DJ as they both have large operations and will do at least a half dozen events that weekend. On the other hand, I feel bad negotiating for my smaller vendors (e.g. my photographer, who only does one event each day) and I will accept their prices/rates/packages for what they are.
In the end, I think the issue is that there are polite ways of negotiating and there are just simply rude ways of doing it. I can see people being unpleasant and saying, “That’s not worth $xxxx” even when the profit margin really isn’t that much.