(Closed) please give me some tips on how to NEGOTIATE prices =)

posted 9 years ago in Money
Post # 3
5117 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

I think it depends on the type of vendor and what you’re looking for. Some prices are pretty standard, but you can negotiate design of invites or the paper to get a cheaper price. Our venue gave us a solid discount due to our large wedding guest list and the off-peak month.

I’m usually just very friendly and inquisitive if there is something I’d like to discuss price-wise. Always respect that this is that vendor’s job (photogs, bakers, etc) but be honest and say that you’re looking for something in x-y price range, do they offer a package in that range or would they be willing to reduce a regular package, etc. 

Post # 4
62 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

I agree with NDBee. Be honest and let them know your price range and see if they can accomodate you. With the economy being the way it is, I find that people are more likely to help their fellow human beings out. I would also say that this is best done in person, face to face, rather than on the phone or through email.

Post # 5
2440 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

I hate doing that too.  I ended up asking each vendor if there were any discounts available, which were offered by our DJ and photographer so we saved a few hundred there.  Our florist gave us a quote, we stated that we were looking for the same options at ______ price, was there any way to make these same options fit in our budget.  She ended up taking off a little, not a ton, but every little bit counts.  You really just have to ask and know your budget, I don’t know if there is a ton of room for negotiation necessarily but a lot of vendors will try to find ways to fit into your budget.  Sorry I know those aren’t the best tips, but I’m really not good at negotiating but these are a few things that worked for me.

Post # 6
231 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

Find comparables. I wanted a specific hotel, but they were too expensive. I showed them what another hotel nearby was willing to charge and got my choice hotel to match their prices. If you have the numbers to back you up, you will feel more comfortable negotiating.


And turns out my fiance is better at negotiating. 🙂 I’ve learned to just let him deal with some vendors to get what we want.

Post # 7
1457 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

Don’t feel bad.. the worst they can say is no! A couple options..

Tell them you have a set budget of XXX dollars. For example if their packages start at $1700, say you can’t spend more than $1500. Usually people are willing to work with you and might take out an option of the package for a lower price or just give it to you for that price. Worked with my videographer.

Tell them everything looks great, but you wish the package included XXX. I did this with my photographer and ended up getting a free engagement shoot. 

Or compare vendors. With my venue, I really wanted to start my ceremony at 5 so my reception would be from 6-11. They wanted me to start at 4 so I would be out of the ceremony room earlier so they could set up for another one. I ended up throwing in another venue’s name, and while I still had my ceremony at 4, they let me extend the reception til 11.

Also if you have any referrals from friends or family members, add that in and you will usually get some extra. I got $100 off a package for 4 friends “liking” the photographer’s page on facebook. And I got unlimited prints and props for my photo booth since I was referred by my cousin.

Really, prices are usually not completely set. Vendors need money too, and while they probbaly won’t be willing to drop $3000 off your price, a little bit here and there won’t hurt them. And to throw in some extras also is not a big deal. In the end, they are probably more thankful for a happy customer who can spread positive reviews to others about their amazing services, than losing $100. Just ask and see what happens 🙂

Post # 8
7774 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

Honestly, just ask. Most vendors will ask what your budget is so just be honest and tell them “This is how much I have to spend, this is what I want, how can we make this work?” All of my vendors were willing to give me some kind of discount. Even if it’s just $50, every little bit helps.

I got a $3000 discount from my photographers because they were so excited that I was getting married at Halloween and that I was having an “offbeat” wedding. They were trying to break into the less traditional side of things at the time so they gave me an amazing discount in exchange for me giving permission for them to submit my photos to magazines and use them for promos and bridal shows. They’ve made a lot of money off of our photos, so I guess it worked out for both of us. We also got discounts from our florist, our venue and our officiant.

Really, especially in this economy… just ask.

Post # 9
3457 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I took a negotiating class in law school but forget to put a lot of it in practice.  The biggest thing you can do to help yourself in a negotiation is PREPARATION.  Before you have a conversation know:

  • What your desired point is and your minimum acceptable point
  • What the other person gets out of it – how does this deal benefit them (think about their interests)
  • Comparison points and other options

Think outside the box to try to add value for both of you.  For example, the above poster who gave permission for her photos to be used to market the place. 

Post # 10
2649 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

Be polite,  and do not demand to have ABC at 50% of their price.
phraseing is key,  be honest about your bugdet, and ask if you can remove/ sub items that you don’t like/need.
Example: the salad course I HATE IT. most people do not eat it and it takes about an hour and a half prep timefor a 110 person wedding, see if you can sub that for another Hours de vour or just cut the price out of the bill. 

Offer to help set up decorations, and such it will cut down on their labor cost.

also ask about the cost difference between a cash bar and an open bar.

Alot of places charge a bartenderfee for an open bar that is not included in the cash bar. opt for the cash bar and then write a  check the day of for however much you want your tab to be. the bartender fee is then not added to the bill. 

If there is a bar fee both ways then the above wont work 🙂

Post # 11
3617 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

Know what you’re talking about and be firm on the price you want. Don’t just pull a number out of thin air, do some comparison shopping first and get a feel of what some other vendors are willing to really charge you. And then go to the vendor you want and be upfront about your bottom line. 

Post # 12
1144 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

I always start by shopping arround. If you are getting married in prime wedding season many vendors do not give any discounts, espically popular vendors. Some even already accomadte for low season in their pricing structure. Never look at something as being “all about the money” look at it for its value. Even if they throw in a chocoloate fountain for free if you don’t want it it holds no value for you.

I walked out of a bridal shop becuase I was told I would get 10% off my purchase and they didn’t honor it. I really loved them – but when it came time to pay they said “no” they offered me a 150$ credit for a veil. At the time I didnt want a veil, and I was mad at them for misleading me. I left. 2 hours later I got a phone call, they would agree to 5% off. Needless to say I didn’t buy my dress there, went to So Cal bought my dress for more than 10% off, free shipping to my house and 15% of my veil (at a trunk show). Lessons learned: leave the dress on when bargining for price (you need to be the one to ask), Have everything you want to buy on you.

My bridesmaids were all there while I was haggling, they were STUNNED.

Me: “How much is this veil”

Attendant: “Its 150.00 plus tax”

BM’s: “Thats a good deal” .. “its very pretty” ((nodds all arround))

Me: “Is there anything you can do about the price?”

BM’s ((mouths open))

Attendent: “I can do 15% off”

BM’s ((jaws drop))

It never hurts to ask, I have found I get a better deal when I say “How much for X, Y, Z out the door” (meaning taxes included) instead on How much is X? How much is Y?. I have also asked if they give cash or check discounts.

Another thing to realize is there will always be markup, the vendors, the dress maker are all doing this to make money and support themselves. While you want to get a good deal, they need to make money.

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