Many brides shudder at the thought of having to negotiate with their wedding vendors. They think that their vendors might think less of them or give them sub-par service if they’re asked to come down on the price. Other brides simply don’t like the idea of negotiating. They don’t want to haggle over price, they just want to enjoy their wedding experience. The #1 reason most people don’t negotiate is because they are afraid or unsure how to go about it.
The truth is that most vendors have room in their prices for negotiations and can work within your budget. Why would you pay full price when there is a chance you could save some money? Any time you hire someone to provide a service, you’re making a business deal. In the business word, negotiation is an accepted practice, so get your “negotiation pants” on and get ready. You’re going to learn how to save some money in 4 easy steps.
Step 1: Change Your Mind Set
When people think about negotiating, they are often worried that asking for a lower price might make the vendor hostile toward them. They think of negotiation as a battle. Instead, try to think of it as a friendly conversation. Tell the vendor why you like their work and want to use them for your wedding. Ask if they can throw in a few extras or come down a bit on the price. The most common misconception about negotiating is that it’s difficult. The truth is that negotiating is simple. It’s about finding middle ground. It’s about working a deal that is mutually beneficial. Remember, it never hurts to ask.
Step 2: Ask Nicely
When asking for a discount, ask nicely! This might sound obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people forget this childhood rule. In general, vendors want to work with nice, friendly people. Nobody wants to deal with rude behavior or outrageous demands. When asking for a discount, be polite and present a reasonable offer. If you act like you’re entitled to a discount, you probably won’t get one. Also, don’t get upset if a vendor says “no.” Sometimes a vendor simply won’t be able to meet your budget. If this is the case, thank them for their time and move on.
Step 3: Make Vendors Compete for Your Business
Wedding vendors usually have lots of competition, especially if they work in or around a large city. As a bride planning your wedding, you can use this to your advantage. Vendors hate to lose business to a competitor, so don’t be afraid to let them know you’re looking at lots of different vendors and that you’re going to shop around a bit more before you commit to anything. They want to make the sale, so usually they’ll come down on price if it keeps you from going elsewhere.
You can also pit one vendor against another by saying, “XYZ vendor quoted me $X for flowers, but I really like your work. Can you meet that price?” Be tactful when posing a question like this.
Step 4: Be Honest About What You Are Willing to Spend
If a vendor quotes you a price that is too high, tell them what you want to spend and see if they can tailor their service to your budget. Lets say their wedding package is $1500 but your budget is only $1200. Your vendor may be able to alter the package and lower the price. You’ll be surprised how vendors will present options to you that they don’t publicly advertise.
The bottom line is that vendors want your business. They want to book weddings and they want to stay busy. If that means throwing in a few extras or coming down a bit on the price, they will likely say do what it takes to get the job. It never hurts to ask for a discount. The worst that can happen is that they say “No” in which case you either accept their price or move on to a different vendor. If you’re nervous about negotiating, practice in a low stress situation like a garage sale or a flea market. You’ll be able to sharpen your skills and be ready when it counts.