Reaching a fair price for you and the vendor via negotiation:
Many couples would be surprised to know how much money they could save on their wedding vendors, just by learning a few simple negotiation skills. In our last article, we showed you how to prepare for your upcoming wedding negotiation. This article on wedding negotiation tips assumes you are already prepared and want to start the negotiation and knock down your price. Remember, negotiation is not an evil tactic that you cause you to feel bad. The type of negotiation we are showing you has benefits for both you and the vendor and helps bring the price to a fair price that makes sense for both of you. Vendors are humans too. Trying to run a profitable business does not make them bad people, but it can lead them to seek to maximize profit on each deal. But using these negotiation tactics you can level the playing field and get to the point where they still are profitable, without you overpaying. These techniques can save you anywhere from 5% to 75%, depending on the original markup, your flexibility, and what you can offer the vendor other than price. Negotiating is a viable option on purchasing any product or service including venue, caterer, photographer, florist, DJ, etc. We hope these wedding negotiation tips will keep you significantly under budget.
Executing the negotiation and reducing price:
- Only use these wedding negotiation tips with a vendor which you would definitely select if only their prices fit for you. Also, consider whether the starting price is already heavily discounted compared to averages for the same service. If you already have 75% off you may want to skip negotiating entirely.
- Re-read your list of what advantages you are providing them, so you come to the conversation from a place of confidence. Negotiating shouldn’t just be about tricking the other person. It should be about getting the other person to recognize the value of what you are offering them.
- Have all your takeaways available for easy access
- Contact the vendor asking them for a quote for your ideal wants/needs and get a price
- Make sure you are talking to a person capable of changing the price. If you are talking to the owner you can skip this step, but if you are talking to a sales person at a store this could be useful. You can ask a question like “I really love everything, and I am ready to make a deal today, but I need to discuss price. Are you the right person to talk to or could you please point me in the right direction?”
- If the price is too high, start off by asking if the price can come down at all. Mention your financial situation, and how expensive this it to you. Tell them how much you love them and how much you want to make this work. (Vendors don’t want to waste time giving discounts to customers who are wasting their time, but if you are close to booking and only a discount they can afford is standing in their way they will be more willing)
- If the price is still too high, mention again how much you love them and their work, but the price is still too high. Tell them the most important things you are providing him (other than pay). Are they a junior photographer with a smaller portfolio, mention how this will help them and that you will allow that all your photos can be used as part of their online wedding photography portfolio. Mention you will agree to write an honest review after the wedding on The Knot, Wedding Wire, and Yelp. And based on what you have seen of him so far you have no reason to believe that he wouldn’t get a five-star review. Ask if you can get a discount because the review should greatly help his ability to attract new customers and justify higher prices in the future. Maybe you can additionally offer to make a toast near the end to your photographer from the great work he has done, how affordable he is, and how comfortable he made you feel, and mention that there are business cards on the table for anyone interested.
- If the price is still too high, state again how much you love them and their work and are incredibly close to putting down the deposit but the price is still too high. Thank them for the price reductions they have made for you. And mention you now realize they are giving a very fair price for their services, but that since it is still above your budget, you need to make some concessions on your end to bring the price down. Pull out your lists of wants/needs/flexibility and ask them for discounts for downgrading to your more flexible option. If you are reducing the amount of videography from four hours to one hour, you should get a sizable discount.
- Stay honest and tell them you want to book them now, and start working on putting down the deposit. Make sure to place reminders for yourself for anything you promised them as part of this negotiation. If you are making a toast, put it on your timeline, if you said you would write reviews, add it to your calendar.
I hope this article on wedding negotiation tips helped you get the services you need for a significantly lower cost. I also hope that along this process you never feel like you were destroying your integrity, as all of the advice and tips we give in this article is meant to think of how to reduce price without abusing the vendor. Every price reduction should have some advantage for him as well. Let us know in the comments if these tips helped you saved money with your vendors or whether you have any additional wedding negotiation tips or questions.