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5 Steps to Negotiating With Wedding Vendors

With a bit of friendly haggling, it’s easier than you may think to save money (and even score some great extras!) on your wedding day.

By Benice Atufunwa
Wedding cake and wine glassesWhitneyLewisPhotography/Getty Images

Catering, seating arrangements, invitations! The long list of to-do’s on your wedding planning checklist is enough to drive even the toughest bride-to-be crazy. But, by far, the most stressful part of planning that dream wedding is making it happen on a real-life budget.

 

The good news? One simple word is key to getting what you want: Negotiate. With a little back and forth, savvy couples can save hundreds (even thousands) of dollars and score amenities that are otherwise unaffordable.

 

1. Set a Budget

When negotiating with your wedding vendors, the first and most important step takes place well before the first meeting. Simon Tai, a member of The Remixologist, a New York City-based wedding deejay collective, advises brides to come prepared with a firm grasp of how much she’s willing and able to spend. That way, both parties are better equipped to strike a deal. “Most brides have a budget that they need to stick with. Rank what’s most important. From there you can tell where you want to put your money.”

 

2. Do Your Homework

Planning a wedding isn’t all fun and games: You won’t get far without doing adequate research. If you’re looking for a florist, find out what your dream florist and their competitors would charge for those peonies you covet. With a solid idea of what things will cost, you’ll be better equipped to negotiate a fair price.

 
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Lanterns

Talk to your venue before renting any items. Ask if you’ll be charged additional fees for using outside vendors and if the site can accommodate additional setup and breakdown time for special lighting, ceremony chairs, or hanging lanterns.