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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

3. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask

Now that you’ve prepared, it’s time to meet with prospective vendors to discuss specifics. Most vendors recommend being forward during the initial meeting. “Clients should never be afraid to ask for more,” says an anonymous business manager for a major hotel chain. “I don't always share what additional perks or concessions I can give unless they ask. Why give something away for free if they don't even ask for it?”

 

Speak up if you’re presented with various packages but want to mix and match. If the package you want doesn’t include cake cutting but another does, see if you can swap something out. Or, if think you'll need the deejay to stay for an extra hour, ask if they can offer a discounted rate in the event that additional time is needed. Since vendors raise their prices each year to keep up with inflation and the increased costs of running their businesses, some may even be willing to give you the previous year’s rate. Remember, it’s always easier to negotiate and ask for extras when time is on your side. “Book early to get a good price; the earlier you book the better chance you have of getting a good rate,” says Tai.

 

4. Ask for More Than a Discount

Focusing solely on the overall price when negotiating can put you at a serious disadvantage. Potential clients get stuck on whittling down the cost per room, says the anonymous hotel business manager. “Some clients forget that hotels are businesses too and we have to be able to reach a healthy average daily rate.” Asking for a 50 percent discount on catering services will only sour your relationship with a vendor. Instead, ask the catering manager to include an extra passed hors d’oeuvre or a champagne toast. When you compromise, your vendor’s profit margin will be enough to provide a quality service and you’ll get more for your money. That’s a win-win.

 
Read More About:Weddings

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