Weddings can be really expensive. My husband and I negotiated on everything for our wedding and we saved thousands! You should never be afraid to be a little cheeky. The trick is to negotiate without breaking the relationship with the supplier because you will depend on them when it comes to your big day! The team here at Creative Wedding Co. have collated a few negotiation tips that will help you to save money.
Do your homework before your negotiation
First decide what you want. Once you have made up your mind on what you want, it’s so much easier to negotiate. Start by getting a clear picture of what you want and how much it will cost at the normal price. Make sure you have included all of those extra little costs, such as a cake stand and knife. Make sure you’re clear in your mind about what is essential and what is just nice to have. Once you know what you need, be clear about what you are willing to spend on each part. Check out our budget setting tool.
Don’t dress in your Sunday best! Present yourself as if you can afford the service they are offering, but only just! For example, when my husband and I were searching for wedding venues, we took our old car!
Develop a rapport
It’s important to develop a rapport with the seller or the wedding supplier. After all, if your negotiation is successful they will be part of your big day. Developing a rapport helps the seller get to know you, and what you need. It’s also harder for a seller to say no to you once you have that rapport. If the seller knows what you want, the other potential benefit is that they may be able to craft a better deal by cutting out items out that aren’t as important to you.
Play your cards right
Hold your cards close to your chest. Don’t tell them what you are willing to pay or what your overall budget is. Think about your negotiation tactics. Start with the main item you want and negotiate on that. Once it’s clear the seller can’t go any lower, think about the nice to have items and start negotiating these into deal, perhaps as freebies. Ask if they can do anything to make it a better deal, sometimes you will be surprised at the response. If you can’t get the price under your budget you can consider taking items out that aren’t necessary for your wedding. For example, my husband and I knew we would be booking a live band for our wedding so we managed to drop the venue package price by losing the house DJ.
Timing is everything
Either book really early or really late to get the best discounts. I’d only recommend booking late on those items that aren’t essential to avoid being left high and dry. Be prepared to walk away if the right deal isn’t available on the day. We always had somewhere else to be after each appointment, which put the pressure on the sale and made it easy to walk away if that helped the negotiation.
We managed to book an ice cream cart about a month before our wedding and got it for less than half price. We were keen to have some kind of food after the ceremony to keep guests busy whilst we were having our photos taken. We’d considered canapés provided by the venue, but they would have cost around £500. Instead we negotiated an ice-cream cart for £200. We held out on booking it until the seller dropped the price. We asked the seller what they could do and they told us that if we took certain flavours they could reduce the price by £50 (they weren’t our first choice flavours, but they were popular ones so it worked for us). We made a counter-offer, held out and got the price we were looking for. In return, the supplier got a booking and sold some of the ice-cream that they needed to offload or could source at a better price.
Consider linked suppliers
Often suppliers link with others and offer discounts that way. We got 15% off our flowers because of an offer promoted at the bridal shop.
Whilst I recommend you negotiate, don’t be rude or go over the top. Most wedding suppliers take pride in the service they offer and deserve a fair price for it.
Have you negotiated a really good price from a wedding supplier? If so let us know about it below. For those that are new to this, come back and let us know how you got on…
If you need more money saving tips check out our 5 top tips to save money on your big day.