Don’t be afraid: the Rules of Wedding Negotiations

Aug 27, 2016 | The Big Day

Irish people are often very reluctant when it comes to negotiating. It can be intimidating, we get it, but remember that you’re the person with the money, so you have quite a bit of power. Weddings are expensive to organise, so why not do what you can to save some money. Here SmartGroom tells you all you need to know to start those wedding negotiations

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10 top tips for wedding negotiations

Wedding Negotiations Tip #1: Do your homework

Before you begin negotiating with any one venue or vendor, make sure you have a list of prices from a variety of competitors. Ring around, ask what their best price is and how much they’ll give you in that package. Then once you find someone you really want to work with, you can use those figures to your advantage. Industry knowledge is power.

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Wedding Negotiations Tip #2: Set your budget

Once you have an idea of how much things should cost, you should take a good look at your budget and divide it up in a way that will give you and your fiancée the wedding you both want. Once you know how much you’re willing to spend on each aspect, the better you’ll be able to negotiate.

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Wedding Negotiations Tip #3: Be a nice person

People are more likely to want to help a person who is nice than one who is aloof, rude and all business. Your approach and personality style have a lot to do with whether or not a vendor will be willing to lower a price. Don’t be so nice that you’re a walk-over, but be friendly and honest about how much you like the venue or the supplier’s products. Get them excited about working with you.

Wedding Negotiations Tip #4: Get an itemised list

Be sure you know exactly what you’re getting for the price the vendor is giving you. Have it laid out in black and white so you can see exactly what you’re being asked to pay for. You may spot some things on the list you don’t actually want or you may even notice something missing that could cost you extra down the line.

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Wedding Negotiations Tip #5: Consider other options

Yes, you’ve settled on an approximate date with your fiancée, but when it comes to the right venue, can you be flexible? They may be able to offer a different day or the week or time of year that could save you quite a bit of money. Negotiation isn’t just about whittling down a price – it’s about saving money and being open to the benefits of compromise.

Wedding Negotiations Tip #6: Look at their portfolio

When it comes to suppliers, you can actually do them a few favours to help lower the price. Maybe you’ll agree to allow your photographer use the wedding photos for a magazine article in return for a discount? If you’re getting the baker to create an unusual cake that would expand her portfolio and show future clients how talented she is, use that to negotiate a little money off.

Wedding Negotiations Tip #7: Shop around

While you should appear excited about working with each person you speak to, shop around and be aware of other packages on offer. You can use this to your advantage in a negotiation. For example, “We really love your floral arrangements and they’re exactly what we had in mind, but unfortunately we just can’t make our budget stretch to it. We came across another florist just before you who offered us a nice package for a lot less money, so we may have to go with that. We’re just so disappointed.”

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Wedding Negotiations Tip #8: But don’t be too nice

While you should always be friendly and try to build a good rapport with the vendor, don’t be a pushover. Irish people are notoriously afraid of negotiating, so break the mould and assert yourself. You may not be getting a big discount from your venue, but asking if they’ll provide a simple signature cocktail for free and an extra room where you can entertain the kids can save you money in other areas.

Wedding Negotiations Tip #9: Play up your positives

Do you book events for your business or is your best man in PR? Is your fiancée a popular blogger or does her bridesmaid have 10,000 followers on Instagram? Word of mouth and social or press promotion are big business for wedding vendors, who often get clients from nice pictures posted on social media or products featured in the Style section. If you or your guests are big influencers, use this as a bargaining chip.

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Wedding Negotiations Tip #10: And remember, you have the advantage

A lot of couples get intimidated by vendors who know the wedding industry inside out and can be very impressive with the lingo and pricing knowledge; however, you and your fiancée are the ones with the money. You can always find another supplier, but you walking away means they lose out on money and also your recommendations.

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