Negotiating prices with wedding vendors

A couple's wedding day is likely to be the most expensive party they ever host. The average cost of a wedding is $33,931, according to The Knot's 2019 Real Wedding Study. However that final cost can vary widely depending on where the wedding is held. In fact, in 2019, New Jersey was the most expensive state for getting hitched, at an average cost of $53,400, followed closely by Rhode Island at $49,800. The average cost of a Canadian wedding, according to the lifestyle resource Slice, is around $31,000.

Engaging in a dialogue with prospective vendors can help couples curtail the cost of their weddings. That's especially so during the pandemic, as so many businesses have faced financial uncertainty due to the global pandemic. Vendors who already have been operating under less-than-ideal circumstances may be more flexible with their pricing schedules. Then again, struggling business may have to increase prices to cover losses. Negotiation may be necessary as couples look to get married without breaking the bank.

Be open and honest

Negotiating with vendors should not be mistaken for aggressive haggling as one might do at a garage sale or auction. Rather, it's more about having a discussion about what can be modified to work with the budget. A vendor may not be able to dramatically drop his price, but may be accommodating in another respect. For example, florists may be able to throw in an extra floral arrangement or a DJ may agree to stick around for an extra hour at no additional cost.

Be gracious

Letting a vendor know you're a fan of their work or have received glowing recommendations from past customers may make them more inclined to work with you if the budget doesn't quite align with the pricing.

Find work-arounds

Even if the price seems out of reach, there are ways to negotiate with vendors to get things close and where all parties are in agreement. For example, a florist may be able to make suggestions on another type of bloom that looks similar to the desired flower but at a fraction of the cost.

Vendors may be willing to discount some costs if the couple handles some of the work themselves, such as picking up and delivering materials to the reception or ceremony sites or handling alterations.

Couples should speak freely with wedding vendors and discuss what they can spend after some careful research in regard to what standard services and products cost.

The Herald