As you’re planning your wedding, one of the questions you inevitably ask yourself is, can I negotiate wedding prices?
Because well, you’re trying to save money where you can.
And I get it! But, the answer to whether or not you can negotiate is more complicated than a yes or no.
Because negotiating wedding prices is situational.
It really depends on how serious you are about the venue or vendor and what you’re asking for.
You do not want to ask a vendor if they’ll lower their prices just to ask. Just like how you wouldn’t go into a store and ask if they would sell you a T-shirt for less than advertised.
But, if you know you want to book a certain venue or vendor and it’s a little over your budget, you can try to work with them on pricing.
Expressing your sincere interest and desire to work with them and sharing your situation can allow for a conversation to happen.
They might be able to adjust something to bring the pricing down to meet your budget. Or be able to throw something in that will allow you to get more for your money.
The key with negotiating wedding prices is that you have to start the conversation with true intentions and actually move forward if they are able to accommodate you.
Now most of the time negotiation happens before you sign the contract.
But, in these Coronavirus times, things are a little different…
Negotiating Wedding Prices During COVID
COVID has upended everything. Everything is a little weird and different now.
Wedding businesses are operating differently. Weddings are being planned differently. And your financial situation may be different as well.
So, while previous negotiating guidelines still apply in Coronavirus times, circumstances are different.
Because everything is up in the air!
We don’t know when a vaccine or treatment will be available. We don’t know when things will be “better”.
And as long as gatherings are a major source of spread of COVID, nothing is for certain.
Wedding dates aren’t certain. Wedding plans aren’t certain. And thus, even wedding businesses like your venue and vendors, aren’t certain.
What used to be and how things used to operate, in many cases no longer applies right now.
Deposits, payments, pricing, and terms have all had to become more flexible given the unprecedented situation.
So that also changes negotiation.
What You Can Negotiate During COVID
So, what can you negotiate?
While I don’t want to say anything (because that’s not true), almost any situation you may find yourself in right now is something you might be able to negotiate.
Here are some examples.
For your current contracted venue and vendors…
Do you have a scheduled upcoming payment in 2020? If your wedding was postponed and you can’t swing the payment, you could ask about postponing it.
Worried about rates going up with a postponement to 2021 or 2022? You could discuss how to keep the current rates. Making a payment now might be good solution to that.
Changing your wedding date to a weekday or an off season date? You could ask about a possible rate change.
Are you getting married now? Or getting married now and celebrating later? You could discuss some bulk pricing or an adjustment.
Downsizing your wedding? You could ask about reducing your total bill or reallocating the funds. Keep in mind that any minimums will still need to be met.
For your potential venue or vendors…
You could ask about flexibility with changing dates, payment schedules, proposals, and what’s provided.
And when it comes to negotiating wedding prices, especially if you’re booking something in the near future, rates are definitely up in the air.
Because every wedding venue’s and vendor’s schedule has been wiped clean for at least 2020. This provides a unique opportunity both for you and the venue or vendor.
How To Negotiate Wedding Pricing During COVID
Negotiation is partly about asking and partly about power.
The saying, “You won’t know, unless you ask” is true when it comes to negotiating. That is part of what you need, just to ask.
But remember, don’t just ask to ask. There still has to be true intention and the right situation.
So, ask. But, be respectful.
Make sure you have sincere intentions and the situation is something where you either need that pricing break or you need something to feel comfortable.
Now, when it comes to power, we’re talking about negotiating power. And the question right now is, do you have the power?
And the answer is yes and no.
Wedding businesses are struggling.
Everyone from your venue to your florist to your sign maker is struggling. Because all of their income has essentially been erased or pushed.
So, they’re more flexible. Which does give you some power.
But given all the postponements, future dates in 2021 and 2022 are in high demand. So, you’ll have less power there.
If you’re planning something soon, you’ll have more power and vendors will be more flexible.
If you’re planning for a wedding in the coming years, you’ll have less power, but vendors are trying to be flexible to help everyone.
So, assess your situation, ask only if appropriate and be respectful.
But, please don’t forget that in order for these businesses to stay in business and support your wedding down the road, they need to be supported now.
Like restaurants and other businesses, they need your help and patronage as well.
While it’s easy to be focused on your financial situation, don’t forget about theirs!
So, as you’re negotiating or coming up with a compromise, think about what can help them now. Like paying in full.
This will help with the conversation and may end up being a win-win for both sides.
Negotiating wedding prices can be tricky in the best of times, but with COVID everything has changed. Use these tips and advice to help you navigate and negotiate your wedding.
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