Negotiate Wedding Venue Financially Engaged

Pick a Date and Negotiate!

Now that you and your fiancé know how much money you have to plan your dream wedding, you can start negotiating with wedding vendors!

We got engaged in April, 2017, with hopes of getting married in the summer of 2018, so we immediately started contacting wedding venues and vendors (i.e., photographers, videographers, florists, DJ’s, etc.).

Knowing that families throw a lot of money into weddings, vendors aren’t shy about listing premium prices. Therefore, you shouldn’t be shy about getting creative in your negotiations with them. Here are some of the ways we negotiated with wedding vendors to save money:

Ask for a discount if you pay in full right away

Example #1: Our wedding venue required us to pay a $2,500 deposit to reserve our date with the remainder of the bill due within a few weeks of the wedding. We asked if we could pay the full deposit right away in exchange for a discount. They agreed and gave us $250 off the price of our venue.

Example #2: Our wedding photographer offered us $200 off of wedding prints if we paid in full, up front.

Obviously this all depends on what funds you have available. We utilized our easy-to-use savings and wedding templates to ensure we had the money available to take advantage of these deals.

Pay in cash and ask for the credit card processing fees as a discount

Vendors would rather make you happy than the credit card companies. Paying in cash can result in a win-win.

For example, if you pay $1,000 to a vendor and put it on your credit card, the vendor typically has to pay a 2-3% credit card fee to the credit card processor.

$1,000 x 97% = $970 in the vendor’s pocket

If instead, you pay the vendor cash in exchange for the 3% discount off your invoice, the vendor will still receive $970 ($1000-$30 discount) and you save $30!

Maximize the value of credit card rewards

If vendor’s don’t offer a large enough cash discount or you decide credit is the way you want to pay, ensure you’re using the card with the best rewards. Being smart with credit can lead to free flights/hotels or 1-2% cash back, which can make that honeymoon even more enjoyable!

If you go with this route, make sure you can pay your entire credit card balance each month. Plan ahead and make sure you have the funds available!

Also, don’t open more credit cards than you plan to consistently use going forward. For most people, 2-3 cards is sufficient. More than this can become difficult to manage and can cause some people to overspend.

Keep an eye out for some of our future posts on our favorite credit cards and rewards. In the meantime, check out these sites for some great resources:

  1. https://www.creditcards.com/
  2. https://thepointsguy.com/

Find a venue that will allow you to supply your own alcohol (BYOB)

Unfortunately, the days of $1-2 beers at college bars are behind us — especially when it comes to weddings. These days, many venues require drink and food minimums to be met in addition to paying a large fee for the venue itself. Also, if you go with an open bar, the tab can add up quick!

Our venue was relatively new and was phasing out a BYOB option. Since we had a goal of having an open bar, we made a special request to get grandfathered in under the old BYOB option.

Instead of paying $10-$15 a drink, we can now go to Costco, buy the alcohol in bulk (for WAY cheaper than what it would cost to pay a venue to supply it), and our venue will supply two bartenders to serve the alcohol to our guests. As an added bonus, we can return any unopened alcohol to Costco after the wedding, which takes out some of the guesswork.

These are just a few of the many ways we’ve been getting creative when working with vendors! Download our free Wedding Vendor Tracker to easily compare vendors and keep everything organized!

Questions

Have you had success in negotiating with vendors? Any favorite credit cards that you used when making big purchases? Comment and let us know!

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