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Just Said Yes September 2023

How to get vendors to believe your budget?

Abigail, on March 13, 2023 at 1:24 PM Posted in Planning 0 5

Hi there - getting married in September and we cannot get a single vendor to quote us anything close to our budget. I'm doing my best to be clear and direct (telling a florist up front our budget is $3000), but folks are coming back with "can you be flexible on that?" (florist quoted me $4000) or in the case of catering, it's just an estimate that's literally twice more than the range I gave them. Then when I say that won't work for us, they ask, "well what's your max budget?" as if I hadn't already given them numbers. It feels like I'm being gaslit left and right. I'm reckoning with the fact that it's just an expensive time to get married and we'll likely have to be flexible in some areas, but in many cases we can't afford to go any more over budget than we already have.

Are there secret phrases people use to get lower quotes? Any haggling tips to get vendors to cut costs? I'm not asking for ways to save money per se (our venue requires us to use one of their catering partners, so we can't throw a barbeque), but how to communicate more clearly with vendors to get the responses I need. Also let me know if others are in the same boat because I feel insane.


Latest activity by Brandeykael, on March 16, 2023 at 8:04 AM
  • Jonswife
    Beginner June 2023
    Jonswife ·
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    I am getting married this June and I didn’t use anyone. I did have a venue but they just backed out now looking to do something on my budge. I did my own flowers, cheap wise. What you can do is shown them you budge that way they will believe you. I walked into places and talked to them.

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  • Lisa
    Rockstar July 2022
    Lisa ·
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    You might have more luck by phrasing it as something like, "Do you have any packages that would work with a max budget of [amount]?" That way, they can try to create a customized package to be as close to your budget as possible. As a few examples: the caterer might have a cheaper tier of entrees to choose from, or they may be willing to do a cheaper package that has two appetizer options instead of four. The florist can suggest different in-season flowers that are cheaper to help fit your budget. The photographer might be willing to remove the second shooter to keep the package within budget. Look for things in their existing packages that you don't need, and try to negotiate a lower price with those specific services removed.
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  • V
    Rockstar July 2019
    Veronica ·
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    So when we were talking with our wedding venue who provided catering I asked about creating a custom package. All of their standard packages were plated and over our budget but they were able to create a custom package that was buffet and within our budget. Have you reached out to all of their different caterers or only one? Maybe reach out to a few of them and ask if they have packages for what they offer and see if any of the packages are within your price range. As for floral you might have to pick a different florist who is going to be within your budget because if he or she is already $1,000 it's going to be difficult to get her to come down unless you cut back on what you are asking for or see if there are cheap flowers options than whatever flowers she's quoting you for. For example I love roses which I knew were a more expensive flower and one florist tried telling me she could do it for less but not with roses. She recommended tulips or something else instead but I wanted roses so I was okay with spending more.
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  • Cece
    Rockstar November 2023
    Cece ·
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    I would go through the vendors proposals, and see what you can modify or cut out in order to fit your budget. Then I would go back to the vendor and say this is my absolute maximum budget with ZERO wiggle room. Then you can make suggestions to cut or modify things that you don’t find necessary. For example, with catering maybe you could cut back on the amount of hors d’oeuvres during cocktail hour or replace steak with chicken, etc. For the florist, this should be really easy. If you are wanting big, elaborate floral displays, either cut them out or scale them back significantly. Make floral centerpieces at tables smaller. Replace expensive flowers with cheaper ones that are the same color. A good florist should easily be able to suggest modifications and replacements to put you within your budget.

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  • C
    CM ·
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    You'd hold firm. When they come back and ask you what your budget is or quote a package above your stated price range remind them that exceeds your previously stated maximum and won't work for you. You may have to repeat this exercise a few times before they believe you are serious. Once they are convinced there's no more room to negotiate they will either work with you or let you know it can't be done at the level you wanted or at all for that price. At that point you'd have to explore other options or vendors.

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