Master February 2015

Vendor negotiating without insulting

LetItSnow, on January 14, 2014 at 10:31 AM Posted in Etiquette and Advice 0 32
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My #1 choice photographer is $1000 out of budget. I really want to try to negotiate with her to get her closer to my budget. I'll try the whole out of season thing but she quoted me knowing my date already. How did you negotiate with vendors without insulting their skills?


  • TheOGJesse's Girl
    Master March 2014
    TheOGJesse's Girl ·

    I never negotiated... I just kinda took their price for what it was and if I didn't or couldn't afford it, I kept looking.

  • AndreaLily
    Master October 2013
    AndreaLily ·

    My photographer was priced at $4,800. After speaking to them on the phone and hearing the prices I told them how sorry I was for wasting their time, I really wanted them to shoot our wedding but they just weren't in our budget. They asked what our budget was, I said $2,500 and he said done. He did it for that price. Stick to your guns! I would have paid a lot more for him, but I just didn't want to!

  • Nancy Taussig
    October 2019
    Nancy Taussig ·

    Tell her you really LOVE her portfolio. Explain your budget and ask HER for suggestions on how to meet it. It may mean skipping 2 hours of "getting ready" pics or her leaving the reception after the cake cutting (how many pics do you need of your friends dancing?). She knows how much she needs to make and where she can cut out extras.

  • Nonna T
    Master April 2014
    Nonna T ·

    "I really admire your talent and realize your time and skills are valuable. However, the amounts quoted are over our budget, unfortunately. Might you have a package that would work with our parameters? If not, we understand as I am sure you do as well. We would greatly appreciate hearing from you!"

  • ChampagneTaste
    VIP September 2014
    ChampagneTaste ·

    Squeaky wheel gets the oil! No harm in asking politely.

  • Anisea
    Master July 2014
    Anisea ·

    Via email, and keep the email short. Super short. Our budget is $$$ and we would love to work with you in that range, let me know if that is an option for an off season wedding, thanks

  • ChampagneTaste
    VIP September 2014
    ChampagneTaste ·

    Tina. Nailed it.

  • John Conner
    October 2019
    John Conner ·

    I like Tina, and Nancy's suggestion. Put the ball in their court and see if they will work with you.

  • Out the Window
    Master May 2014
    Out the Window ·

    Just tell them what your budget is and see what parts of the package they can remove. The worst they can say is no.

    FWIW - my videographer wanted 1/3 payment as deposit and 2/3 before the wedding. Since I'm still expecting him to edit my video, I didn't think I should be paying him the full amount before I actually receive my final edited video. I was polite and in my request:

    "I would feel more comfortable if I gave you 1/3 deposit to hold the date

    1/3 deposit before the wedding - at an agreed date

    1/3 final payment after the video was received.

    I'm just not fully comfortable with paying for the remaining balance before the actual product was finalized."

    And he agreed. 1/3 deposit, 1/3 of balance due a week before my wedding date, and 1/3 when the product is delivered.

  • Blondie123
    Super July 2014
    Blondie123 ·

    LOL- I tried negotiating with our wedding photographer, but it didn't work- probably because our wedding date was one of the only dates he had open- meaning he was almost booked. He was $500 above our budget, and I asked if he would match our budget, he said no. I said we met him at a wedding show, and he had a special at it, and could we get that even though it was expired (we couldn't book him right away because we weren't sure of the venue or date yet), and he said no. LOL! But, when they are popular, they can stick to their guns too. I mean, I could have gone with a smaller package, but I really wanted that package, and I was way too picky to find a different photographer (I was ready to go out of state because I couldn't find anyone I liked within our price range, which wasn't small), so we went with him. I certainly don't regret it though :-)

  • LadyMonk
    Master September 2014
    LadyMonk ·

    I like Nancy T's suggestion. Be sure to say that you love their work (I assume you do!) and it never hurts to be honest and say that it's a bit over your budget but you really would love to work with them and see what ideas they might have. I don't think it would offend me if I were a pro photographer, as long as you sound genuine and sincere.

  • KristenMeowza
    Master October 2014
    KristenMeowza ·

    Sing their praises about how much you love their work and you're trying to find a way to hire them, but you also have a budget to consider. Ask if they are having any monthly specials or any kind of coupon or discount that you could use. Tell them exactly what your budget it. Say something like, "I have a max budget of $X for photographer, is there anyway you could work with us?" Reiterate that you REALLY want to hire them and want their business.

    I've really had to haggle lately with caterers and I just come right out and say what our budget is and ask if that's something they can work with. Most of the time they will fudge their numbers to try to accommodate you.

  • L
    Master February 2015
    LetItSnow ·

    Amanda-Kiora- Who is your photographer? I'm also in Edmonton.

    Thanks everyone! I'm a chicken when it comes to this stuff so any encouragement is great!

  • Kari  Taggard
    October 2019
    Kari Taggard ·

    Draft an email if you don't feel comfortable face to face or on the phone. Nancy has some great suggestions. I'm sure the issue has come up for them before, and they may have some suggestion so on how you can reduce the cost.

  • Laura
    Dedicated September 2014
    Laura ·

    Do you mind me asking who you are looking to use, LetItSnow? I have a great Edmonton photographer who was quite reasonably priced, if you end up looking for someone else!

  • Matthew McDermott
    October 2019
    Matthew McDermott ·

    As a wedding vendor (although not in the photography space) I always appreciate a couple being up front about a barrier to moving forward with a particular package, whether it's budgetary or otherwise. If it is out in the open I can respond to it and decide if it is something I am willing and able to address or if I politely decline and allow the couple to find another provider that is a better fit.

    For your photographer, I'd be honest about what you have to work with and see if perhaps there are things you can remove to meet your budget. IMO simply asking her to do the same work for xx% less is not the way to go.

    On the other hand, each couple has priorities when planning their wedding. Some want better food and are willing to dial back on decor items, for instance, to afford it. If you really like her work, perhaps there are other areas you could do in a more affordable manner to make this photographer's price work within your overall budget.

  • M
    Master May 2014
    MizizAngi ·

    I know photographers are "artists" and can be a little touchy about their talent, but this worked for me with a caterer. He quoted me XX/pp and when I said I was budgeted for more like XX/pp, he gave me another menu option in my price range. When all is said and done, business is business and it never hurts to negotiate.

  • L
    Master February 2015
    LetItSnow ·

    I'm looking at Jessica Fern Facette. I LOVE her work but she is $4000 and I budgeted $2500, since scrapped the limo completely to afford up to $3000. Fingers crossed we can work something out!

  • M
    Master August 2014
    Miss S. ·

    I don't really negotiate because I am a firm believer that you pay what you can afford. However, you might want to look at her package and see if there are extras that she is willing to take out to lower the cost.

  • No One
    Expert February 2015
    No One ·

    Tina's response is perfect. Everything in life is negotiable, biggest rule my mom every taught me

    I once ended up getting paid to stay in Vegas for a weekend and got upgrade to a really nice suite because I negotiated and then left rave reviews of the place on all forms of social media and travel sites. They gave me $500 in casino credit and $500 in restaurant certificates. And that was negotiating with a big corp.

    You can totally knock $1000 off your budget

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