I found this blog post the other day by an event planning business called Reverie out of Hamilton, New Jersey. I thought it would be a great post to share with you about negotiating with your wedding vendors and the view point from a wedding planner:
Negotiating with your Wedding Professionals.
It’s not often that I post something ‘negative’ in nature, so I was hesitant to blog about this after mapping out the idea in my head. But this is a topic that is so near and dear to my heart, and there is so much contradicting information floating around out there on the web. In my own little corner of the internet, I wanted to share my thoughts on the subject of negotiating with your wedding professionals. It may make me different from other planners, but who ever said I had to be the same?
I received an inquiry last week from a bride and groom who were eager to book me to plan and design their wedding. The bride had been following my blog and social media, and she knew I was The One before even meeting me. Awesome! This is what I love to hear.
So I asked her the same question I ask all potential clients: “Why do you need a wedding planner?” Her reply was this:
“Well, we really need someone to negotiate on our behalf to get us the best deals possible. We have some wedding professionals in mind but I don’t know if we can afford them without some help.”
WHOA. Stop the train. I couldn’t even find the words to reply for a few seconds, which felt like minutes. I wrapped up the conversation and told her I’d get back to her. I didn’t feel that we were a good fit in the end, and I told her that via e-mail, as graciously as I could. When it comes to screening clients, my gut instinct has always, always been right. So I tend to go with it.
As many of you know, I just spent the past six months working toward a re-brand that I feel truly encompasses the style, philosophy, and love behind Reverie Events. Not once during that process did I want to appear like the Priceline Negotiator.
The truth is, we value everyone we work with when we plan a wedding. The clients, the clients’ families, and last but certainly not least, their carefully curated wedding professional team. When we set out to plan a wedding, we match our couples’ style, personalities, and budget to whom we feel would be the best wedding pros for them. Wedding pros we trust. Wedding pros we’ve worked with on a number of weddings prior, and will continue to work with for years to come.
Let’s say you read reviews for local day spas and everyone seems to rave about XYZ Spa. You walk in, you love the ambience, and you decide that you want to get a massage there. But a massage is $100 for an hour, and you think that’s a bit steep. Would you go up to the front desk and explain that you really want to book their services, but you’d like them to offer them to you for $75, instead?
No, you wouldn’t. Because that would be offensive. You trust that the spa is pricing their services accordingly, and that you’re going to get an AMAZING massage for that money.
Even if you were daring enough to TRY to negotiate the price of your massage, the owner might look at you, confused, and explain that their massages are priced accordingly for the services rendered. The reason they charge more is because they have comfy, heated massage tables, a paraffin wrap for your feet during your massage, aromatherapy, and the use of the sauna, whirlpool, showers, lockers, and little snacks and cucumber water while you rest on a chaise, flipping through a magazine. If you want to pay $75 an hour, you can go down the street to ABC Spa where there is no locker room; you unrobe right in your massage room and there are no showers or paraffin wraps. Both companies are pricing their services accordingly, because both companies know their market and how their services compare to others.
The same holds true for the wedding industry. Your wedding professionals didn’t pull their pricing out of thin air. Proper pricing comes from years of experience and past reflection on the amount of work done for past clients. Your photographer looked back on past weddings and realized that to shoot a wedding, hire a second shooter, spend hours editing the photos; to keep a website up and running, pay rent for a meeting space, and to keep their equipment updated, they needed to charge $xxxx for their services. Your band, your DJ, your floral designer; everyone carefully calculates what they charge in order to continue delivering the standard of service they choose to offer.
Your wedding professional team will be like your family on your wedding day. They’ll be participating in the best, most emotional, most personal day of your life. In return, they’re giving you their heart and soul. Their very best shot at your dream wedding. And they’ll work hard for you because they feel valued.
So when you hire a wedding planner, hire a planner that will give you your ‘Best Wedding’. Whatever that means to you. If it’s the ‘cheapest wedding’, then Reverie Events isn’t the best fit. But if it’s a wedding designed around love with AMAZING photos, killer floras, little details that will make your guests smile and memories that far exceed your wildest expectations, then we truly look forward to receiving your call. We’ll connect you with a team of wedding professionals with the same exact passion, heart, and soul. In life– and especially in the wedding industry– you get what you pay for.
As they say, you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar. And because of our respect for our fellow wedding professionals, they respect us right back. Because of that, maybe– just maybe– you’ll get a free e-session from the photographer we hook you up with, or a comped cocktail hour from the DJ who will have you on the dance floor the entire night. Because in the end, there is value in feeling valued.