Tips to Negotiate a Vendor Contract

According to a Wedding Planner

Wondering what aspects of your wedding vendor contracts are negotiable? Get perspective and advice from a wedding planner on approaching a contract negotiation respectfully.

Is it ever appropriate to negotiate a contract with a wedding vendor? Here are some tips to make this a helpful and healthy conversation for all involved.

Are you thinking about negotiating your

vendor contracts?

Let’s start with whether it’s even appropriate to ask. Short answer: Yes, it is appropriate. Long answer: How you ask matters. Are you coming from a place of hostility and scarcity, or a place of empathy and abundance? What’s the context that is prompting you to make this request?

How you ask matters.

Because we live in a world where we’re constantly being asked to do everything yesterday, we highly recommend that you set a deadline for any request you make regarding potential changes to a contract. For example, “Ideally, we would hear back from you within the next week.”

Set a deadline.

Couples often forget how much power they have when it comes to their own wedding. This is particularly true when it comes to interviewing and hiring vendors. You are, in many ways, an employer now. You are somebody’s boss. Please wield this power responsibly.

Wield your power responsibly.

Sometimes, couples will want to swap out different services from a vendor. If it’s something you’re interested in negotiating, you can ask — with empathy and knowing that the answer could be “no.”

Can you swap out different services?

If you get a number back that doesn’t make sense or have any context attached, we encourage you to ask where that number came from.  You can always ask a vendor why they charge what they charge.

What about negotiating price?

Wedding vendors feel more empowered to tell people “no” when negotiating due to a backlog of weddings caused by the pandemic.  Couples can expect to hear “no” more often than if you’d planned a wedding five years ago. 

Be prepared to hear “no.”

Learn more about negotiating your wedding vendor contracts in the blog post!