We women know the value of a good deal. Imagine that you work for an advertising agency and you’ve been tasked with sourcing a company to print 100,000 embossed brochures. You research, talk with various printers about pricing and check the quality of their service with previous clients. Finally, you weigh up the value-per-dollar that each printer can provide your agency. Then you start to negotiate with your top choices.

Maybe they’re willing to bring their prices down. Perhaps they will add benefits like express shipping to their services if they know they’ll snag your agency as a client.

You can apply just such money-saving tactics to your wedding planning!

A wedding is an exciting but often expensive occasion. The bill for the banquet alone may come in between SGD 30,000 and SGD 50,000. Photography and videography services may cost between SGD 2,000 and SGD 10,000, while the price of your wedding bands can range from SGD 2,000 to SGD 10,000.

Negotiate With Wedding Vendors

Given these huge expenses, it’s important for you and your groom to know how to properly and politely negotiate with wedding vendors to get packages offering the best deal. If you know how to negotiate with wedding vendors, you may not have to break into your savings account in order to have your dream wedding come true.

  • Compare the range of services and costs of different vendors.

Don’t be too quick to commit to any particular wedding vendor or package. Shop around first and check out all available options before making any final decisions. To make things easier and better organised, use a spreadsheet to compile a list of wedding suppliers in your area, their available services and their quotes. This can also give you an idea of how much your dream wedding will cost, and can help you prepare a budget for it.

Bride and groom holding his hands

  • Ask vendors if they can match their competitors’ rates.

Once you have a comparative list of wedding vendors, their services and their prices, you can ask each vendor outright if they can match a lower quote you got from a competitor. This negotiation technique can help you get a sweeter discount from your preferred wedding vendor even during peak season.

  • Be clear about your budget, and stick with it.

Be honest with a wedding vendor about your budget, especially if you have a limited one. Sharing information about your budget with the vendor can help her propose a suitable package for your price range.

By making sure that you, your groom, your wedding planners and vendors are all on the same page regarding your budget and your expectations, you will avoid disappointment and stick to the spending limits you’ve set for yourselves.

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  • Be flexible with your requests.

If you are willing to give up a few less important services, a wedding vendor may be able to significantly slash his prices for a package. For example, you might pick a wedding date during a less busy season to get a discount on a high-end venue. Alternatively, choose a mid-range venue during the busy season. A catering vendor may also be able to give you a discount on the appetisers if you can be flexible with your choice of main course. Work together with your vendors to get better deals.

  • If discounts cannot be given, ask for additional benefits.

If you really want to cater to over five hundred guests at a high-end hotel during the busy season, you can expect your wedding costs to be huge. Your wedding vendor may not be able to do much to bring the costs down, but you’d not be out of line to request some additional free benefits. This may include a complimentary meal, free pick-up and drop-off services or additional prints in the wedding album.

Kiasu Bride lists a couple more freebies that you may want to consider requesting from your wedding vendor when negotiating: . Even without a huge discount, you can get more value for money on food, transport and photography services by merely asking for some freebies to be thrown in.

  • Consider paying in full.

If you can afford to pay the wedding vendor in full on the spot, make sure you make this known right off the bat. It may then be easier to convince suppliers to give you a huge discount or some great extra benefits.

  • Be polite.

You’ve heard the saying “You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.” Very true. A lot of wedding vendors will be willing to go out of their way to fulfill the requests of a sweet, polite bride. If, however, you morph into a harsh and demanding bridezilla, you’ll more than likely get a very clear invitation to go and look for someone else to hire.

  • Know when to stop negotiating.

If the vendor has already refused to slash prices or to add incentives to your package, it would be best to move on. Repeatedly asking a wedding supplier to give in to your requests, especially when the vendor is not in a position to do so, will be a waste of time for both of you.

Planning for Your Wedding Budget in Singapore

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C.E.O @ The New Savvy
Anna Haotanto is passionate about finance, education, women empowerment and children’s issues. Anna has been featured in CNBC, Forbes, The Straits Times, Business Insider, INC and The Peak Singapore. She was nominated and selected for FORTUNE Most Powerful Women conference in 2016 (Asia) and 2015 (San Francisco, Next Gen). Anna has 10 years of experience in the financial sector and is currently a Director in Tera Capital. Her previous work experience includes positions at Citigroup, United Overseas Bank, a regional role in Business Monitor and a boutique private equity firm based in Shanghai. She graduated from Singapore Management University (Finance and Quantitative Finance).