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Brides Ask Why: “Why Should I Be Honest with Vendors About My Budget?”

Often, Brides are surprised that vendors insist on knowing their budget for a particular service before providing a proposal.

Brides ask me: “Why should I tell a vendor my budget?”

My answer: “You should be honest about your budget so you can save time and get what you want.”

Let’s remember the goal of the proposal gathering process: to hire the vendor that’s the best fit for your wedding. This applies with every element of the wedding from catering to entertainment to photography to transportation.

Because you’re a busy Bride with limited spare time, you want to make decisions as efficiently as possible and because the vendor you’re interviewing respects your time, they want to make the process simple and straightforward as well.

When a vendor knows your budget for their service, he or she is able to suggest only what you can afford.

This is incredibly important.

With no budget guideline, you may be left in “sticker shock” when you see your proposal price, and this can usually be avoided with an honest and up front conversation before a formal proposal is written. Sticker shock isn’t the only danger of a budget-less proposal. You may become attached to those beautifully described elements and be left very disappointed when you can’t afford them.

Of course, your vision, style, inspiration and personal requests are equally as important as your budget. But ultimately, if you receive the proposal for your dream menu, tablescape, or lighting design and it doesn’t fit within your budget, then the vendor will need to revise your proposal and remove or adjust elements to get to your ideal bottom line.

That revision process takes more time. And, isn’t it best for you to see a grand total that lands in your “budget happy place” sooner rather than later?

There is also a possibility that the vendor you’re considering isn’t able to offer you the services you need within the price range you want to pay. Don’t be embarrassed about telling someone that you just can’t afford their prices. If the vendor isn’t a fit for you, that’s okay! It’s better to know this early in your planning process so you can consider other vendors that are a better match.

My suggestion to all Brides is to remember to focus on getting the information needed to make a decision and not stalling in “proposal la-la land”. I know how tempting it is to spend hours showing your florist swoon-worthy images of three thousand phaleonopsis orchids suspended from the ceiling. But remember, unless you’re prepared for that expense, this is not a step toward your goal of signing a proposal that fits your vision AND budget.

Occasionally I’ve heard clients say that they feel if they share their real budget number, then the vendor will “use up all the money”, and I want to address that fear. Hiring the right vendor means hiring someone you trust. You should feel that person is on your team and working for you with your best interest at heart.

If at any point you feel like you’re going to be “swindled” or you feel pressured in a used car salesman fashion, you’re in the wrong place. Remember, your florist or caterer is not going to reach into your purse and take your money. As the client, you’re in control. You commit to paying an agreed upon price for their services, and you should feel happy and confident making that commitment.

If this post has your head spinning and it sounds like budgeting and selecting the right vendors is a full time job, it is!  My job!  If you would like to schedule a complimentary consultation or you just have a few questions, e-mail me: Leah@EEPEvents.com.

You can also learn more about us on our website.

Happy Planning!

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Photo Credit: Laura Stone, ArtStar Photography

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