Budget Basics: Negotiating Tactics
There's nothing wrong with negotiating; it's all about how you do it. When negotiating with your vendors, try to look at the whole package.
If a vendor comes up with an initial budget that exceeds your limitations, attempting to break the costs down bit by bit will only alienate the vendor and frustrate you.
It's much more amicable to explain that the estimate is more than you can spend. Then, ask the vendor to offer suggestions on how to reduce the cost.
Vendors will often come up with creative solutions you may have never considered. Working together, you'll be able to trim the budget without cutting back on those items that are most important to you and your fiancé.
Maybe you'll serve only three appetizers instead of six during cocktail hour. Maybe your family and friends aren't interested in wine and would be perfectly happy with a classic cocktail like a martini, gimlet or mint julep.
If the vendor's estimate comes in slightly higher than the limit you specified, be gracious and explain that you have to stick to your budget.