Friday, January 17, 2014

SG Wedding Guru: What Singapore brides should negotiate for in their bridal package

With the rising cost of weddings in Singapore, led by sky-rise banquet prices, Singapore brides need to stretch their wedding dollar. In the entire wedding process, the only place that a bride has an advantage is when negotiating for her wedding package. Savvy brides can, on average, literally save $3,000 just by knowing what to ask for.
However, before we begin, it is important to note that bridal boutiques are businesses. And as a business, its sole purpose is to make money for their owners. Hence, if you push or demand too much, it will make you an unprofitable client and the boutique will unlikely give in to your requests. Some have even turned the client away as she is simply too "expensive" to serve. It is therefore important to negotiate, but not to go overboard in your requests.
The key to negotiating with bridal boutiques is understanding their costs of goods. This is important because wedding boutiques will usually make concessions in areas where their costs are low (the only exception being for their wedding photo albums, as this is their main source of profits). Hence, by focusing on low cost items which you need, you can significantly increase the "value" of your wedding package without paying extra.
For ease of explanation, I have created 3 categorizes for your reference:

Category A (concessions which the boutiques are likely to agree to, and which will help you significantly stretch your wedding dollar)

- Free use of ready-made men’s suit for the best man or fathers of the bride and groom.
- Free use of additional ready-made evening gown for the bride’s maid or mothers of the bride and groom.
- Free use of the “Kwa” for the Tea Ceremony.
- Free use of accessories for the actual day.
- Free trial by actual day make-up artists.
- Free false eye-lashes, facial toners and wash.
- No additional surcharge for early make-up.
- Extra corsages for the bridal party.
- Extra car decorations for the accompanying cars.
- Upgrade in album size (although you must note that additional prints for larger sized albums costs more).
- Up to 4 additional prints free for the wedding albums.
- Up to 2 extra 8” x 10” table-tops free.
- Free out-door photography session.
- Return of all digital files of selected prints.
Category B (concessions which the boutiques are unwilling to give, but will allow you to stretch your dollar)

- Fix the price of addition prints including volume discount.
- Free use of bridal car for the wedding day.
- Free upgrade of the bridal car to the latest model.
- Free portrait upgrade to 20” x 24”.
- Free actual day photographer inclusive of 4R prints.
- No surcharge for weddings over two days.
Category C (concessions which the boutiques are willing to offer, which appear attractive on the surface but does not actually help you stretch your dollar)

- Make-to-measure men’s suit. This is not really necessary as men’s suit do not vary that much in design. It is better to choose one off-the-rack and ask for other concessions.
- Wedding gown to keep. This offer is of little value to you, as chances are you will not touch the gown again after your wedding.
- Free make-to-measure tea dress. This is also unnecessary as you can always negotiate to use the Chinese “Kwa” for the traditional Tea Ceremony.
- All digital files of selected prints. This is not as attractive as you think. As once you have selected a print for the album, you are unlikely to develop more of the same.
- 8” x 10” Table-tops. A common misconception is that these can be selected above and beyond those selected for the album. Unfortunately, the choice is usually restricted to those selected for the album.
- Free upgrade in album size. As mentioned earlier, the larger the size, the higher the costs of the additional prints.
In summary, it is important to constantly keep in mind your exact requirements and negotiate only for what you need (and this includes trading what you don't need). By being savvy and asking for low costs items, the bride can significantly increase the true value of her wedding package.

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