Negotiating from abroad?

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ElleJay24 Posts : 17 Registered: 1/11/10
Negotiating from abroad?
Posted: Jun 1, 2010 5:20 PM

Hey all,

I didn't know whether to post this in "planning" or in "destination weddings" so correct me if I have the wrong forum!

I'm planning a wedding ceremony in Athens, Greece on New Years Day 2011. A couple problems have come up during the process, one of which is the trouble finding any info on weddings in the city. It seems all tourist websites, destination wedding guides and blogs are all about getting married on the Greek ISLANDS - not in the city of Athens. I have my heart set on Athens, and am fortunate enough to have been there and I know the city a bit in order to choose a venue, etc.

Here's where I am right now: After contacting a bunch of hotels in the area that have rooftop terraces with views of the Acropolis etc. I finally found one that would both allow me to have my ceremony (some places would not, due to my being non-orthodox) and will set up and serve a light meal and drinks to my guests afterwards. For my suite for two nights (we'll be staying at a cheaper hotel for the rest of the trip), the space for 20 guests for ceremony, dinner & drinks afterwards for all the cost is €1,600.00 (or about $1,950 at the current converstion rate). I feel like this is a fair price, considering that the suite is €700 of that price.

ANYWAY - the photographer (who I love and think is amazing) wants €3,200 for his basic plan (9 hours of coverage (including the option to seperate the coverage into two days), DvD, Digital images & a web gallery (no prints included). I think this is just astronomical, but he is an award winning photojournalist and does such an amazing job... I'm really torn. I'd like to keep it at $3,000.00 (€2,400). Is there any advice anyone has on this? How can I approach him without offending him? (Keep in mind that all correspondence
is via email as I live in the states and the time difference doesn't allow us to speak on the phone during normal hours)

One more thing (sorry for the epic post) - I am having lots of trouble finding a hair dresser/makeup artist. I asked the photographer and the hotel for a recommendation but since the hotel does not normally do weddings, they didn't know - and the photog just recommended a planner... Any advice?

LAST - anyone know of a good place to find average wedding cost breakdowns for cities abroad? I've found some for the Greek islands and other popular destination weddings - but no Athens...

THANKS!!

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Negotiating from abroad?
Posted: Jun 2, 2010 1:36 AM Go to message in response to: ElleJay24

Dear Elle,

Such is the problem with negotiating from so far away.

Why in the world would this photographer give you any kind of price break? It isn't like he's going to get all kinds of new business from your friends.

He's going to set a high price, take it or leave it. I'd do exactly the same, if I were in his shoes.

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VšnTillBruden Posts : 353 Registered: 1/16/10
Re: Negotiating from abroad?
Posted: Jun 2, 2010 1:53 AM Go to message in response to: ElleJay24

You can't do much about the photographer's price. If you try to low-ball him, he might end up getting insulted and simply turn you away. As you said, he's an award winning photographer. He can survive if he turns down one wedding due to a penny pinching client. Either pay what he charges, or find a new photographer with a price more in your budget.

As far as the makeup artist and hairdresser, here is a Google link to "Athens Hair Salons":

http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=sv&um=1&ie=UTF-8&q=athens+hairsalon&fb=1&gl=se&hq=hairsalon&hnear=athens&view=text&ei=d_AFTNy5AYGPOM72jLwL&sa=X&oi=local_group&ct=more-results&resnum=1&ved=0CCwQtQMwAA

Try emailing and calling a few places ((I know the time difference sucks - I'm in Sweden, so I'm anywhere from 6 to 9 hours ahead of the rest of my family. I call my mother to say goodnight when I'm getting up and getting ready for class.)) Hair salons are a great way to get matched up with a good makeup artist, so ask every one that you talk to, even if you don't end up picking their salon. If you see a name repeated a few times from various salons, you know you've got a good one. But be prepared. Things in Athens aren't exactly on the cheap side, and if you try to low-ball with the hairdresser, things may go sour. Some greek businesses are okay with haggling ((usually just independent shops)), but NOT ALL OF THEM. It's best not to risk it. ((Quick side note: my friend is a makeup artist, and she's told me several times not try and low-ball a makeup artist, otherwise you'll be walking down the aisle in Mary Kay makeup from home.))

Good luck on your wedding.

Love me when I least deserve it, because that is when I need it the most. (Swedish proverb)

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MagicalMomentsP... Posts : 742 Registered: 3/6/06
Re: Negotiating from abroad?
Posted: Jun 2, 2010 2:19 AM Go to message in response to: VšnTillBruden

but he
is an award winning photojournalist and does such an amazing job


the photographer (who I love and think is amazing) wants
€3,200 for his basic plan (9 hours of coverage (including the option to
seperate the coverage into two days), DvD, Digital images & a web
gallery (no prints included).
.


First and foremost, he's an award winning PJ photographer. He gets what he wants. He is also giving you a break by allowing you to seperate the coverage into two days. Many photographers will charge for the loss of 2nd day of photographing a wedding.

The question you have to ask yourself, will you be happy with somebody else at a lower cost?

Howard Kier, Certified Professional Wedding Photographer

Magical Moments Photography


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Leslie14 Posts : 4 Registered: 5/18/10
Re: Negotiating from abroad?
Posted: Jun 2, 2010 12:36 PM Go to message in response to: MagicalMomentsP...

OP, I am sure you have thought about this, but I figured I mention it anyway--the Euro (vs the dollar) is at a 5-year low right now. Make sure when you are budgeting, you leave room for the Euro to potentially recover a bit (unless you are paying everything up front, of course). I spend a lot of time abroad, and it is really difficult to budget for large amounts in advance since you never know what the exchange rate will be.

Good luck!

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ElleJay24 Posts : 17 Registered: 1/11/10
Re: Negotiating from abroad?
Posted: Jun 2, 2010 2:43 PM Go to message in response to: Leslie14

@auntofthebride - I never thought of it like that! It is true that he wouldn't be getting any business from my friends in this case...What reason DOES he have to negotiate? I do not think he's hurting for business - and would probably not mind spending the holiday with his family instead of with mine.

@MagicMoments - All of his plans include two days of coverage - that is not something that I negotiated into it or asked for. He says he likes to split the coverage so that we get shots around the location as well as during the event. I really like that feature.

@Leslie14 - Of course I realize that. I am indeed considering paying everything now to take advantage of the incredible low.

I think I was nervous to commiting to his price because I wasn't expecting it to be so high. I didn't know if it was normal to negotiate with photographers or not... it makes it a little frustrating when I can't figure out what is the norm over there...

Thanks everyone for the comments!!! Posting on this board is SOOO much more helpful than speaking with my family and friends about it. Everyone is so thoughtful and knowledgeable - I truly appreciate the help! I think that I will go ahead and accept this price he has given me (btw - his last email to me agreed to knock 300 Euro off the price because our party is so small - without me even asking!!) He truly is incredible and I can't wait to work with him!!

Etta Alpha

http://philospouse.blogspot.com/

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ElleJay24 Posts : 17 Registered: 1/11/10
Re: Negotiating from abroad?
Posted: Jun 2, 2010 2:48 PM Go to message in response to: VšnTillBruden

@VanTillBruden Thank you for the tips! I'm going to start making calls soon. The time difference does indeed suck, but that is just one of the minor negatives in planning a destination wedding. I think it'll be worth it to stay up late a couple nights (or get up very early) to get in touch with the right people. Thanks again!
Etta Alpha

http://philospouse.blogspot.com/

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