Post # 1
This venue I am going to see tomorrow has a 24% service charge and a 6.5% sales tax on top of that. That’s 30.5% in just service charge and taxes! How do I negotiate this service fee with them, or do you think I can’t? Most of the other places I have looked at are like 18% service or similar. I have to admit I still think that a mandatory gratuity % is ridiculous – gratuity is for good service and I have to pay them 24% whether I think there was good service or not? Ick. Any ideas on how to approach this with the catering manager? I really want this venue but their food prices are also pretty steep (although she said she could work within most budgets and I am taking her my budget tomorrow when I see it).
Post # 3
I would ask her to explain why they charge 24% when most places charge 18%. If they can’t budge on bringing the price down, maybe you could have them give you more for free. For example an extra hour of reception time. Try and feel them out and see what you can negotiate with them.
Post # 4
that seems very high. im finding that pretty much every vendor we’ve booked has been able to be flexible on the price or service level to some degree, so you should compile the arguments you feel are valid for them reducing the rate for you and definitley present them.
im going to say one other thing and it may be controversial, but im only saying it bc im finding it to be very true – if you have a capable, proactive, bright FH (but then again, dont we all??), have him do the negotiating.
i know i know i know, gloria steinem is screaming somewhere, but we have found that FH is much more effective at getting us better rates and being forceful when need be. not bc im not capable (i can be very persuasive), but we honestly believe it has to do with gender and vendors’ perception of a “bride”.
it makes me mad, but if it saves me $$$, i can learn to live with it.
Post # 5
oh also – with tax – ask vendors if you can pay cash and have them waive the sales tax. this might not be feasible with the reception venue, but with other, smaller vendors, it may be possible. i have a friend who got married recently and she said she saved oodles by doing this.
Post # 6
I would love for my FI to do the negotiating, but he is taking a more laisez-faire approach to the whole wedding thing. He’s ‘whatever you want dear’ and ‘I just wanna show up.’ Maybe once I pick a venue I will try and get him to go see it and negotiate that all at the same time. Good thought. Thanks.