Post # 1
I was wondering if any of you had luck negotiating once your venue contract was sent to you to be signed. If you did have luck, in what areas were you able to trim and do you have any advice for doing so?
All stories are welcome with particular interest in NYC and Abigail Kirsch.
Post # 3
We are not in NYC, but when we looked at our venue and before we signed the contract, I just asked them for a discount because 1) our wedding is off season, and 2) we are having a small wedding (only 50 or so guests), and 3) we are having our wedding on a Thursday.
Our venue is already decorated, so we will only be adding minimal decorations and they supply the tables, chairs, linens (I rented different ones though because I didn’t like theirs), and a bunch of other stuff.
When you negotiate, just ask them if there is any possible way they could give you a discount, and if so, how much. Most vendors are willing to give a discount, but you have to ask for it. They generally won’t offer it.
Post # 4
We had negotiated with them that if we added more guests than the expected amount (we’re over by about 50) if the price per person could be discounted. They agreed to discount only the additional 50, but it was something and it is helping us out. Also, we are having our wedding in March, so it’s off-season so they were willing to waive the minimum guest amount and gave us a better deal for price per person.
Post # 5
I negotiated $100 off the ceremony fee and they waived the cake-cutting fee. It was only about $250 total, but better than nothing!
Post # 6
I negotiated big time! They normally wanted $199 a head and I am now only paying $160. I also got out of the 20 percent service fee and the ceremony charge. I told him it was my dream place and asked what he could do within my budget. It also helps that my venue is not a typical wedding venue, but they do hold weddings there..
Post # 7
Other than getting a few A/V things on the house, we were in no position to negotiate. Our wedding was in September on a Saturday, so they weren’t going to budge 🙂
I think negotiating will depend a lot on when you get married. Off season, weeknight and Sunday weddings are in a good position to negotiate.
I see no harm in asking in general, “We interesting in booking, but is there anything you can do for us or throw in?” See what they say, you never know. But don’t expect much for a summer wedding if it’s on a Saturday because they can probably easily fill the date if you don’t sign.
Post # 8
You might have room to negotiate and save some money if you tell them you are willing to pay it all in cash. Some venues & vendors will agree to take a small percentage off to avoid credit card fees.
Post # 9
I looked at ALOT of venues in NYC…I am going with The W Union Square – the interest thing is when I contacted them myself they quoted me a ridiculous price. I then started working with Kool Events (its a free service!!) that helps you find wedding venues – They contacted The W on my behalf and were able to secure a price $100 lower per head – INSANE. After that, we didn’t necessarily negotiate the price down, but added to it – we were able to add an extra appetizer table and a more premium bar within the price.
I feel like depending on when you are looking most places are somewhat negotiable. By Abigail Kirsch do you mean the Chelsea Piers Lighthouse? I feel like they may be somewhat negotiable, but that is a really poplular spot so I’m not sure how much – Not to mention I feel that corporate companies use their space and are able to pay the $$..I know my company does…also like people mentioned the time of the year and a Saturday is much hard to negotiate. For example when I was looking at Battery Gardens, the only day left in 2010 at the time between June-Sept was a Saturday in August (which would have worked for me)..but because the demand for that venue is so high, I doubt they would have done much for me at that point.
Post # 10
we are having our reception at a private golf club in the ‘burbs. there really wasn’t much room for negotiation. we weren’t booking off season, and we booked a saturday night… so there was no budging from the $16,500 minimum we had to spend on food.
the event coordinator was nice enough to “cut the tax” so we saved about 1K…. also, i went to a bridal show at our venue a few weeks later and copped a coupon for “free valet for all guests, free champagne toast for all guests, and a table linen upgrade” which the EC said she’d also honor, even though we had already booked 🙂
Post # 11
Our venue had a $47K minimum and I negotiated it down to around $41K. So it’s not a per head savings, but now we can choose less expensive food and drink options if we want. I did the math and based on how many people we’re expecting it’s the perfect total.
Post # 12
Congratulations – love the venue choice! A little too big for us though. How was your experience with Abigail Kirsch.
Did the basic package sufficient or do you have to really book extras and in the end, they are pretty expensive?
Were you able to negotiate the price with them at all?
Who did you work with? I think they give you a coordinator to help you for the wedding day which could be quite helpful as I am not thinking about getting a wedding coordinator.
Thanks so much!
Post # 13
I know the caterers I am workings with seem very open to “negotiating”…sort of. Basically, they said “Tell us what you can spend and we will tell you what we can do”…it helps because the venue we are going with is one of the few that does not have ONE exclusive caterers, but SEVEN, so that they still compete on price quite a bit. If the venue has more than one caterer, feel free to sort of leverage one against the other if it helps, might only lose $5 or $10 a head, but for a larger wedding that is a nice chunk of change.
If they can’t budge on the per-person, I would suggest trying to see if they could swap out some inclusives you do not want for those you might prefer and seeing what they can do about bringing gratuity charges from 25% to 18% or something.