(Closed) Could you haggle with venue??

posted 9 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
Member
2474 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I think it does apply to venues and caterers.  Some may not be willing to negotiate if they are in high demand and figure they could easily book someone else who will pay top price.  I read that the best way to go about this is to:

(1) complement the vendor…”I love this place so much, it’s so awesome…it’s everything I ever wanted!”

(2) make them feel sorry for you….”We are on a tight budget but I just couldn’t be happy with any other place for my wedding…I will be so upset if I can’t have it here!

(3) give them a set number of what you can spend….i.e. don’t just ask generally if they can lower the price.  Say that you are looking to only spend X amount of dollars and if they can work something out for you at that price (even if it includes cutting back on some things)

My friend did this and it worked well for her.

Post # 4
Member
6009 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

I think the more specific you can be in your requests or negotiations, the better.  For example, it’s better to say, “I really like x package you offer, but we’re not interested in a champagne toast. Would it be possible to replace the toast with an extra appetizer/more bar time/a different entree or completely eliminate that part of the package?”  Or, something we had a lot of luck with, was asking if they offer discounts for locals, referals, etc…

The other thing is, if you are cold-calling these places and asking for a negotiable price, they might be a little more resistant than if you built up a relationship with them first.  I think if the venue or caterer already “knows” you a little bit, they will try to be more accomodating in the price negotiations.  If you haven’t been doing this already, I would wait to ask about discounts/negotiations/substitutions/whatever at least until the second conversation you have with a venue, or when you tour the place.  If they have had a couple conversations with you or meet you in person, I think that makes them a little more sympathetic to your requests.

Post # 5
Member
7777 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

We were able to negotiate with our venue. The cooridnator is waiving the reception rental fee and just charging the ceremony rental fee for ceremony and reception (normally it’s $1k for each). Plus, she is renting us their mezzanine for our cocktail hour for $250 flat. Drinks and food for that is one them.

I did what they said. I told her how much I loved it. Then I told her that our budget was really tight and that my fiance was in the service and she worked with us a bit.

In the end, the rental fee waiving put us in our budget.

Post # 6
Member
6661 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2010

I negotiated wiht all my vendors except the church! I got the biggest discount at our reception venue, what they agreed to do was 1) Lower the prices on the rooms (it’s a hotel) from $250 to $200 and 2) Lower the Food and beverage minimum by about $9K. This way, we can invite less people and not serve a 7-course dinner, etc. which is what thier original minimum kind of forces you to do.

My dress, I got a 17% discount, the videogropher gave us a HUGE discount I don’t remember exactly what it was, but we’re getting a ton of stuff for free. The band and photographer were in such high demand I didn’t even try b/c it would have just been embarassing.

Sometimes you can force a vendor to throw in more stuff for free, as long as you’re paying the original price they quoted. That is the biggest thing I’ve gotten in this economy. Also, if there are two companies offering the same exact deal you can pit them against each other.

Post # 7
Member
545 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

We didn’t negotiate with the venue (it seems like flat fee and it’s a popular site) but we did negotiate with our caterer.

Post # 9
Member
8353 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2011

We were able to negotiate with our venue. We are having the ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception at the same place. We already knew we were going to book them at the price they had online, but it was right at our budget and we are only having 50 people, so I just said to them. “We really love this venue, but I just can’t see paying x amount for only 50 people”. They dropped the price by 25% and since it is also a B&B, they offered 25% off any room booked, if we have breakfast brought to the room and 40% off the room, if we don’t have breakfast.

I also negotiated with our wedding planner. At first we were just going to have a DOC, but I felt more comfortable having full service, so she gave us 50% off her normal rate. She is also a colleague of mine, so I think that helped.

We are having a DJ too, and we negotiated him to $199 for six hours. We have heard and seen him at other events, so we know how good he is.

I am still working on the caterer, photographer, and cake, but I feel confident that I can get some good prices for those as well.

 

Post # 10
Member
8353 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2011

Maybe you should consider a different venue. We are also saving money by having our wedding on a Thursday, so changing your date might be an option.

Post # 11
Member
6009 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

Ouch!  That lady seems a little off-putting.  No wonder you’re frustrated!  Do venues tend to book up quickly in your area?  Something we found when we were in the planning stages is that certain vendors will try to “hold out” for the biggest sale.  We were having problems with a caterer not returning our calls or anything.  Finally, we moved on and booked somebody else, but a little while later we found out from our photographer that the caterer was kinda pulling us along without a commitment so he could be open in case a bigger sale came along on our date. 

Do you think that’s what some of these venues are doing? Maybe she said she could work with you on price and stuff to get you interested, but now she’s trying to pull you along until either a) you agree to the higher price or b) someone with more money comes along.

Post # 12
Member
315 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

We have negotiated down just about every vendor.  Here is what we’ve have done and it’s been successful for us:

  • I had Fiance do ALL of the negotiating.  It seems people are way more responsive to men.  He just calls and says he’s watching the budget and usually (even if I’ve asked and was told no) he gets them down
  • We usually shoot for about 10% off and we ask for very specifics.  We asked if we could have $1 per plate and our caterer agreed!  For our chair covers we asked for $.50 per chair and it was granted!
  • Call don’t email.  It’s much easier for them to say no electronically than it is for them to so no to a sob story you’re telling on the phone or in person
  • Keep trying–we were rejected several times by the chair cover vendor and the hotel and we kept calling back.  Perhaps they just didn’t want to hear from us any more but it worked!

Post # 15
Member
6009 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

I think they should tell you upfront, too!  It’s not cool to promise to work with you on price and then not follow through.  I don’t know what to say, CorgiTales, it sounds like you’re doing everything right…  Maybe Cleveland venues are just really sticklers for price?  Lol!

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