Post # 1
So we fell in love with a venue this past weekend and we have been requesting quotes from caterers on their approved vendor list. We got two quotes back that are almost idential, only $100 apart. But with the cost of the venue and caterer combined its about $2k over our budget.
I have never negotiated anything before and I don’t even know what to say. Our wedding will be either September or October of 2012. The venue is a non-profit place, so I feel weird even asking for a break on price.
I’m lost!! Advice please?
Post # 3
Just ask. The worst that can happen is they say no.
Truly, just ask. Start off by saying how much you love the venue, however, we’re on a really tight budget. Is there anyway they can reduce the rental fee. Most likely they will come back and agree to lower based on certain parameters. or give you alternatives, such as Fri/Sun or afternoon weddings. Have you looked that? Will that help?
I think there are huge options of saving on the caterer end as well.
If it’s the list of caterers that are really breaking the bank ask if you can bring in alternate vendors for their approval.
Post # 4
Non-Profit? What kind?
Is there anything in the package for the caterers and venues that you might not need, or you could supply yourself that they would take off the cost?
It’s always good to speak with them over the phone or face-to-face to discuss price breaks. For example, our caterer said if we didn’t do desert (which would have been some type of pie) that they would cut #2 pp off our total PP price. We’re having wedding cake, why do we need pie too?
Are there any other places you can cut your budget, if you’re dead set on having both of these places? Say cut somewhere else and come up with 1k, then try to negotiate it 50/50 with them. (That looks more confusing when I type it). But you know what I mean, instead of going 2k over budget, only go 1k over budget (so meet them in the middle) and try to cut in other places.
Post # 5
Never take the first price quote. Ever. There are always places to adjust, deals to make, etc.
First of all, you’re booking well over a year out, so ask for an early booking discount. You’re guarenteeing them revenue so far in advance, and these days that’s no small thing.
Next, if you do end up with September, explain that you’d be interested in a seasonally-based menu and that your understanding is that these are more cost-effective for everyone involved.
Or, give them a counter-offer. Tell them your initial budget expectations, and ask if there’s anything they could *suggest* to bring their cost closer to that number. Say this:
“My fiance and I have heard such wonderful things about your company, and would really like to work with you. I’m concerned because our budget is at a strict $____ and I would really love to work something out with you. Is there anything you could suggest that might bring us closer to that number?”
Ask a friend or wedding planner to do the negotiating for you, if you’re uncomfortable. I do this for friends and clients both, and since my personality seems to work for it, I’m usually fairly successful — do you have friends/family that are good negotiators?
Post # 6
Thanks ladies! Great advice 🙂
Ok, I think I’ll email the vendor and ask about an early booking discount. He did say that a couple dates were already taken in 2012 though.
How far in advance do I book the caterer? We are doing food stations rather than a plated meal, so she did say they can tweak the menu to stay in our budget.