(Closed) Negotiating the Biltmore Ballrooms

posted 6 years ago in Atlanta
Post # 3
Member
70 posts
Worker bee

Do you have a wedding planner? I’ve found vendors are much more amenable to negotiating with professionals – obviously because they get referrals. We went to look at the Biltmore and were considering the Georgian as well. It is gorgeous  but we picked another venu.

When we talked to our wedding planner she seemed to think that they probably won’t go down on the rental rate or the alcohol rate, but they might be willing to negotiate the cost of additional hours. Fiance put all of the data in a spreadsheet and with all taxes, fees, extra hours Biltmore (surprisingly to me) wound up being the most expensive. I thought Ventanas (which we are going with) would be more because the rental rate and alcohol rate was more expensive, but they’re flexible with extra hours, no need to hire staff, and no ceremony fee. The Biltmore charges you a  lot more for bar staff, security, etc.. I thought I had an idea of how much it would cost, but I didn’t realize we also had to hire barbacks, security and other staff – I thought it was just bartenders we’d have to hire. We’re going with Bold for catering and possibly florals as well, but that basically ate up our entire discount.

Unfortunately, $4500 for 4 hours of guest time seemed to be pretty standard in Atlanta based on the size of our guest list. 🙁

Post # 6
Member
70 posts
Worker bee

Sure! Well, our overall budget is 55k – I don’t think we’ll go too far over, but of course we won’t know until June 2013. However, keep in mind that our guest list was 200 and we’re spending a lot on a few big ticket items like photography (probably 6k) and since we’re having an Indian ceremony which uses a lot of flowers and decorations for the ceremony (probably another 6k or 7K). I’m sure that you can do your wedding within your budget and if you have an extra 100 or 125 people that will definitely add up in open bar and catering per person fees.

We never attempted to negotiate because we fell in love with Ventanas, so just as what we were quoted:

Rental (including extra hours – we wanted at least a 6 hour reception): $6000

Ceremony fee: $1000

Beverage pp for 200 people: $11600 ($1000 more expensive for us)

Bar staffing: $1050

Parking: $275

We had set our budget at 55K early, and had kind of assumed we’d just be at the  minimums for everything, but I have found that that has NOT been the case for anything! Of course, our guest list is twice yours so your situation will definitely be different. It will be easier for you – but go ahead and calculate your per person fees without assuming anything of the minimum. It will save you a lot of headache!

Hope this helps!

Post # 8
Member
70 posts
Worker bee

@atlbride2013:  Hmm, it’s been a few weeks and venues kind of have run together. I called the Biltmore rep on the phone and made an appointment to meet and tour the place. As we were sitting there after the tour, she pretty much made us a proposal right then and there and those were the prices that she quoted us. Like I said, we weren’t planning on going with it so we never really followed up, so those were the prices listed without negotiation. They’re a Novare venue though, and generally I’ve found all of their other venues to be pretty responsive – or at least to our wedding coordinator. I saw you’ve increased your budget, so if you have room for a wedding planner, I’ve found that all of our vendors have been MUCH more responsive to them. It’s annoying, but it is what it is.

Post # 10
Member
19 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I can’t really recommend a good planner but I will definitely back up the need for one.  Every wedding I’ve been involved with that was professionally planned was a step above any other.  And yes, in general, vendors will be extremely responsive to a wedding planner that brings them business on the regular.  

Post # 11
Member
70 posts
Worker bee

@atlbride2013:  I don’t know what your budget is but we’re going with Nicole Fantz with P’tree Weddings and she’s been great! She only takes about 20 weddings a year. We don’t have her full service plan and in fact were only going to hire her for “day-of,” but we ended up going with a mid-level plan that provides day of coverage, vendor negotiations, and unlimited vendor recommendations.  Other good planners I’ve heard of are Eliana with elly B and Jennifer Lackey with Storybook Weddings (I think?)

Post # 12
Member
55 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

I second the EllyB reccomendation.  We’re using EllyB, but not Eliana (she’s was more pricey), so we have one of her associates for “day of”, however, I feel like it’s more full service.  I’m getting vendor recs, she’s making appointments, etc.  I’ve loved them so far!!  If you talk to her let her know Meredith and Nate sent you.  Ballpark price for associate planner day of coordination is $1,500.

Post # 14
Member
3 posts
Wannabee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@atlbride2013:  Hey, I am currently looking at using the Biltmore for my ceremony and reception- absolutely LOVE the venue.  We have already gotten a quote, but I was wondering what kind of deals they were able to give you. It is a bit pricey and we would like to try and negotiate as much as possible.

Post # 16
Member
3 posts
Wannabee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@atlbride2013:  You were able to get the curtain, chairs, and extra setup time for no cost?

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