(Closed) venue negotiating in Chicago area

posted 6 years ago in Chicago
Post # 3
Member
1090 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

Honestly, I think that it is in poor form to negotiate a lower price. Most places typically lower their prices on Sundays, Fridays and “off peak” weddings (typically Dec-Apr). What places have you looked into? Places in the suburbs will be cheaper than the city; especially downtown.

Post # 4
Member
2401 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

Unless you are picking off-season or during a off-day, you really have no way to negotiate. You could always try asking for a price discount if you dont do a cocktail hour or if you shorten the length or your reception. But really, venue negotiation for a wedding is pretty damn impossible. 

Post # 5
Member
1041 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

Sunday weddings usually have a 10-15% discount at most places.  Just ask!  The only except is holiday weekends like Memorial Day or Labor Day.  As you can see, mine is going to be over Labor Day weekend – and most places will NOT give you a discount.  BUT some will.  So ask!

Post # 6
Member
356 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

Most places will give you a discount for Sunday Weddings! 

We negotiated with our venue for pricing.  We are ordering a lot of food, and my Future Mother-In-Law is very good at bargaining.  So, she said bluntly, “You should give us a discount”.  Then they did! They gave us half price dessert buffet, and threw in the pasta plate. It is NOT bad form, because they are still making money off of you.

 

Post # 7
Member
1090 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

Imo, it is bad form to blantantly ask for any discount. I would never walk into Macy’s and ask for a discount on my shoes because I really want them and they’re out of my budget. Etiquette does not go out the window just so yo can get what you want. Good for you for getting your discount though.

There is a way to stay within your budget and have the wedding that you want; you just may have to make certain sacrifices (ex Friday night vs Saturday night).

Post # 8
Member
55 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

Around $60 on a Sunday should be fairly easy.  If you’re up in Volo, check out the Seville in Streamwood.  It’s a hike, but, I don’t know of anything in Volo other than the auto museum.

Post # 9
Member
2192 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

@Happilyevaafter5:  We were Memorial Day and got 10% off the bottom line with our venue.  All because Darling Husband asked!

Honestly you are getting a decent price for the area.  Try working it on things like appetizers i.e. dropping from 4 kinds to 3 kinds or maybe subbing an hour and a half of open bar for wine service instead of an hour.

I personally don’t think its bad to be looking for a discount on anything.  Its all in how you ask.  Ask nicely in the “is there anything that can be done?” versus “take some money off and we will hire you.”

Post # 10
Member
58 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

Came across this post recently and I have to chip in that it IS NOT bad form to negotiate. (This might be a novel, sorry! I am totally procrastinating right now so chalk it up to that…)

Firstly, negotiation is common in all aspects of life. Maybe not in retail sales, but certainly in many important situations. Hell, people even settle major lawsuits instead of risking trial.

Secondly, when you were offered a job, do you think that the hiring manager simply had a firm price in mind before the candidates walked in the door? Of course s/he evaluated every candidate and offered what s/he thought that person was worth. If you thought your value was hire, you would say so. Even if you didn’t, you essentially negotiated the price by accepting his/her terms. 

Thirdly, women are notoriously bad negotiators relative to men. It is not because we actually lack the skills, but because we are often raised to have a demeanor that is more conscious of others than men are expected to have. Implications that it is poor etiquette to ask for what you believe to be a fair price simply reinforces this stereotype. (It is also at least one reason why women are less likely to ask for salary increases then men.) Also, notice I said “fair price”…that is sort of important. Otherwise, I would agree that it is bad form to try and bully a business/service provider into providing something below cost.

Fourthly, I take back part of my first point. Negotiation IS common in retail sales. In fact, legally, listed prices are not even “offers” that the customer can accept. Instead, the customer makes the initial offer to the retailer who then accepts/declines. Take a look at the price list, take it into consideration, then make your offer as you see fair. I would say this includes taking into account things that may not be reflected in the price, such as Sunday wedding, delivery (if applicable), etc. It is unreasonable to expect that every contingency be listed in a vendor’s price so it is only natural to think that deviations from the norm would result in a price modification.

That being said. I am not from Chicago so I can’t give you site-specific recommendations.

Generally, though, I would mention things that I am adding for their business. This includes any guests staying a the venue (assuming it is a hotel), if you are one of the first in the family to be married (extra business possibly down the road), if you are working with a church or coordinator who could refer future clients, things you might not need ( provided white linens but are using your own? the venue doesn’t need to launder their linens–> lower cost), offer to have the photographer take professional pics of the place set up before people enter and give them copies for advertising, etc. Overall, just be nice and be honest that you like their place and want to stay w/in a certain budget. Oh, and see if there are substitutions you can make but guests probably wont notice (seasonal veggies instead of some fancy side or downgrade part of the booze package but not all the brands). Finally, just be reasonable. The most important part of negotiating is considering their best alternative. If you present a reasonable offer, they will likely accept it over not booking. However, if they would be losing money then they might not even want to negotiate. 

Hopefully you already found a place since your wedding is this summer, but maybe this will help other bees!

Post # 11
Member
8 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: August 2014

The Seville in Streamwood was very flexible with their pricing.  Sam was able to work with us by taking out things we didnt need and adding the ones we did want.  A sunday wedding in the summer was around less than your 60 budget per person and that was with alot of the upgrades, chivari chairs, uplighting, filet and chicken on everyones plate, extra premium appetizers, desert table, martini bar with signiture drink, pasta for everyone, and a photobooth for a small fee.  They also will set up your centerpeices/linens for you if you bring in your own for no fee.  You can work on the price but he will be honest with you.

Post # 12
Member
1326 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@stephanieh2012:  Sam is super nice. He’s actually my landlord! Small world, eh?

Post # 13
Member
28 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: May 2014

I absolutely KNOW you can negotiate pricing! My sister did at the Morton Arboretum and so did her friend at Venuti’s in Addison. Venutis gave an incredible price for an appetizer buffet along with pasta. No one even knew it wasn’t a full dinner and the food there is supposed to be pretty darn amazing. There’s no harm in asking. It does help though if it’s on a Friday, Sunday or an unusual time like the Saturday before Christmas.  And @bellaluna290,  I ask for discounts at stores all the time – even Macys! If an item isn’t perfect, they usually cut a deal. 🙂 And you can always say at any store you saw a coupon in the Sunday paper and they usually ring you up with at least 10% off. They don’t mind one bit! 

 

Post # 14
Member
1090 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@sarahdearest:  There’s a difference between having a discount taken because an item is imperfect (it will eventually get discounted) and just wanting a discount just because. I don’t know…I just think it’s rude to outright ask for such things, but that’s just my opinion. And yes like you said…it’s better to ask for a discount if you know that they won’t be getting much business on those days or that time of year.

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