Chrissy4985
VIP June 2017

Negotiating venue cost, Have you done it? How?

Chrissy4985, on July 4, 2015 at 9:51 PM Posted in Planning

Happy 4th of July ladies. I hope all of you are enjoying your holiday. I went to see a venue yesterday and it's nice and they have a lower cost per head. However, I still really like the first venue that I saw a lot.(secretly in love) The sales manager at the first venue recently emailed me and asked how my venue shopping was going. I really don't know how to approach him and ask for a lower price. Should I consider changing my date to the fall possibly? He already lowered the price during my first visit from 115 to 110 per person, with out me asking, he left me and my MOH with a price and said he would let us talk. Upon his return, he lowered the price. I don't want to seem ungrateful for that, but at the same time, I would like to see if it can go lower. Have any of you negotiated to a lower cost? Oh btw, I am in Long Island, NY and the venue is in Long Island, NY as well. They only host one venue at a time. Let me know what you ladies think and if you have any suggestions. Thanks

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37 Comments

  • Di
    VIP July 2015
    Di ·

    The venue I loved but was out of my price range actually reached out to me asking if I had any questions or concerns about a week after we went to visit. When I explained that I had a set price per person including tax and gratuity that I did not want to go over, she actually made a menu that fit our budget and we gladly accepted it. Let them know what you are working with. You'll never know unless you try. If our venue hadn't reached out to us to see how things were coming along, I would have settled for someone different because I didn't think to ask if they could meet me half way.

  • Chrissy4985
    VIP June 2017
    Chrissy4985 ·

    Thanks Di, you make absolute sense. Since the banquet manager already reached out to me, I will respond and let him know what my expectations are. All he can do is say no I guess. (Or yes! lol) We shall see. Thanks!

  • Di
    VIP July 2015
    Di ·

    You're welcome! I hope he can make it work for you!

  • Future Mrs. Pryor
    Expert October 2016
    Future Mrs. Pryor ·

    I don't have any feedback but good post, and that's right all he can say is yes or no. Hopefully it's a yes good luck!

  • alietta
    Expert March 2016
    alietta ·

    Ugh, negotiating is so awkward, you want a good price, but you also don't want them to hate you...I basically said I love this place but can you do any better? She immediately offered to cut the cocktail hour down a little bit (with is fine with me, I usually feel like theres a ton of food at cocktail hours at halls). We're doing like 4 passed hor dourves instead of 5, 4 hot chaffing dishes instead of 5, etc. It helped me (with all my vendors) because my date is early in the "wedding" season. If that hadn't worked I probably would have mentioned all my unmarried friends who would be coming...

    I don't know what your venue is, or if that price includes gratuity, tax, or what it includes etc. but for LI that sounds really good (I'm from Queens). It all depends...you have to feel them out...but you do have to work with them on a very important day in your life, and I would rather someone happy to have me and go the extra mile than resent the fact that I am paying them a ton less...

  • Celia Milton
    Celia Milton ·

    Most venues have a minimum number of dollars they need to bring in on any given day, especially if they only do one event at a time. You're slightly out of 'season' which helps, but you're also a year and a half away, which means they will probably hold out for someone who will pay that magic number. I can tell you that in March, many of my venues are significantly less OR will give you additional extras for their lower price packages.

    In our area, that price is really good. If you love the place, I'd go for it, but whatever you do, make a decision and don't look back.

  • C
    Master June 2015
    ChampagneDream ·

    I negotiated like crazy and we got exactly what we wanted for the price we wanted to pay. Rather than lowering the price pp or changing meals around see what they'll waive. For example, my venue had a price per person plus the room rental of $2300. I got them to drop the $2300 because our food total was so high. See if they'll do something similar.

  • Celia Milton
    Celia Milton ·

    Here's a secret; your venues know exactly what they're going to have you pay before you walk in the door.

  • Mrs. Lav
    Master November 2015
    Mrs. Lav ·

    That's a great price for Long Island (does it include alcohol?)-- I doubt you'll be able to get him to lower it any more, but you may have better luck asking for some extras. So, you will probably still pay that amount, but you might be able to get an extra app or something thrown in.

    Fall's (esp Sept and Oct) is probably more expensive than April-- November might be on par or slightly cheaper.

  • pinguino
    VIP September 2015
    pinguino ·

    Since you are still a year and a half out, that may be difficult, as they have plenty of time to wait for someone else who is willing to go for that price. But as Celia mentioned, you are slightly off season, but not by a ton. I would be honest with them and tell them how much you love their venue, and you would really love to host your wedding there but that their current offer makes it cost prohibitive for you. Tell them you have another venue in mind that will match your max price of $X.XX pp, but if they can match that price, you will be happy to give them your business. Then the ball is in their court, either they will match it, drop some but not match, or will not budge. Then you just have to decide if what they are offering them is worth it for you.

  • Nancy Taussig
    Nancy Taussig ·

    "If that hadn't worked I probably would have mentioned all my unmarried friends who would be coming."

    Venue's thoughts: Oh, great, more couples who want to haggle!

  • Chrissy4985
    VIP June 2017
    Chrissy4985 ·

    Great points ladies. I will definitely try your suggestion @pinguino. Thanks for all your advice

  • Chrissy4985
    VIP June 2017
    Chrissy4985 ·

    This is what I propose to say @pinguino and @celia milton. Good afternoon Will. I wanted to touch base with you after visiting a couple of other venues and comparing them to yours. I would first like to mention that the few venues I went to see the last 2 days were very nice. However, I want to be honest with you. I truly love the sand castle, and would really love to host my wedding there but your current offer makes it cost prohibitive for me. The other venue I have in mind will match my max price of $89 pp. Is there some wiggle room for you to possibly match that price or come close to it ? If so, I will be happy to give you my business. I would be willing to change the wedding date as well to accommodate that .If that is something that you can't accommodate, I completely understand. Either way I appreciate your time and patience. Thanks so much.

    Does that sound too pushy? I don't want to sound arrogant or pushy.

  • Celia Milton
    Celia Milton ·

    No, it's not pushy, but be prepared to hear "we're sorry". That is simply not enough money in Long Island, in a year and a half. And they know that; every venue knows what every other venue charges. (And don't forget, you have to add tax and service to most prices here....)

    The fact that you love them means little; lots of people love them, and some of them will be prepared to pay more.

    If you go to March, you may have a different answer. In Feb? Definitely.

    And for the record? Asking a pro vendor to lower their prices based on your friends who are getting married usually doesn't work.

  • Chrissy4985
    VIP June 2017
    Chrissy4985 ·

    Thanks @celia. I'm preparing myself for a no. But still secretly hoping for a yes lol. We shall see. :-)

  • Julia T
    Master August 2015
    Julia T ·

    I didn't try to negotiate with any of my vendors. I just let them know what my budget was before the meeting. Most just showed me options within my budget. The ones that tried to get me to go outside of my budget I didn't work with.

  • GrayCatVintage
    Master October 2015
    GrayCatVintage ·

    Do not ever be afraid to haggle ANYTHING - EVER. That being said - we did get discounts on our DJ and Photobooth and I was able to get the caterer to toss in several extras and upgrades for no additional charge. I was also able to knock $50 off my veil because I mentioned that it was from a previous season. Aside from our venue, I asked about deals for everything we did in the planning process actually.

  • Celia Milton
    Celia Milton ·

    It helps if you have a do enough research to have a realistic budget for what you want, when you want it and where you are before you go look at anything.

    Periodically there are posts here about (usually ) the more expensive areas of the country with budgets that are just frankly not possible for any vendor or venue.

    Venues in this area are a perfect example. If you're looking at a banquet hall, in season (and you're really on the edge; some will tell you you're in; some out, but as I said, you're still a year and a half a way and no one is cutting deals this early...), on a prime night, with an open bar (usually all they offer, though there may be several levels of quality), you're looking at a minimum of 90 -ish dollars plus another 27-ish percent in taxes and service. And those are mid level places. If you're trying to be much less than that, it's probably less frustrating to start with another scenario, another setting, another plan entirely.

  • Kimikat
    Expert September 2015
    Kimikat ·

    Don't be afraid to negotiate. I was torn between two places, one much more expensive and less food. When I told one that they were one of two, I got a 10 to 20% discount. I went to the more expensive one and they not only matched the price but the food amount and quality as well. I was about 16 months away from my date when I booked. I am getting married in September, which is high season in A.C. Good luck!

  • Marie Gismondi
    Marie Gismondi ·

    It never hurts to ask how they can make something happen.

    Many of my short term planner couples great discounts because it's them or an empty room. Thursdays have been more popular than Sunday evenings because everyone would rather take off a Friday than a Monday.

    You are also entering with you LOVE the place... and while it is how we make our living, the vast majority of us thrive on making out couples over the moon happy

    Good Luck!

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