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Is it bad form to negotiate with wedding venue?

25 replies

ZiggyForever · 21/03/2017 20:15

Hi everyone Smile We're planning our wedding for the end of October/start of November this year, and decided to go for a Sunday or Friday to make funds stretch further.

Given that we're going for an off-peak day during an off-peak time of year, I'd planned to bargain the total cost of the venue/hotel down a bit beyond the token discount already offered.

Is this standard practice or am I being cheeky . . . ?

OP posts:
Goondoit · 21/03/2017 20:17

You can try. You may get a blunt no though. Venues rarely negotiate on the price! I'd be interested to know if anyone has been successful though
Good luck and congratulations

PeppaPigTastesLikeBacon · 21/03/2017 20:19

Worth a try but I doubt the would discount this far in advance

Custodyofficertothestars · 21/03/2017 20:20

Standard I'd day.
We got married on a Saturday in November we managed to negotiate things so that the price included centrepieces, chair covers, cake stand and extra canapés and drinks.
My thoughts were, if you don't ask you don't get. I managed negotiate on pretty much everything, the worst they can say is no!

ZiggyForever · 21/03/2017 20:38

That's what I was thinking - no harm in asking! And I wouldn't offer a silly or unreasonable sum - just a token discount given that they'll make quite a bit on accommodation and the bar.

Thank you Smile

OP posts:
JammyGem · 21/03/2017 20:40

I work in a wedding venue and while it's worth a try, don't count on a discount. If you let them know you're working to a strict budget, most venues will try to accommodate that and will suggest things for you that reduce the costs Smile

AbbeyRoadCrossing · 21/03/2017 20:42

I negotiated but was booking just a few months in advance. They might not be able to drop the price but you might be able to negotiate some extras thrown in e.g. 3 course meal for price of 2 course or decorations etc

MrsELM21 · 21/03/2017 20:46

I worked in hotels for over 17 years, I've never known hardly anybody accept the 'standard price' most people ask, and more often than not the venue will do something if the event is worth enough, no harm in trying!

Sansculottes · 21/03/2017 20:46

We did this for an autumn wedding. You need a strategy - this is what worked for us:

  1. ask a few questions about exactly what's included - explain you really like them and are just going through picking from your final shortlist
  2. call and explain you are really keen on them but x venue down the road has quoted you (state your real lower quote). You would love to go with them, but the price difference is swaying your dh to be / making it hard for you to justify going for them.
  3. can they come towards the other quote so you can pick them? Can they throw anything more in to make their quite worth more than the other quote eg can they provide more free than what is included in the current quote.

    We got a reaonanle discount and extra items included that weren't supposed to be on our level of package - their best table linen, centrepieces, evening buffet, more wine.
witsender · 21/03/2017 20:46

They normally offer a lower price for off peak days and times anyway.

Sansculottes · 21/03/2017 20:47

We did this in the June - there was still loads of availability then and venues were keen to tick off dates they didn't have booked

MrsELM21 · 21/03/2017 20:48

Don't tell them they'll make a lot of money on the bar, this is just your opinion (even if it may be true) a lot of people say this, and then some spend very little and they have no guarantee of a big spend, instead point out things you can guarantee and they can plan that they will be paid for such as number of rooms booked/number of guests etc

ZiggyForever · 21/03/2017 20:51

Great advice and tips - love the strategy, Sansculottes Grin And yes, agree about the guaranteed money-makers rather than the bar. Good to have advice from insiders too!

Thanks everyone!

OP posts:
CigarsofthePharoahs · 21/03/2017 20:52

I did.
They didn't knock any money off, but offered us the bridal suite for free.
There's no harm in asking, but you have to accept they may say no.

Astoria7974 · 21/03/2017 21:43

It's standard form during Hindu weddings to negotiate. Try it

ArseyTussle · 21/03/2017 21:49

I'm not married, so this may be a crap idea, but is venue hire cheaper if you don't tell them it's a wedding?

HiMyNameIsUnknown · 21/03/2017 22:01

Worth a try. Our venue agrees to £500 off the cost and it was an attractive venue on a popular date at 2 year's notice. They may be keen to get the date booked

WinkyisbackontheButterBeer · 21/03/2017 22:02

We didn't get money off but did get a higher spec for the same money.
E.g we would like this set meal but would like the beef from the more expensive menu rather than the chicken
And this drinks package but can we have kir royale as welcome drinks rather than the pimms?
Managed to get centrepiece s, cake stand and a few other bits thrown in. All little things that didn't cost the venue much but would have mounted up if you'd had to buy them.
Make use of the wedding coordinators contacts, ask them to recommend someone for cake, flowers etc and then tell the provider that the venue sent you. Generally their good working relationship will get you some discount.
I got discount off everything else.

Arriettyborrower · 21/03/2017 22:06

I negotiated and got £500 off the venue hire, I did have to endure them making out it was a massive deal for them to have done it - but it was a little thing to endure 😉

Aroundtheworldandback · 21/03/2017 22:11

Dh and I got married at a top London hotel and he haggled like if in an Arab shuk. Everything's negotiable these days.

Zebrasinpyjamas · 21/03/2017 22:17

It's worth negotiating everything to do with a wedding including your dress. A polite question never does any harm. I agree with pp that it's more likely to get extras thrown in rather than a discount on price imo, especially if it's something that doesn't actually cost the venue anything.
I think most wedding venues that have a bar and accommodation on site would expect to make money on those with any booking so it's not really a 'bonus' for them though.

Lonelynessie · 21/03/2017 22:23

No harm in asking. We managed to knock off about 1.5k for a Friday wedding in July, so it is possible! Our venue is a very popular stately manor in the South.

switswoo81 · 21/03/2017 22:28

I'm the worse negotiator ever. At the souks in morocco do took my purse off me as I was given them the first price they asked.
Therefore he got manicures/hair/ make up and no corkage costs. I sat there mute.


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Sansculottes · 22/03/2017 19:22

As a final stage of the strategy - you can try the route au suggested above with both your top two venues and then tell the one that doesn't blink first how much the other has lowered their price by. You need a third lower price venue as your comparator so you have a real lower price to be tempted by iyswim!

Then once they've gone as low as they will go you can ask if they could throw anything more in and suggest things.

44PumpLane · 22/03/2017 19:44

There is no harm trying to barter, you totally should!

However Friday and Sunday are not off peak days- from my experience the pricing structure tends to go (highest to lowest)

Friday or Saturday or BH Monday or Sunday with BH Monday after it or Thursday with BH Friday after it

Normal Sunday
Monday or Tuesday

All to do with ease of taking time off work making dates more popular.

This was our experience when we were looking at pricing of venues.

Lesley1980 · 22/03/2017 21:08

I asked for discounts on everything but wasn't always successful. Most wedding dress places offered some kind of discount or free shoes/veil/accessory. My £1600 dress I got for £1200 with a free £200 veil. With the venue I got the exclusive hire down from £5000 to £1500.

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