All’s fair in love and wedding venue war, or whatever John Lyly wrote. Battling my bridezilla blues to masterfully secure the most extravagant venue tends to bring me to incredible locations. Prices overwhelm me, but I need to know how to negotiate a wedding venue.
I called an orchard once after reading about their prices online only to find out they were just where the described venue packages started. Slightly embarrassed, realizing I didn’t have the required salary of a small village to pay for my dream wedding, I hung up the phone and reserved myself to find some alternate routes.
Trying to wrangle a price drop can be frustrating and exhausting. When discovering how to negotiate a wedding venue, the simple answer is that it’s best to find a place that can throw in some add ons for a low cost.
Off-Season Passes, Anyone?
A top tip for those trying to save a buck on their wedding costs: seek out off-season dates and irregular times. Most weddings are held from Friday-Sunday, but choosing to have your wedding on a Wednesday or Thursday can reduce the price!
When you pick the most desirable location, reach out and see if they offer any discounts for dates that land midweek. Some staff members can even explain the peak season for their particular location and recommend when prices might be lower.
Business owners love repeat clients and recommendations, and venue owners are no different. Take advantage of your friend’s stories about venue booking ventures. Check out places where family members have held their receptions or ceremonies.
Now when you speak to the booking representative, you can be sure to mention all the referrals you’ve received from couples who were thrilled with having weddings at their establishment. They might offer a few low-priced add-ons or even bring the price down by a percentage. Although there are no promises here, it can’t hurt to try!
Don’t Fear Honesty
With my heart set on a haunted hotel (I’m a spooky lady, what can I say?), I contacted the venue manager and talked to them about how much having my event there would mean to me. He asked how much I was planning on spending, and after about two days, I heard back from him with a custom price plan that worked for me.
Being honest with your rep or planner will get you further than stretching too thin.
Compromise is key, not just in your relationship but when you’re negotiating your wedding venue. If there’s no wiggle room in the venue’s ability to decrease the price, you can certainly offer some omissions.
For example, some locations may include an open bar with their venue fee (very few places). Choosing to limit the drinks or deciding on a cash bar can significantly reduce the price.
Check the Fine Print
Ask to see an itemized list of everything the package you’re working with will include. This way, you can double-check for any possible corners to cut or spot any hidden fees.
Early Birds Get the Venue
Always keep in mind that the greater advanced notice you have in booking your venue, the less money you’re likely to be dolling out.