Budget Weddings

Venue Tips

Hello ladies, I'd like to know what tips you all may have on what to expect, how to negotiate with your venue vendor. I'm about to seal my date and put a deposit on my ceremony/reception venue and would like a word of advice. Thank you

Re: Venue Tips

  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado
    Moderator Tenth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    mod
    What kind of deals are your looking for?  

    Often getting places to throw in "free" stuff  or lowering minimums works better than getting a discount, but it depends on the venue.   Some venues will not negotiate at all, others do.  It also depends on the time of year and/or day.   You are less likely to negotiate for a Saturday night, in June at a popular venue than a Sunday night in a non-peak time of year at the same venue.  






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
    kimmiinthemittenSP29
  • My date will be either Friday($4 cheaper) or Saturday. Like most, I preferred a Saturday but that's okay. What I really want is more party time! The reception is only 5.5 hours and I'd also like a little extra open bar time.
  • Have you completed your guest list yet?  Is your budget finalized?  If you are Catholic, have you talked to your priest about ceremony times?
    If you have done these things, then it is OK to shop for venues.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    MesmrEwe
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado
    Moderator Tenth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    mod
    Tia&Dre said:
    My date will be either Friday($4 cheaper) or Saturday. Like most, I preferred a Saturday but that's okay. What I really want is more party time! The reception is only 5.5 hours and I'd also like a little extra open bar time.
    5.5 hours of open bar is pretty standard.  That is how long mine was and it was long enough.  Some people hit up bars afterwards.  

    Getting extra open bar time can be tricky.   Some places have local and state laws the regulate open bars.  Plus liability/insurance issues when it comes to over serving and such.   It depends on where you  live.  You are more likely get them to waive extra time and/or room fees than give you more extra time on an open bar.  






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
    MesmrEwecharlotte989875
  • Ditto lynda..I think your leverage depends on demand. If you're at a hot venue on a Saturday night April-October, I think it's pretty much take it or leave it. Doesn't hurt to ask for things like free linens, upgraded chairs, etc. Maybe ask if they'll waive the cake cutting fee if you add on passed apps during cocktail hour, or something. 

    I think most ways you can save money aren't negotiations, it's in nixing unnecessary stuff like limos, programs, favors, etc.; selecting local/in season flowers; being frugal about invitations; etc.
    *********************************************************************************

    image
    SP29MesmrEwecharlotte989875InLoveInQueens
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado
    Moderator Tenth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    mod
    @southernbelle0915 - makes a good point.   Things venues often negotiate on are fees, upgrades and minimums.    








    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
  • Yeah, this makes a lot of sense, thanks for clearing that up. We are a young couple who've been together a long time and I am ready to party. But 5 hours is good after all is said and done.
  • SP29SP29
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member
    Agreed that you are unlikely to get things cheaper, more likely to get upgrades included or minimums changed.

    We got married on a Sat in January. They lowered the minimum for us. I *think* it was originally 75 (which actually seems high looking back on the size of the room), and they changed it to 50 for us. Which was good, because we had a lot of OOT guests, so our final guest count was 72.

    When I originally looked into our venue, the coordinator told me the bar was 8 hours. When I signed my contract, that coordinator no longer worked there and we had a new one; the contract stated 6 hours open bar. We were able to negotiate that back to the original. Our ceremony was at 3:30pm and our reception finished at 1am. Our venue closed the bar during dinner (not our choice).

    An FYI on venues- when they tell you the room can hold X number of guests, that is usually pretty squishy. It means full tables and likely tables placed on the dance floor that later have to be moved. I personally dislike this- I don't think guests should have to lose their seat/table for the dance. Thus, I'd recommend you look at a venue where your guest list doesn't fill it to capacity.

    Be sure to read your contract and ask questions so you know exactly what you are getting. When is the tasting? What does it include? Will the menu change? What does the bar include? Can this change? Is the bar open during dinner? When does the venue require final guest numbers? How do you accommodate allergies and food preferences (i.e. celiac, vegan, dairy, etc)? Can we bring in our own cake/candy bar/additional food items? When do we get access to the venue on our wedding day? Do you provide a microphone/sound system for the ceremony? Where does the DJ set up, and will (s)he be able to plug in all equipment? If you are having the ceremony and reception in the same space, how does the room change over work and how much time does it take? Is there parking available? Is it free? Can guests leave their vehicles overnight? Do you have a locked room where gifts/valuables can be stored?

    Another thing to remember- a venue is a business looking to make money, just as any other. They may not always provide services based on good etiquette. For example, they may try to get you to upgrade your bar (or menu) by telling you that you can save the money by having a cash bar.


    OurWildKingdomMesmrEweshort+sassy
  • With venues, you may be able to negotiate things like an extra bartender, additional set-up/clean up time, easier than you can discounts.  As CMG mentioned, the 5.5 hours of open bar time can be linked to local and state ordinances but also the longer you go the more liability risk there is from people indulging a bit too much.  BUT - the single way to save yourself the most money - read your contracts front, back and sideways then budget accordingly.  A venue that is up front about add-on charges, minimums, and things like taxes or they include taxes in the rate is going to be significantly different cost than one that does not include this and presumes you know you're going to be charged state, local, and municipal taxes.  Be realistic with your vendors, not just your venue, if your budget is $1000 for flowers, tell your florist this and be willing to adjust things to meet that budget.  Venues have far less wiggle room than your florist and caterer do..
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
    OurWildKingdom
Sign In or Register to comment.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards