Negotiations for off-peak dates

I was wondering what people's experiences have been with negotiating. I'm thinking about doing a Friday night in March, and I was curious how far people have been able to negotiate prices, specifically venues/catering packages. So much seems out of my budget, but I don't want to write off a place that could work out budget-wise in the end. Can anyone share their experiences with what they could achieve, such as an approx. percentage off list prices? Given the economy, I've heard that places are really willing to negotiate. I do plan to consult with my sister who was in the hotel catering/convention business for years, and hopefully bring her along to visits, to help with the negotiations.

Re: Negotiations for off-peak dates

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    edited December 2011
    My venue builds in discounts for certain seasons of the year, so it was difficult for me to negotiate prices down for my reception.  We were, however, able to take a few dollars off per person for the ceremony fee, and to sweeten the deal we were able to get a few things added for free (the biggest value was the chocolate fountain we had at dessert).  I found that simply asking, "Since we're having out wedding on a Friday in an off-season, is there anything extra you can do for us?"  Seemed to help the most.  Venues are used to people negotiating, so the salespeople usually had a thing or two already up their sleeves to offer.

    For the record, I was married on a Friday this past August.
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    edited December 2011
    I was originally planning a Friday in March wedding, so the first few venues we met with I did negotiate some pretty good discounts (free things added in like mentioned above, and actual price discounts) - we ended up getting married in October though, so this was relevant to us.  But yes, a lot of places will throw in extras for a Friday in March.  They typically say Jan-March are the off season months.
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    ButtonsPepperButtonsPepper member
    Combo Breaker First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I'm doing a Saturday, but it's in February. And to be honest, some places didn't offer much of a discount. I started by e mailing, probably 100 venue's, asking what their rates were, what discounts they offered for a February wedding, and went from there. If initially they weren't willing to budge much, I didn't even look at the venue.

    The first venue I met with, I fell in love with. We talked to the DOC there, and started talking pricing. I was able to lower the minimum guest count from 160 to 120 (thank goodness we did, because we only have just over 140), we were able to get quite a bit % off, and we were able to get a significant amount of money put towards any "upgrades" we wanted. They also discounted us on some upgrades we chose. If you want actual price information, you can leave your e mail and I can go into more detail, but I'd think a Friday in March should give you similar discounts to a Saturday in February. Feel free to PM me as well.
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